success in freelance programming

Mastering the Art of Freelance Programming: A Guide to Success

One of the biggest advantages of programming knowledge is earning money as a freelance programmer. Freelancing is called monetization, and it involves accepting projects from various employers without contracting with a specific company.

Freelancing has many advantages, including homework, the high number of jobs, flexibility in hours and volumes, job independence, and project diversity. Some programmers, however, have a better chance of success than others. Factors such as the spirit of working individually and a clear plan are among the most critical parameters affecting freelancer success.

In addition, starting to work as a programmer freelancer, especially for those with minor financial resources, can be a big challenge. There is no guarantee when the first customer will contact you. Freelancers need to have high job security. Of course, if you become a successful and well-known programming freelancer, you will leave every day with a project. In addition, freelance programmers earn much more than those who work for an organization.

In the following article, we want to explain the seven keys to success in programming as a freelancer.

Success secrets for freelance programmers

The programming industry is constantly changing and is growing in the coming year. You must know the latest programming trends and concepts to succeed as a freelance programmer. You need to know your expectations and how to do upcoming projects.

We will tell you in the following sections what is worth paying the most attention to. Learning about these topics will help you become a better developer and have a better chance of obtaining more and better projects in the future.

1- The use of agile development methods

Agile Web Development Methodologies improve mutual communication, eliminate time wastage, and increase web development speed. An agile team delivers the project and divides it into several Sprints (smaller cycles of work that make up the whole project together). It takes a few weeks for each sprint to complete.

After each sprint, the agile team meets with the client to review the coding procedure. Then, the team tries to make changes that the employer or the customer wants. The method minimizes the probability of the customer misunderstanding the request and the team’s explanation to the customer. Furthermore, it allows the team to make any changes the customer requests.

Other features of the agile development method that contribute to its popularity are as follows:

  • Daily short sessions (not more than 5 minutes) to evaluate work and determine daily goals
  • An interrelationship between the development team and the customer
  • Cyclical time planning

2- Focus on native application development

There are native applications specifically designed for a specific platform, such as the App Store or Google Play. Users can make the most of their hardware by using these applications. For example, the games on the App Store are designed and optimized for iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads. In contrast, the games you see on the Play Store work best on Android devices.

Sometimes, companies want a higher level of nativeness than this, so they develop their programming languages accordingly. For example, Apple has the Swift programming language, which can be used to develop native iPhone, iPad, and MacBook applications.

If you work as a freelance developer, most of your projects are probably related to app development for a specific platform. For this reason, learning native programming languages is the most effective way to gain more projects and achieve the best results.

3- Working with big data and artificial intelligence

success in freelance programming

Many companies use data to analyze how users react to their e-commerce websites and target users more intelligently. Several companies and even non-commercial and government organizations collect vast amounts of data related to user behavior and personal information. With the help of this data, they can determine, for example, where users leave a site, which pages contribute to the most sales, and who their main audience is.

Artificial intelligence can also analyze data using complex algorithms. For a better user experience, artificial intelligence can automatically promote products that users might be interested in and answer their questions. Also, artificial intelligence is used for self-driving cars, virtual assistants like Google Assistant, and video games.

All companies, from e-commerce sites to marketing companies, social networks, and financial institutions, use extensive data and artificial intelligence because businesses greatly benefit from knowing their users and audiences.

As a freelance programmer, you should learn about artificial intelligence. You should also learn several languages used in artificial intelligence. Some of the most important languages are:

  • Python
  • Java
  • Rust

By knowing these languages, you can be considered the best choice when it comes to hire Python developer freelancers.

4- Familiarity with continuous delivery

During the initial development process, called the waterfall process, the product was delivered after a long time. On the contrary, in the agile development method, the software is delivered at the end of each sprint. Some development processes require continuous delivery.

DevOps means continuous delivery, automation, and strong communication. This method removes the gap between programmers (Dev) and IT professionals (Ops). Continuous delivery allows the DevOps team to see and analyze the results of their work constantly throughout the development process.

In a DevOps team, all parts of the development process occur simultaneously, and team members’ tasks are performed equally. Development, testing, delivery, and feedback measurement are all integrated simultaneously. DevOps team members can be full-stack developers (developers with both front-end and back-end skill sets).

Some open-source continuous delivery tools that may be useful to you include:

  • Buddy
  • Tomcat
  • Ant

5- Cooperation with other teams as a freelance programmer

success in freelance programming

With the advent of video conferencing technologies and project management platforms, companies no longer need office personnel and are looking to hire freelance programmers. They can access and collaborate with more qualified candidates worldwide.

However, employers often choose one of their full-time employees to supervise programmers. For example, in an agile team, the entire process revolves around communication between the development team and company representatives.

6- Integration of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) includes various devices that connect to share information. Nowadays, some companies make smart homes, smartphones, smart watches, smart lighting systems, and many other smart things that make life easier for humans. Making these smart objects requires complex programming and collaboration between engineers and programmers.

Companies still have a long way to go in the Internet of Things. It is predicted that by 2030, applications will completely control many aspects of the world around us. Industry and agriculture can also benefit from advanced systems. Even the security and military systems can benefit from these systems. As a programmer, to participate in the development of this software, you must know the following areas:

  • How sensors work in these devices
  • How to design the user interfaces of these items to have the best user experience
  • How to use server-side languages like PHP and databases like SQL to build data storage servers for these integrated innovative systems

7- Awareness of kitchen sink syndrome

Scope creep, or kitchen sink syndrome, occurs when parameters widen during a project. Therefore, you must allocate more time to complete the project. If you want to make an acceptable income as a freelance programmer that matches your efforts and time, you should define the creep limit at the beginning of the project.

There are several reasons for kitchen sink syndrome. These reasons are the need for more mutual understanding between the client and the freelancer and last-minute requests from the client. For example, a client might hire you to redesign their website’s homepage. The client also asks you to redesign the landing pages as soon as you finish. You get paid for the homepage redesign you agreed to but not for landing page redesigns.

The most effective way to avoid kitchen sink syndrome is to talk to the client thoroughly before starting the project and understand their needs and expectations before giving a price. Also, explain to the client that sudden changes to the project will increase the cost.

Of course, kitchen sink syndrome is unavoidable. For example, agile development allows customers to request changes in the middle of the project. However, if the client adds new priorities to a project, they must ignore other priorities. You should discuss with the client which project details can be sacrificed for their new priorities when you receive upcoming requests. This will enable you to stay manageable.

success in freelance programming


This article tells you how to be a successful freelance programmer. Despite all its advantages, such as flexible working hours, independence in work, high levels of flexibility and discretion in determining workload, the possibility of working at home, and many others, freelancing also has challenges, such as finding clients.

If you want to make a significant income from freelancing, you must be able to use the available tools to advertise and introduce yourself to clients. You have to create your brand, and by mastering different programming stacks and languages, you can complete all projects. Remember that freelancing doesn’t mean you must always work alone, but you can collaborate and communicate with other programmers and never feel isolated.

In addition to the principles we discussed, you need to know the latest trends and technologies in programming. To succeed as a freelance programmer, you must do this. Many organizations have switched to native applications, so freelance programmers must master a native language. Also, familiarity with big data and artificial intelligence concepts can bring you many projects in the next decade. Topics like the Internet of Things will also be important in programming in the coming years.

Last, if you want to earn a reasonable income as a freelance programmer and not make wasted efforts, you should be careful of a secret trap called sink syndrome. Before starting the project, you should discuss the most minute details with the client. Any changes from the client’s side during the development process will increase the cost.

If you are new to programming, you can read the article “How to become a programmer” to learn how to become a professional in this field.

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