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Freelancing

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RolloofTheNorm    4

Lately I've been thinking about freelancing or self employment since I have no work experience. I'm still learning python and c#, but is this a good career route? 

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adrynalyne    12,430
1 hour ago, RolloofTheNorm said:

Lately I've been thinking about freelancing or self employment since I have no work experience. I'm still learning python and c#, but is this a good career route? 

Sure, if it’s your cup of tea. You might want to look into contributing to open source projects as well. 

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Nick H.    10,003
12 hours ago, RolloofTheNorm said:

Lately I've been thinking about freelancing or self employment since I have no work experience. I'm still learning python and c#, but is this a good career route? 

That's quite a broad question. I assume from your mention of python and C# that you would freelance as a programmer?

 

The issue with freelancing is building your reputation. Something that can help get that started is having a portfolio of work that you've already done. You say that you don't have any work experience, but have you got anything that you can present to people and say, "I did this"?

 

I've considered freelancing in the past. The one thing that ends up stopping me is the lack of a guarantee of work. The lack of job security, and by extension a pay check, can be quite daunting. I like knowing that I can pay my rent, my bills, my pension, my bar bill, and still have money left over to spend how I like.

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dipsylalapo    1,805
12 hours ago, RolloofTheNorm said:

Lately I've been thinking about freelancing or self employment since I have no work experience. I'm still learning python and c#, but is this a good career route? 

I never thought freelancing (which I assume is the same as contracting) and career go together. For me, a career is more like having a 5/10 year plan and getting a promotion, moving up to the next grade/job level etc. As a freelancer, outside anything you do in your own time, you're being paid to something and that's the soul purpose of being hired. You won't be able to take advantage of things like in house training etc. 

 

As Nick said, one of the difficult things about freelancing is having that experience or contacts in the industry to keep moving around when your contract ends. 

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adrynalyne    12,430
3 hours ago, dipsylalapo said:

I never thought freelancing (which I assume is the same as contracting) and career go together. For me, a career is more like having a 5/10 year plan and getting a promotion, moving up to the next grade/job level etc. As a freelancer, outside anything you do in your own time, you're being paid to something and that's the soul purpose of being hired. You won't be able to take advantage of things like in house training etc. 

 

As Nick said, one of the difficult things about freelancing is having that experience or contacts in the industry to keep moving around when your contract ends. 

I think he is looking to freelance to get the experience he doesn’t have, to get a career in it. So it can work, depending on the person and their skill set. At least that’s what I got from it. 

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dipsylalapo    1,805
11 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

I think he is looking to freelance to get the experience he doesn’t have, to get a career in it. So it can work, depending on the person and their skill set. At least that’s what I got from it. 

Fair enough, just talking from my own experience. We've never hired those with little to no experience, but as I said, just my own experience.

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macoman    2,606

But freelance can come with a portfolio or something already in place. You can't find anything if there is nothing you can show as proof of your capacity.

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adrynalyne    12,430
5 minutes ago, dipsylalapo said:

Fair enough, just talking from my own experience. We've never hired those with little to no experience, but as I said, just my own experience.

I assumed freelance would be small random jobs over the Internet. Nothing big. I could have been wrong. 

5 minutes ago, macoman said:

But freelance can come with a portfolio or something already in place. You can't find anything if there is nothing you can show as proof of your capacity.

False. Before I had any experience, I’d pick up random jobs on the cheap (because no experience), like writing php backends for contact forms. The work is out there, you just won’t get rich or make a living off it without substantial skill or experience. Little crap jobs add to said portfolio to get your foot in the door. 

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dipsylalapo    1,805
1 minute ago, adrynalyne said:

I assumed freelance would be small random jobs over the Internet. Nothing big. I could have been wrong. 

Both of us are assuming 😛 and either of us could be right 😛 Let's see if OP gives us some clarity

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macoman    2,606
23 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

False. Before I had any experience, I’d pick up random jobs on the cheap (because no experience), like writing php backends for contact forms. The work is out there, you just won’t get rich or make a living off it without substantial skill or experience. Little crap jobs add to said portfolio to get your foot in the door. 

Maybe 15 years ago was different than now but back them, remembered that I was looking for freelance work and they always require some kind of portfolio or proof of some work experience in the media design business. Maybe I was looking at the wrong one, not sure, don't remember well. But I only remembered that was difficult as hell to find even a freelance work.

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adrynalyne    12,430
44 minutes ago, macoman said:

Maybe 15 years ago was different than now but back them, remembered that I was looking for freelance work and they always require some kind of portfolio or proof of some work experience in the media design business. Maybe I was looking at the wrong one, not sure, don't remember well. But I only remembered that was difficult as hell to find even a freelance work.

This wasn’t 15 years ago when I did it, more like 6-7. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible. It means you come in dirt cheap and do projects for individuals and small businesses that can’t afford the big boys. 
 

If you dive in for projects that are clearly over your head and beyond your means—yeah you won’t get anywhere. I did small freelance jobs, even built freeware and distributed it. A portfolio doesn’t have to consist of life changing projects to get your foot in the door. It just has to show capability. 

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LaP    2,187

Pretty much every popular languages is a viable career route. Don't drink the kool-aid of those who advocate one language only (specially the microsoft mvc guys). There's plenty of jobs in java, .net, php, javascript, ... There's also plenty of jobs for web, mobile or desktop. Some will tell you but .net pays more than java or vice versa but the reality is to be paid a lot you must be good (very good) and if you're that good you'll have no trouble learning a new language anyway. They are in their most simple form all the same. As i always tell young programmers an if is an if and a loop is a loop. It might be written in a different way but it's all the same. Of course it's more complicated than that there's things like lambda and such but at the base lot of them are derivated from C.

 

The best thing first imo is to focus on the principles using pseudo code (or maybe c since it's a very common language). Learn what procedural programming is. Learn the principles of object oriented programming. What is polymorphism? What is rapid development? What is mvc? Low level versus high level etc ... Learn the different type of databases (object oriented, relational, nosql, ...). Learn the good practices. Learn how to comment your code and unit testing. Learn analysis and the different schemas. etc ...with a good base you'll have no trouble going from language a to language b if needs be. Then you can learn the difference between language a and language b and focus on one of them to become an expert in this particular language you prefer. But it's better to learn the basis first.

 

The number of new developers i meet who have no idea how to code is depressing. They don't comment. They don't properly test. They follow no standard (there's no universally good or bad coding standard but you got to follow one across all your code). They can't draw or even read a schema or properly identify a client needs. And most importantly while they might be good at coding in the language they advocate they can't do **** with anything else. Throw them some old assembly, PL/SQL or Cobol code and they're lost cause they have no basis (though to be honest not sure learning low level x86-64 coding is worth it today but it's still an interesting yet complicated subject). Then they'll go online telling everyone how those old languages **** and bla bla bla my favorite language is best don't use anything else and if you do go to hell etc etc etc ...

 

Do me a favor and don't be another one of those XD. I don't think there's a universally perfect language, technology or paradigm. They have all strengths and weaknesses. Better to know the basis of all most of them popular ones to be able to chose the right one for a particular project. Focus on the basis and after you can focus on the specificity of modern languages. It's more effort and can be boring to some but if you are serious about it i think it's worth it in the long term.

 

[edit]

 

And yeah for freelance build yourself a portfolio of personal projects. If you got no work experience and no diploma you got at have personal projects to show. If one of your projects is popular companies might even contact you.

Edited by LaP

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LaP    2,187
2 hours ago, adrynalyne said:

I think he is looking to freelance to get the experience he doesn’t have, to get a career in it. So it can work, depending on the person and their skill set. At least that’s what I got from it. 

lol i got his post in a very different way, He said he's learning so i assumed he had no diploma and formation. If he got a diploma i mean he doesn't need experience there's plenty of work in IT i get like 20 job offers in my inbox every month ... if he can't find a job with a diploma then he should seek advice in how to make a proper resume and how to prepare for and perform in an interview more than anything else. I did some interviews for a company in the past and man the resume some guys do is pathetic. Also lot of guys have problem with the interview. There's late or they don't know what to say. They're not prepared at all.

 

Even if a job requires experience you can still apply without experience. The worst that will happen is they'll ignore your resume. But if you know how to make a resume then you can overcome a lack of experience. If the resume is very well made and interesting  some companies will contact you even without experience. And then if you own the interview they might decide to try you for 3 months or so. If you deliver they'll keep you.

Edited by LaP

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adrynalyne    12,430
58 minutes ago, LaP said:

lol i got his post in a very different way, He said he's learning so i assumed he had no diploma and formation. If he got a diploma i mean he doesn't need experience there's plenty of work in IT i get like 20 job offers in my inbox every month ... if he can't find a job with a diploma then he should seek advice in how to make a proper resume and how to prepare for and perform in an interview more than anything else. I did some interviews for a company in the past and man the resume some guys do is pathetic. Also lot of guys have problem with the interview. There's late or they don't know what to say. They're not prepared at all.

 

Even if a job requires experience you can still apply without experience. The worst that will happen is they'll ignore your resume. But if you know how to make a resume then you can overcome a lack of experience. If the resume is very well made and interesting  some companies will contact you even without experience. And then if you own the interview they might decide to try you for 3 months or so. If you deliver they'll keep you.

Diplomas merely mean you can pass tests and assignments. I still had to prove myself after graduating with a portfolio.  I too got job offers all the time, but job offers don’t mean you get through the interview. Once I went in with no experience, I got rejected. 
 

Fast forward to today and I’m in the loop in the hiring process and new employees. I’ve seen people come in with degrees and tons of experience and can’t code as well as I do (or really at all) while having three times the years on me in the field. In fact our last two fired developers had degrees. One of our most valuable ones did not. One of our newer developers is also quite good and doesn’t have one. 

 

If it’s one thing I’ve learned in this industry (at least from my experience), the diploma doesn’t mean much on its own.  We won’t hire someone strictly going off a diploma. 

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LaP    2,187
36 minutes ago, adrynalyne said:

Diplomas merely mean you can pass tests and assignments. I still had to prove myself after graduating with a portfolio.  I too got job offers all the time, but job offers don’t mean you get through the interview. Once I went in with no experience, I got rejected. 
 

Fast forward to today and I’m in the loop in the hiring process and new employees. I’ve seen people come in with degrees and tons of experience and can’t code as well as I do (or really at all) while having three times the years on me in the field. In fact our last two fired developers had degrees. One of our most valuable ones did not. One of our newer developers is also quite good and doesn’t have one. 

 

If it’s one thing I’ve learned in this industry (at least from my experience), the diploma doesn’t mean much on its own.  We won’t hire someone strictly going off a diploma. 

Of course but it helps getting an interview where you can shine if you are well prepared. Without experience and diploma it's a lot harder. You got to have a very interesting portfolio. Well you got to have an interesting portfolio with a diploma too if you don't have experience but you'll still get interviews more easily where you will be able to sell yourself and your personal projects (from my experience but admittedly it was over 20 years ago i had to find a job without experience so ...).

 

Also i don't want my previous post to sound like guys without diploma are bad and with with a diploma are good. It doesn't matter there's good employees and bad employees. What i wanted to express is guys without a diploma often forget the basis. They go straight to coding in their preferred language (or the one they were told was the best) and then when you hire them they don't know anything other than coding in their preferred language and often it can be a pain in the ass. I prefer people who have a good base.

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Brandon H    3,175
2 minutes ago, LaP said:

Of course but it helps getting an interview where you can shine if you are well prepared. Without experience and diploma it's a lot harder. You got to have a very interesting portfolio. Well you got to have an interesting portfolio with a diploma too if you don't have experience but you'll still get interviews more easily where you will be able to sell yourself and your personal projects (from my experience but admittedly it was over 20 years ago i had to find a job without experience so ...).

 

Also i don't want my previous post to sound like guys without diploma are bad and with with a diploma are good. It doesn't matter there's good employees and bad employees. What i wanted to express is guys without a diploma often forget the basis. They go straight to coding in their preferred language (or the one they were told was the best) and then when you hire them they don't know anything other than coding in their preferred language and often it can be a pain in the ass. I prefer people who have a good base.

on the contrary as well if you have too high of a diploma some business/corps won't be as willing to consider you either because they don't want to pay more for starting pay. though it's still good to have at least an Associate's or Bachelor's degree but higher than that is where consideration starts to wean again

 

from my experiences businesses/corps look higher on certifications than actual diplomas in the coding/networking world.

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