One of the many good things about programming languages is that they are universal. Learning to code opens a gate to an international market that provides long-term employment beyond the standards, salaries, and working conditions of one’s country.
If you are employed remotely for a foreign company, especially if you’re coming from a low-income country, it can be one hell of a selling point in making it into the freelance job market.
However, that is not the sole perk a good freelance software engineer enjoys, especially if they are experts in what they do.
Here are some of the other reasons why more and more developers choose to freelance.
It puts them at the steering wheel of planning their time and engagements
Working as a freelance software developer can be a hard thing to do if you’re doing all the planning, scheduling, and finding clients yourself. But with good planning and organization, it can prove to be amazing.
It can provide the freelancers with flexibility in organizing their daily working hours, and they can still work full time without sticking to the traditional nine-to-five. At the same time, if they are in a position in their career when they can choose their engagements, they can pick only the clients and engagements they feel passionate about.
It opens up opportunities to work on exciting engagements
By working full-time for one company, a developer needs to stick to one position and work on all the engagements that are delegated to them. Let’s say it’s a web development company. They would spend day-in-day-on on developing websites for their clients, without having much agency over the creative imprint they leave on the engagement, or input on how to make it better, more efficient, or innovative. Most of the time, they need to stick to the guidelines given to them by management or the clients.
When working freelance, they can pick the engagement they find exciting, and try to work with international companies that will look amazing on their portfolio.
It allows them to work extra jobs part-time
It might not be everyone’s taste, but people nowadays like to work extra jobs. Hustle culture is a two-edged sword, but if freelancers feel capable of doing it, then they easily can work extra hours as freelancers. A number of younger people, specifically, work extra hours to be able to save money quickly and see their way into that through freelance work.
It earns them more money
Full disclosure: there are thousands of freelance web, mobile app, backend, frontend, fullstack developers, computer science specialists, and a plethora of other development specialists that come from lower-income countries and work for international companies remotely.
Why? Well, because it’s the perfect mid-way compromise: they get paid more than their country’s average salary for developers, and the companies from high-income countries save on wages, benefits, and extra taxes.
It speeds up their career progression
Working for an array of engagaments and clients teaches you not only things about coding, but speeds up your learning curve of foreign languages, most notably English. It also teaches you about a more agile way of working and improves your soft skills.
On top of that, add the wide assortment of tools and platforms that a freelance worker gets introduced to, and you get a skilled and self-organized worker.
Furthermore, freelancers are a lot more independent, “street-smart”, and generally more open to learning and discovering new things. Whether they want it or not, they need to get used to the way of working with many clients, and they learn how to communicate with all kinds of people.
Lastly, they manage their own clients, do their own self-promotion, and know how to handle their finances better. And all of this teaches them to better value their time and skills.
Gathering all these skills and knowledge can really help skyrocket one’s career progress, and it is one of the biggest reasons why more and more developers work freelance.
It’s an exit from the conventional and inflexible working environment
Anyone tired of a fixed working schedule and the corporate way of dealing with company-wide issues and decisions probably has thought about looking for a way into a more flexible and transparent environment. Freelancing can provide exactly that.
It allows them to learn from a global community
Most freelancers are able to not only work but also make friends with people from other countries and cultures that they work with. This is a very eye-opening experience for many people coming from different backgrounds that haven’t had the opportunity to work in an international environment. But it also is a great learning experience in general.
Here is an example: at Proxify, we have more than a thousand freelance developers from many different countries. And they all communicate with each other on solving issues, asking for peer advice, looking for feedback on their personal engagements, and finding quick fixes to technical issues.
It is an amazing possibility of thought-sharing and improving knowledge from peers and clients from different backgrounds.
It brings exciting clients to their portfolio
As I already mentioned, experienced freelancers are in the position to pick their own clients sometimes. And, this means that they can choose the ones that are useful for them to progress even further in their own career.
There are many great developers working as dedicated employees under a traditional contract, undoubtedly.
But more and more people want to transpire the borders of geography, timelines, and financial constraints that traditional employment imposes, and find a better way to earn their money by working freelance. Not only does that have many perks for them, but it is also an amazing way for companies to find their next employee quickly while cutting costs at the same time.