Getting a Coding Job: Joining a Company versus Freelancing

By Nikhil Abraham

Formally joining a company and enjoying the benefits of a coder in a structured environment may be ideal for some. Others, however, want the flexibility provided by freelancing, or working as a contractor‐for‐hire.

For someone just beginning a coding career, taking on smaller freelance jobs is a great way to build up a portfolio to show potential future full‐time employers. For more experienced coders, freelancing can supplement income and provide higher pay than full‐time work, especially when the employer is short staffed and on a tight deadline.

For highly experienced coders who know the latest cutting‐edge programming languages, so many companies demand their skills that freelance work can become a full‐time job. For example, when Apple first released the iPhone (and even today), so many companies wanted an iPhone app that programmers with the necessary skills could engage multiple companies at once.

In addition to higher pay, freelancers can also work anywhere — a beach in Bali or a sailboat in Saint‐Tropez — but the work comes with less job security and fewer benefits, and can be lonely.

Visit remoteok.io for a listing of companies advertising jobs that can be performed remotely. Similarly, nomadlist.com lists the best cities for the remote worker, ranked by cost of living, weather, Internet access, and safety.