The pandemic is changing the world of work. Across all industries, freelance work is growing due to the need to create more flexible work opportunities.
Some of the highest paying freelance jobs are in web development. As a freelance web developer, web designer, or programmer you’ll need the in-demand skills companies are looking for to build products and maintain operations under new work circumstances.
If you’re interested in being a freelance web developer, here are the top five things to know about pursuing independent contracting projects while exceeding a client’s needs.
5 Things You Need to Know When Becoming a Freelance Web Developer
1. Education Can Vary but Experiences and Work Samples are a Must
Web developers in the field have a variety of education levels. Some have obtained a bachelor’s degree in software development or computer science, while others have opted for a certificate or associate’s degree.
Most freelance positions will depend on a company’s job description requirements and interview process. If a freelancer presents compelling experiences and samples that meet or even exceed a job description, it will make the interview process much easier.
According to an article from Forbes, technology leaders shared that one of the most sought-after qualities among web developers is their ownership of projects. One tech leader explained that any web developer they hire should be able to solve complex issues and produce high-quality work.
Another technology leader shared that front-end developers should have an online portfolio with samples. This allows hiring managers to check their quality of work in support of the information provided in the resume and interview.
2. Specialization is Key but Flexibility is Also Necessary
Freelance web developers will often choose to specialize in one area of web development. As Adam Coti, a freelance web developer, shared in his blog, most of his freelance work will often involve working on one component of a process.
Web development is a broad area of technology. Web pages require front-end development, back-end development, UX design, and more. Specialization in one area of web development allows freelancers to concentrate on mastering skills involved only in one area.
However, a freelance web developer should also be well-versed in the fundamental core concepts of web development. A freelance web developer should know how areas outside of their work relate to the entirety of a project. That way, a web page can work cohesively.
Freelance web developers also have to be flexible in learning brand new skills. As other areas of technology continue to advance, web developers will have to adapt to new trends which will influence new web development areas.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, for instance, are becoming more popular among the retail industry’s web development process, so it will be a necessary component to learn.
3. Be Aware That You Have Plenty of Competition
Individual freelance work is often in competition with development companies. Companies will typically go through a series of steps to decide which is the better option.
As a freelance web developer, you should keep in mind that you are in competition with others and that being hired for a project will require not only meeting a company’s high expectations but exceeding them.
According to an article from Forbes, tech entrepreneur Bobir Akilkhanov compares development companies and individual freelancers in security, resources, and services.
As an individual freelancer, it’s important to recognize one’s strengths and improve in areas where competitors fare better. Ultimately, the goal should be to create a compelling and well-rounded narrative behind one’s work and experiences.
4. Manage Time Efficiently and Set Boundaries
Once a freelance web developer is hired for a project, they need to balance efficiency with attention to detail. Failing to meet a timeline may prevent future opportunities and build a bad reputation. However, sloppy work will also present a poor image.
Creating a good flow and clear expectations on a project requires understanding a project’s goals and communicating boundaries.
Making assumptions about a company’s goals may start a project poorly. Listening to a client’s project description and asking questions allows both sides to create a consensus of the project and goals.
Furthermore, setting boundaries early on is also helpful. It can prevent interruptions in workflow and improve a client’s confidence in one’s work.
5. Find a Network That Works For You
Last but not least, a freelance web developer needs to find the right network — one that’s interested in their work and that aligns with their goals and beliefs.
Nicole Young, a freelance web developer told Dice that once she began making networking a priority she was able to accomplish her goals and gain a clear role in the industry.
Networking opportunities can allow individuals to meet the right companies to work with. It also allows individuals to create a channel where they can share experiences and learn from one another.
Becoming a freelance web developer can provide many opportunities. As freelance jobs only continue to grow in demand, individuals interested in pursuing this flexible work opportunity can use these tips to stand out and reap the many benefits of the freelance projects ahead of them.
Sophia Acevedo is a journalist based in Southern California. She is a 2020 graduate from California State University, Fullerton, and a proud Daily Titan alum.