Programmer or not, freelancing itself is a very tough game. And even more so when you are programming.
Hurdles Faced By A Freelancer – Better Programming – Medium
Attending client meetings and actually understanding their requirements is a tough game in and of itself. Then comes development, oh goodness.
And if you are a freelance programmer, and you have been doing it for years, then you can pull it off with a couple of other things as well, including time management and keeping an eye on your temperament and patience.
However, what you can’t stand, even today (and understandably so), is listening to stuff like “you’re having a good time!” “getting paid and working from home, what else do you want?” While on the other hand, you only wish that life could be that easy for you.
But, if you are just starting out then we are going, to be honest with you. Being a freelance programmer is not easy. And to reflect on a freelance programmer’s day-to-day difficulties, we will begin talking about their day-to-day challenges.
So without further ado, let’s begin.
Challenges Faced By Freelance Programmers
Before we talk about anything else, let’s talk about the challenges faced by freelancers. It’s a myth that lurks in the common opinion that freelancers are the luckiest people. After all, they can earn and have fun at the same time.
That is what we call a surface of thinking. Some freelancers don’t get to enjoy their life like people who work 9 to 5 jobs. That’s because every passing hour is a working hour for them. And usually, their schedules are mismanaged too.
Now we can say “well, that’s easy. Just set your routine and you are good to go” First of all, it’s easier said than done. Secondly, sometimes it is just impossible. For example, think about the times when they have to go out of their routine to attend a meeting with their client.
Important enough, right?
Don’t worry yet. We are just starting to scratch the surface a little bit here. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the challenges faced by freelance programmers.
Check out the Pros & Cons of Being a Freelancer Coder
Skills Required To Become a Successful Freelance Programmer
The skill of requirement engineering
Steve Jobs once said, and we have quoted the same quote before as well, he said “It is not the customer’s job to know what they want”
Although Steve Jobs’ profession was marketing. But, when you tell this quote to a programmer, he will be able to relate to it like no other. That’s because they have to go through it every single day.
It is hard for programmers to decode what their client wants. So they have to attend multiple meetings, share sketches, and do brainstorming sessions before they move further. And if that wasn’t hard enough, a programmer has to prepare a codebase to finally bring the ideas to reality.
Communication skills are one of the most important skills for a freelancer. Now let’s shift the focus from a freelance programmer to a good salesman for a bit. A good salesman builds trust and knows how to get in an ideal position to upsell.
Similarly, if you are a freelance programmer who possesses amazing communication skills, you can do wonders in your meetings with potential prospects. You understand their will, you are able to build trust, and upsell in a way that seems more like a help than a money-making tactic.
Ability To Translate Words Into Codes
Now, this might seem like a strange one. That’s because you might think of yourself more like a machine that’s constantly translating the words of your clients into algos and codes. However, as a programmer, you must be aware of how possible it is to implement their requirements.
In addition to that, constantly imagining how it will take place will help you identify the challenges in between. But what’s the point of it? Well, by identifying the challenges, you will be able to set realistic deadlines and maintain a fair amount of transparency with regard to the development of the project.
It is very hard to maintain your routine, especially when an unpredicted call for a meeting is made. Now the dilemma is attending the meeting is just as important as keeping the routine intact. But, that simply isn’t going to happen if the meeting takes place (because usually, it takes an hour or so), then, how will you manage your time?
You’ll learn to manage your time by learning from the leaders. Consider incorporating some books written on time management. Here are some that are said to be the best bang for your buck if you want to learn time management:
- The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- How to stop procrastinating: A simple guide to mastering difficult tasks and wreaking the procrastination habit by S.J. Scott
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time by Brian Tracy
And of course, many books are written on time management. The bottom line is to learn to effectively manage your time and that’ll help you perform better and more.
There is so much to talk about in Project Management, so we’ll save it for later. However, we are going to cover some of the most important advantages that a freelance programmer can gain by learning project management.
First of all, project management helps freelance programmers in organizing their work and maintain their work/life balance.
Secondly, project management is perhaps the only way to work in a focused manner, fully knowing why the smallest matter of the task and the importance it has in the overall project.
If you have a team of freelance programmers that work in collaboration with you, then incorporating productivity tools will help you stay on track. Assign roles and tasks to people that you are working with and easily maintain the progress record.
If you’re just starting out as a developers, below are some of our blog posts that you’ll find helpful.
Being a freelance programmer is hard. But it’s worth it. Period. One of the best things about being a freelance programmer is that you are in a perfect spot to launch your own company.
Launching your own company means earning a lot of money, hiring amazing people to market your brand and positioning yourself in an ideal manner, and attracting more clients.
But, the struggle is real. At times, you will have to stay up late at night and leave parties and stuff – but for the greater good.