FREELANCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Duties, Salary & How to Become One

Freelance Software Developer Work
Photo Credit : CareerFoundry

A freelance software developer can work from anywhere. The majority of freelance software developers take on projects and may assist a business in resolving app software issues or in creating websites for customers. Software developer who works for themselves typically works alone and remotely. Many freelance software developers work from home, but some take advantage of the opportunity to travel while still making money. If you’re considering working as a freelance software developer, learning more about the position and your options in the industry can help you decide if it’s right for you. The steps for becoming a freelance software developer are covered in this article, along with information on what they do and expected salaries.

Freelance Software Developer

Being a freelancer requires you to have the ability to market both yourself and your services as well as have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of managing a business, such as setting up a budget, filing taxes, and maintaining accurate records. Numerous clients are served simultaneously by freelance developers, but some may prefer to enter into a contract with just one firm at a time.

Computer science professionals known as software developers write computer programs and applications. They are skilled at writing “code” that makes the features of the software possible using computer programming languages. A specialty in one or more software development areas, such as web development or database development, is typical of seasoned software developers.

The majority of freelance developers take on projects and may assist a business in resolving software problems with an app or in creating a website for a client. You can find employment on online platforms for freelancers if you are a self-employed software developer.

Benefits of Becoming a Freelance Software Developer

#1. Boost Your Income

There is no restriction on how many projects one person can work on simultaneously. If you are skilled in many, if not all, trades, you might take on several projects that require various abilities and work on them all at once if you are multi-talented. In doing so, you’ll increase your effectiveness and income. 

#2. You Are the One in Charge

The fact that you run your own business as a freelance software developer is undoubtedly the biggest benefit The types of clients and individuals you choose to work with are completely within your control. As a freelance software developer, you have the right to refuse to work with clients who make unreasonable demands. 

#3. International Reach 

You learn about various work cultures and communication styles through your experience working with international clients. Building significant business relationships will give you the chance to mix your contacts and expand your network. You can cooperate with additional freelance software developers while working on a project. 

#4. Flexibility

You have control over when you work, the jobs you choose, and the methods you use to complete them. Freelance programmers are unlikely to be required to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in an office unless a specific number of hours or location is specified in a contract.

Drawbacks Of Being a Freelance Software Developer

#1. Unstable Employment 

When your current contracts end, you must always be looking for new ones to take on. It is crucial to have a backup plan because contracts can occasionally end for a variety of unanticipated reasons. You must be skilled at branding yourself, selling your knowledge, and forming business relationships in addition to being a coder.

#2. Financial Instability

The timing of your next paycheck is uncertain when you work as a freelancer. Long-term financial stability is not a given when you freelance. Depending on your previous project, your earnings could be higher or lower.

#3. Busy Schedule 

There are times when working alone can be very difficult. You’ll eventually need to keep track of a lot of things, including sticking to deadlines, creating proposals, and updating a website.

Freelance Software Developer Job Description

The job description for a software developer may include the following information:

  • Software program research, development, implementation, and management
  • A new program’s testing and evaluation
  • Finding potential areas for change in existing programs, then implementing these changes
  • Creating and using effective code
  • Establishing operational viability
  • The creation of quality control measures
  • Implementing software tools, methods, and metrics
  • Updating and maintaining current systems
  • Training users
  • Collaborating closely with additional developers, UX designers, business analysts, and systems analysts

Freelance Software Developer Salary

You might be wondering how much work and money you can make as a freelance software developer can make now that you know how to get started. Developers make an annual salary of $79,398 on average. As a freelancer, you frequently decide on your rates and base your pay on several variables. Depending on your level of experience, you can decide to charge more or less than the going rate for full-time employees in the industry.

Look for ways to strengthen your credentials and service offerings if you want to increase your income. To find out what skills and requirements are most in demand, take a look at job postings for freelance software developers. If you can tailor your portfolio, resume, and skill set to meet the needs of common clients or specific projects, you can frequently increase your rates to reflect your level of expertise. 

How to Become a Freelance Software Developer 

Here are some actions you can take if you’re interested in finding out how to work as a freelance software developer:

#1. Develop your Niche

Having a particular skill set that sets you apart from other freelance professionals is beneficial when working as a freelance software developer. You could decide to focus on software development in a particular area, such as application debugging, get certified, or learn a specific coding language. Additionally, having particular skills and certifications can make it simpler for employers to find you during candidate searches. 

#2. Set Clear Expectations

You can make sure you maintain productive working methods and create consistency in your professional life by clearly outlining your expectations. Knowing the worth of your time and work can make it simpler to express your needs to clients and to make a decision if a project doesn’t fit with how you prefer to work.

#3. Working Conditions

Instead of using their employer’s actual office space, freelance software developers frequently work remotely. To keep your personal and professional lives apart, you might decide to set up a home office.

#4. Working Hours 

How much you expect to work each week is a useful additional criterion to establish. Only take on clients and projects that fall within the parameters you’ve established.

#5. Service Offerings

You may decide to set restrictions on the services you provide or the kinds of jobs you’re willing to accept. For instance, rather than developing new software, you might only provide consulting services or focus on using existing programs. 

#6. Clients

You can also limit the number of clients you work with at one time. Important factors can also include the kinds of clients or business sizes you feel comfortable working with. 

#7. Create a Portfolio

Your best work, commendable remarks, expert references, and other evidence of your abilities can all be kept in a portfolio. Having a portfolio will make it simple and convenient for you to show off your work to prospective clients.

It is easier for potential employers to understand your experience and skills if you include a link to your portfolio or display it on professional applications. Make an effort to choose pieces of work you feel best to reflect your abilities and style.

Consider adding sections to your portfolio that effectively promote your credentials if you are an expert in a particular field of work or possess advanced certifications.

#8. Determine your Rates

Having predetermined fees can make dealing with clients easier and ensure that you are paid fairly for your time and services. You can charge per project or hour for your services, but make sure your rates reflect your level of expertise, your technical proficiency, and your needs in terms of lifestyle.

#9. Find Your Target Audience

Knowing the appropriate venues to advertise your services is a crucial first step in self-marketing. Choose the best methods to connect with the clients you’re most eager to work with by keeping in mind who they are.

Instead of lowering your prices to accommodate customers with tighter budgets, make sure to find markets and audiences who can afford to pay your fees. To find opportunities with the clients whose attention you are most interested in capturing, you can use freelance websites, networking tools, and job search websites. 

#10. Promote Your Abilities

Once you’ve determined your rates and your target market, try to sell your skills to them. By doing this, you can help spread the word about the services you offer and raise the likelihood that potential clients will find you.

Since you are the one who must market yourself, make sure you are effectively expressing your experience and abilities. Websites for freelance software developers and personal ads can both be effective tools for spreading the word about your services.

#11. Specific Clients 

Being picky can help you maintain standards or rates and keep your job attractive to employers. Find out as much as you can about the business procedures and communication norms of your potential clients before choosing who to work with.

You can share your portfolio or apply once you’ve determined that a client’s values coincide with yours and that they can meet your requirements. If businesses approach you, think about getting information about their expectations, management style, and values. Your professional compatibility with the client can be ascertained by their responses. 

#12. Get a Contract Ready

Before beginning work on a project for which you have agreed to be hired, try to draft a contract. This aids in formally establishing the guidelines for your contract work with the company as a freelancer. These agreements frequently detail the compensation you receive from the business, the work you perform, and the length of your partnership with it.

#13. Keep Learning New Things

Maintaining your viability and keeping your skills current can be achieved by keeping up with industry developments and useful certifications. Think about earning additional certifications or locating opportunities for lifelong learning. By investing in your professional growth, you can get better job opportunities and earn more money.

Being a top Freelancer requires constant curiosity about the newest programming languages and technological advancements. To stay up to date with the most recent developments, you can subscribe to newsletters, and publications, enroll in quick online courses, read blogs, and more. You can develop skills that are relevant to the industry by following these steps. This will boost your earning potential and bring in more clients over time.

Freelance Software Developer Work

Websites and computer programs depend on the work of freelance software developers. The “back end” of applications—the portion of them that users don’t see—is made by using coding languages and methods. This indicates that these specialists create the underlying systems that enable and facilitate the operation of websites and applications. These are typical duties for freelance software developers: 

  • Designing application systems
  • Providing customers with advice on upgrades to their software
  • Developing websites through code
  • Finding clients
  • Interacting with clients to learn about their needs
  • Keeping a personal website or portfolio up to date 

Can I Do Freelance as a Software Developer?

Companies in a variety of industries hire freelance software developers to complete projects and resolve software-related problems. The majority of freelance software developers take on projects and may assist a business in resolving software problems with an app or in creating a website for a client.

How Much Can You Make as a Freelance Software Developer?

The average salary for a freelance software developer in the US is $79,398 per year as of April 12, 2023.

Is Freelancing Worth It as a Programmer?

If you have the abilities and commitment, you might be able to make a good living as a freelance programmer. Some programmers earn more money working for themselves than they do at a regular job. Programmers make an average yearly salary of $69,193. You can determine your rates as a freelance programmer.

Can I Make 100K From Freelancing?

Unquestionably, freelancing can assist you in generating a salary that will allow you to comfortably support your family. Additionally, it’s not impossible to earn six figures (and beyond) as a freelancer.

Is It Hard to Be a Freelance Developer?

Freelance web development is difficult. It’s a ton of work. However, the benefits of the freelance lifestyle will vastly outweigh everything else. You must establish a reputation for being a diligent worker as well as a trustworthy, ethical web developer.

How Do I Start Freelance Programming With No Experience?

  • Find your niche and learn to code
  • Get experience by building a portfolio 
  • Create your website
  • Build your online presence
  • Set up profiles on freelancing portals
  • Network with other programmers 
  • Earn certifications 
  • Start searching for clients and work 
  • Get referrals and build clients list

How Much Do Python Freelancers Charge Per Hour?

According to ZipRecruiter, the hourly rate for a Python Developer in the United States as of April 12, 2023, ranges from $54.52 to $55. 


To maintain the functionality of websites, mobile applications, and computer software systems, freelance software developers are hired. It can be enticing to work as a freelance web developer. Working on interesting projects, being free to go to tech events and participate in tech communities, working from home, traveling, and having a better work-life balance are all benefits.

IT specialists who work as freelance software developers rather than paying employees are known as freelance software developers. This frequently gives these professionals more latitude over the type of work they do and the setting in which they carry it out. It’s crucial to comprehend available freelance opportunities if you’re interested in using your skills as a software developer to complete projects.

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