How to Make It as a Programmer on Your Own
Working as a programmer doesn’t mean you have to be an employee for someone else. Many people have managed to build solid careers on their own in this field, and the market is full of opportunities. Like any kind of personal business though, there are some caveats to be aware of.
Choose the Right Specialization
There are many different fields and specialization paths in the world of software development, and some of them will be much more appropriate for your own skills and interests than others. Don’t just jump at something like machine learning because it’s hot right now – align your work to your own expertise. Otherwise, you’re eventually going to find yourself stuck writing code that you absolutely despise, even if it brings you a nice income stream.
Have Something to Show
The major downside to working on your own is that you can’t just submit your CV with some references – you may not even have any of those. And even if you do, your average client won’t care for them as much as they would for actual proof of work. Have an active GitHub profile, develop and release a project or two. Even if they don’t get very popular, the important thing is to put your code out there in the wild and got some feedback on it, while also making it available to the eyes of any potential client.
Promote Your Business
Don’t forget about promotion! No matter how good you are, word of your skills isn’t going to spread on its own, and you’ll have to put some effort into that. Start by optimizing your homepage. Finding SEO in Thailand, the UK, or anywhere else, is generally easy, and working with the right partner can bring many benefits to the table. You’ll get better exposure in search engines, and people will have an easier time finding you when they need services that you can offer.
Cover Your Legal Front Properly
Last but not least, remember that working on your own places a much bigger responsibility on your shoulders, as opposed to working as an employee at a company. The latter usually comes with multiple layers of legal and liability protection, while in the former, you’re on your own. Make sure that you’re covered on all legal fronts so that you don’t suddenly find yourself on the hook for money or services that you never expected would come into play. Some people will even seek out inexperienced entrepreneurs just so they can exploit their ignorance for financial gain.
As long as you have these bases covered, the rest comes down to being skilled enough to bring something valuable to the table, and constantly improving your skills over time as well. The world of software development keeps moving at a rapid pace, and it’s important to stay in touch with the recent trends in it if you want to stay relevant. You won’t have a manager or supervisor mentoring you and guiding you on the right path with regards to your personal development.