A freelance developer is a programmer who takes on a job in product development or software development - whether it be an app, web, or system. Some may choose to do a single project for multiple clients, depending on the time requirement and the project's complexity. Other freelance developers may choose to do only one project at a time for a single client on a contractual basis.
One of the advantages of working as a freelance developer is that they can determine their own availability and sets the hours they can work on a project. They are also freer to decide on the payment scheme and whether they want to do a per-project fee or hourly rate.
Such a freelancer is often hired by a company that does not have enough software development projects to justify hiring a full-time developer. Sometimes a company simply needs someone to temporarily fill in a gap created by a developer who left the position or went on a leave of absence. But it can also be an active choice from the company itself, while they can easily scale the team up and down based on current needs and requirements.
When the financial crisis happened in 2008, many people around the world lost their jobs. Those who were displaced looked for short-term, part-time work to replace their lost income. Some took on more than one part-time work to augment their earnings. The technological advancements allowed displaced workers to find gig work worldwide. These work engagements scaled, and today, freelance jobs contribute more than a trillion dollars to the US economy. Given the nature of the developers job, that it quite often requires a laptop and a steady Wi-Fi, the developers were quickly early adopters to the freelance way of working. Besides, when the economy picked up and good developers came in high demand, many wanted to pick and chose the most interesting projects at any given time.
Based on data from Upwork, Freelance Union and McKinsey one can estimate that there are around 5 to 7 million freelance developers in the US alone. And with the assumption that more and more developers also in other countries are going freelance, we have maybe just seen the early beginning of how this trend will evolve, not only for developers and engineers, but in other professions as well.
Do you want to become one of them? Then make sure to register your profile with CodeMonk to take the first step towards your freelance career.