How to Start a Career as a Freelance Software Developer

As a freelance software developer, you can carve out a niche in the vast booming software industry. To take this one step further, if you chose to be a freelance software developer, you not will have a satisfying career but also get to work for yourself, being your own boss. Managing your own business may seem daunting at first, however once you have certain elementary processes in place, working as a freelance software developer can be highly rewarding.

Where to Start?

If you are not already familiar with programming, learning the fundamentals of programming is a good start. Depending upon your comfort level and personal learning style, you can choose from a vast number of programming languages. It is advisable to start with a programming language that is open source and has a clear verbal syntax. You can also choose to learn from free programming languages, such as Python Programming Language, which is not only powerful, but also easy to learn. You need to be conversant with the knowledge of what a variable, array, class and function is before you consider moving to the next step.

Choose a Direction

Since you are a freelancer, you need to be clear about how you want to proceed with selling your skills. The most practical option is to sustain your business by developing software for clients, whilst developing your application on the side. If you are confident about the market for your application, it is prudent to proceed with focusing on the development of your own application.

Get Competent

Once you have set a direction for your business, the next step is to get proficient with various programming languages and tools. You can choose to develop desktop applications or web applications, although it is best to learn to develop both, since it increases your chances of getting work. PHP and BASIC are two of the easier tools that can be used to start programming. It takes patience and a few years of experience before you begin to use more complex tools such as Xcode and MS Visual Studio for larger projects.

Create a Business Plan

Learning and mastering programming is only half the job. Compiling your business ideas and thoroughly researching applications is a requirement. The research can include determining whether the application you intend to develop is already available on the market, or what the market for your application is. Advertising your services and enlisting your skills and USP’s all need to carefully considered.

Building your Clientele

The only way to get work is to advertise your services.  It is up to you to decide the size and nature of the projects you would like to take on. If you are a beginner, it is best to start with smaller projects. With time, you will not only have the experience but also the confidence to take on bigger and more complex projects.