Becoming a developer is a difficult process in-itself and becoming a freelance developer can be even harder! Most great freelance developers have the right skill sets, portfolios of work, and clienteles to impress future clients and are able to command high hourly wages. Freelancing is on the rise globally, and now is the right time to become a freelance developer, if you have ever wanted to code. Hourly wages for great freelancer developers in the United States range from $30 to as much as $250 per hour. We suggest the following four great ways to become a great freelance developer:
1. Get a Computer Science Degree
Believe it or not, a computer science undergraduate or graduate degree is highly valued by clients. If you are still in high school wondering how to become a great developer, you should begin to think about applying for an undergraduate computer science program. If you are already past undergraduate studies and want to become a developer / coder, you should think about obtaining a master’s degree in Computer Science. An education in computer science teaches you the basics of coding, indulges you in projects where you independently develop web and mobile apps, and also teaches you coding best practices. The top undergraduate computer science schools in the United States, according to US News are:
a. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
b. Carnegie Mellon University
c. University of California – Berkeley
d. Georgia Institute of Technology
e. Stanford University.
On the other hand, the top graduate computer science schools in the United States, according to US News are:
a. Carnegie Mellon University
b. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
c. Stanford University
d. University of California – Berkeley
e. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.
2. Join a Coding School
Coding schools or coding boot camps are growing at a massive rate in the United States. These programs offer intense 4 – 12-week immersive programs where students can learn how to code in a short span of time. The cost of completing a program from a coding school can range from around $8,000 to $20,000+, and some schools offer deferred tuition. This means that you are not required to pay them until you graduate and find a placement. Coding schools are a great way to show future clients that you know how to code, to show off your portfolio of web and mobile apps you may have built in school, and to subsequently get placed in high-paying freelance developer roles.
The best coding schools of 2019-20 in the United States according to Coursereport are:
a. Flatiron School
b. Hack Reactor
d. App Academy
3. Take Online Training Courses
There are a great deal of online training courses that teach you how to code and immerse you in real-life development projects. Course prices can range from as little as $1 to thousands of dollars. Training course certifications can also be a great way to show clients that you are serious about web and mobile development. If you do not have a computer science background, they can also be a good way for you to learn how to code. There are different types of online training courses available on the internet today, including a mix of pre-recorded videos and live training. Either way, online courses are extremely convenient since you do not have to physically go to a classroom and can learn how to code from the comfort of your home. Some of the best online training websites available on the market today are:
a. 360 Training
c. Khan Academy
e. Lynda from LinkedIn Learning.
4. Use Freelance Developer Marketplaces
Freelance developer marketplaces are a great way for you to build a portfolio of work, work with different clients, and make money in the process! An increasing number of companies are relying on freelance websites to hire freelance developers. The way that these freelance developer websites work is that you create a free profile on them and can then proceed to bid on projects posted by clients. Clients who hire freelance developers pay on an hourly basis or else have fixed-rate projects. Once you start working with companies, these websites charge you anywhere from a 10% to 20% commission on every dollar that you earn on a project. Freelance websites have become extremely popular in the United States since they offer freelancers the convenience of connecting with several companies at once and the ability to work whenever and wherever you want on a freelance basis. For companies who want to hire freelance developers, these websites are a great way to connect with freelance talent. There is also a new type of freelance developer websites that is emerging, where a freelancer needs to create a profile just once, with the website then automatically connecting you with projects posted by clients who are looking to hire freelance developers in the same city. Once you start working with clients, the website automatically detects your idle time and finds you a sufficient number of projects to fill up your entire work week. They also offer you the option to work with a client full-time after a trial period. SkillSoniq is a great example of such a platform. Below are some of the top freelance websites in the United States: