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Best Options for short-term Freelancing as Full-Stack Programmer

richRich

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Suppose you are freshly graduated CS student with some work experience in software engineering. You'd like to earn most possible dollars in the next 45 days, after that you'll be involved in some other project.

In summary, you have...

- a few years part time corporate work experience as a developer (student)
- diverse technologies like Python, Java, JavaScript, Frontend, Backend etc.
- no freelance developer experience
- a more or less inactive blog; with quite some posts, though
- 600 LinkedIn connections
- some personal network
- you have 1.5 months to generate as much bucks as possible
- 4 hours per day time availability

Just reaching out on LinkedIn and to my network for this short time frame won't yield much with the network I have, mostly consistent of corporate people..

fiverr, upwork, etc. without an established profile these platforms won't give much bucks in such a short timeframe, right? Would the blog and the LinkedIn profile give some credibility on those platforms?

Any other options I'm not aware of?

What would be the best bet here? Maybe @Lex Love ?
 

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ChrisV

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richRich

richRich

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I just make friends with people who are in my industry and opportunities naturally pop up:

I guess it's time for me to get the insider pass to this private forum link there

"Your industry" being "science based Personal Development"?

Thanks a lot for your tip, though. Do you think the time factor is more in favour of trying to "make friends" or trying to go some freelancing platform route?
 
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GoodluckChuck

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Go get a job waiting tables. You can be earning in 2 days.

Freelancing is a hustlers game and it could take you 20 days to find a paying gig.
 

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I guess it's time for me to get the insider pass to this private forum link there

"Your industry" being "science based Personal Development"?

Thanks a lot for your tip, though. Do you think the time factor is more in favour of trying to "make friends" or trying to go some freelancing platform route?
Well the 'Science Based Personal Development' stuff is more of a side passion. Professionally I'm a Data Scientist, but I try to use that talent as much as possible to the ends of helping people develop personally and professionally.

Re: Time, you can do both. That link is to the speedway, and I think you just need X posts to view it.
 
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richRich

richRich

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Well the 'Science Based Personal Development' stuff is more of a side passion. Professionally I'm a Data Scientist, but I try to use that talent as much as possible to the ends of helping people develop personally and professionally.

Re: Time, you can do both. That link is to the speedway, and I think you just need X posts to view it.
Cool, so we are kind of in the same industry. Although, I'm leaning more towards Data Engineering.

Didn't know there is much short-term freelance work possible.. But I guess this will be kind of answered in the thread.
 
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richRich

richRich

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Go get a job waiting tables. You can be earning in 2 days.

Freelancing is a hustlers game and it could take you 20 days to find a paying gig.
I totally get your advice but it's not that urgent to earn a few bucks in this short time at the tables.

It's more about learning a few bucks and sharpen some development skills. If it doesn't work, it's fine too, I got other ways around.

But interesting that you are that rough about it, like people with work experience in the field don't have a chance to get a few tasks going at Upwoek/Fiverr or so. I assumed, but didn't think the market is that hard.
 

softwareRules

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I totally get your advice but it's not that urgent to earn a few bucks in this short time at the tables.

It's more about learning a few bucks and sharpen some development skills. If it doesn't work, it's fine too, I got other ways around.

But interesting that you are that rough about it, like people with work experience in the field don't have a chance to get a few tasks going at Upwoek/Fiverr or so. I assumed, but didn't think the market is that hard.

If you need cash fast, go wait on tables, drive Uber or do something else.

If you have more time, build up your blog and your code as much as possible and as fast as possible. Then go for developer interviews and get as high paying developer job as you can. That buys you more time.

Then use the blog to show off your skills and gain followers.

The blog is your portfolio to show you can communicate. The code repos are your portfolio to show you can code.

These are valuable for getting a job or for getting clients.

If you only have 1.5 months I think you will need to buckle down, work for 1 week to have a good blog and profile on github and then spend a week cold-emailing to get freelance clients. The sooner you get a client the better, offer your work for cheap but not too cheap. Look for people looking for wordpress or php site maintenance. Ask for 25% of pay up-front.
 

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FierceRacoon

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Tutoring is a great short-term thing, at least in NYC. It still takes time to build up a decent profile on various websites to charge decent rates, but if you know programming at a high level and just need $2k/month to survive (rent+food), 4 hours per day will do. You may have to postpone paying taxes for a few months, then once you build a better profile and have more clients, you can increase the rates and pay it off.

Otherwise Toptal has good rates for freelancers, though the initial interview process takes time.
(this is a referral link — thanks). I have worked through them, and it even led to a successful startup exit.
 

holmzee

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Freelance development is saturated but it's easy to stand out because most programmers have no idea how to market themselves.

I recently hired a freelance developer on Upwork to write a complex algorithm that I couldn't figure out myself. I received upwards of 15 proposals, 10 of which were shit and I disregarded them immediately. The few developers I messaged were not responsive enough and didn't ask the right questions about the project. I knew this because I am on the verge of being an intermediate programmer myself.

The first guy I hired did well in the interview process but went ghost town 2 days after I hired him. He ended up messaging me a few days later saying he had family troubles. I get that but not a good look for an initial working relationship.

The final guy I hired was a godsend. He was responsive, he asked the right questions to understand the scope of the project, and he knew his shit. He got my project done in 2 days despite having other work under his belt and went above and beyond with the deliverables and explaining the solution to me. I gave him a bonus when it came time to close out the contract.

Point is, development is saturated but it's very doable if you know how to market yourself and follow Lex's principles. You could easily get on Upwork and land a gig within the next few days as long as you are persistent, market yourself and communicate well, and can prove you have the chops to get it done.
 

GoodluckChuck

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I totally get your advice but it's not that urgent to earn a few bucks in this short time at the tables.

It's more about learning a few bucks and sharpen some development skills. If it doesn't work, it's fine too, I got other ways around.

But interesting that you are that rough about it, like people with work experience in the field don't have a chance to get a few tasks going at Upwoek/Fiverr or so. I assumed, but didn't think the market is that hard.
You said, "earn most possible dollars in 45 days."

If that's the main goal then you have to choose between low barrier to entry and low pay and high barrier high pay. If it's a matter of paying bills you might go with the guaranteed money doing something like waiting tables.

That's where I'm coming from. It has nothing to do with how saturated the programmer market is. It just takes longer to get a high paying gig unless you are good at marketing yourself or get lucky.

You might choose a restaurant near tech companies and do the lunch shift. Haha
 
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richRich

richRich

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Thanks to everyone who took the time to post here. Especially to @holmzee who gave the type of first-hand experience insight I was looking for.

Here is what I learned regarding that topic recently.

At some point I registered at Upwork but haven't gotten accepted by them. Some deeper research showed:

  • They got much tighter with their acceptance criteria for new freelancers
  • The acceptance criteria are not transparent
  • You can be turned down indefinitely without any explanation
  • They might be biased based on your location (like having harder criteria for people from some countries)

So, yeah @GoodluckChuck, waiting tables gets even more legit at this point as it might even take you 45 days just to register at this place.

But instead of fiddling around with my profile I went for other options and portals . I registered with codementor which has a mix of teaching :)praise: @FierceRacoon ) and freelance projects.

And it's true, clients seem to be tired of low quality proposals from "freelancers" and you can definitely get something going if you just keep to a helpful and honest communication style, at least at codementor.

You might still want to get on a platform like Upwork. Or even Toptal.

In my case for example, there are far more interesting projects in my area of expertise (Software/Data Engineering) at Upwork. Instead of playing the "twitch your profile game" until I hit the jackpot with Upwork's algorithm, I decided to look for someone, who is already on the platform to get "invited" to the platform via a direct hire.

Worst case scenario: You let your mother register there and hire you for a few bucks ;)
 
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richRich

richRich

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If you need cash fast, go wait on tables, drive Uber or do something else.

If you have more time, build up your blog and your code as much as possible and as fast as possible. Then go for developer interviews and get as high paying developer job as you can. That buys you more time.

Then use the blog to show off your skills and gain followers.

The blog is your portfolio to show you can communicate. The code repos are your portfolio to show you can code.

These are valuable for getting a job or for getting clients.

If you only have 1.5 months I think you will need to buckle down, work for 1 week to have a good blog and profile on github and then spend a week cold-emailing to get freelance clients. The sooner you get a client the better, offer your work for cheap but not too cheap. Look for people looking for wordpress or php site maintenance. Ask for 25% of pay up-front.
Are you going the freelance route?
 
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richRich

richRich

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Everyone who has believed so far that humans are looking at your profile. I just resubmitted mine and it was immediately accepted after being rejected 5 times or so. Obviously there was no uber human applying his supervision to my dough application.

Rather it's a stupid algorithm that may have an open window right now, for everyone who still not accepted there ;) (coming from western Europe only of course)
 
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richRich

richRich

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I received upwards of 15 proposals, 10 of which were shit and I disregarded them immediately.
What makes a good proposal, then?

Part-time consulting on non-software development and going to start building a SaaS product.
Will there be an execution thread then?
;)

Do/will you have a blog yourself since you mentioned it here as viable strategy to build authority before getting gigs?
 

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