How to Pursue a Freelance Career in Computer Programming

September 24th, 2021

By: Lisa Walker

How to Pursue a Freelance Career in Computer Programming

Spurred on by the pandemic and growing investments in the digital space, the tech boom seems to have reached its apex and coders are enjoying the spoils. There’s never been a better time for the business of code and, if you’re a computer programmer, you can expect to command higher fees, flexible hours and a widening pool of clients.  How to Pursue a Freelance Career in Computer Programming

Why Coders?

A recent study by Deloitte, found that 99% of small businesses use at least one digital tool in their day-to-day activities and 85% report technology as an aid in success. Our increasing reliance on tech has resulted in a scramble for the services of those who speak computer languages, especially in cases where a company is building their own proprietary technology. A good tech team can help a business to build databases, analyze leads, utilize software and fix IT issues as they arise.

If you’re thinking of venturing out as a ‘codepreneur’, you’ll be pleased to learn the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently projected that computer and information technology employment is due to grow by 11% before 2029. And, for the millions of startup companies that need part-time support, contract coders have become a regular and necessary expense. In other words, the time is right if you’re hoping to go solo.

Marketing Yourself

Even in a bull market, it’s important to advertise yourself - especially during your company’s early stages so that you can establish a core client base. Clients tend to breed more clients and if you can adequately service just a few, it will often lead to repeat business or an expansion of your network. According to Zenbusiness, good marketing gives you control over the trajectory of your company - the ability to bring in new clients at will can enable you to expand and hire up or to pick from the highest-paying offers for a maximum income to hour ratio.

The act of marketing may not come naturally to those without experience - fortunately, with social media and affordable software, those who are tech-literate can learn quickly and without having to overspend. For example, if you’re looking to create a logo to separate yourself from the competition, you could use Adobe Spark - this will give you complete autonomy over the design and save you on hiring a professional or agency. Simply pick out a style and icon and follow the user-friendly instructions for a simple, personal end product.

Business Basics

The most important consideration when forming a coding business is your skill level. If you have a strong understanding of advanced programming languages, such as Python, Visual Basic or SQL, then you can command higher fees than if you had only a rudimentary understanding of machine code. Depending on the breadth of your knowledge and your efficiency within it, you can charge higher rates. Many employers/clients also put a lot of stock in years of experience, so make sure that you understand your worth before deciding on a price tag.

It’s also important to take into account the unique costs that are associated with a freelance coding career. Beyond the usual expenses, such as utility bills and high-speed internet, you’ll probably need to fork out for software training, the software itself and a powerful home computer set-up (preferably with dual monitors) that can handle all the strain.

 Coding is a tough business but also a lucrative one when you can value and market yourself appropriately. If you’re considering a new career as a codepreneur and you have the requisite skill set, there’s no better time to get started than the present.


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