One of the great things about working as a programmer is that it’s a very open field, and provides multiple opportunities for personal development. Not everyone likes working for a company, and that’s fine – there are lots of options for building your own career in this field.
In fact, software development is probably one of the best fields when it comes to opportunities for self-employment. Getting started is easier than you might think too, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to cover the basics.
Have Something to Show
The one downside to being self-employed in this field is that you can’t count on a shiny resume and employer references to get through. You have to show that you’ve actually done something on your own time, and you need to make it look good.
An active GitHub profile can not only show that you spend a lot of time programming, but it can also provide a good insight into your actual skills and code quality. Completing and releasing projects is also a good option, but make sure that they are actually good ones!
That game you released as a hobby project while you were learning Unity? It’s probably kept in your own archives unless it actually made a big splash upon its release.
Choose the Right Legal Form
An annoying part of setting up your own self-employed programming practice is deciding on your legal form. There are many implications of this, however, and it’s something that will follow you through your entire career in this field, so make sure that you get it right from the start.
Look into any specific details related to your situation that you can dig up. Registering an LLC in Texas can be a slightly different process than in other states, for example. There will be many such details to pay attention to, and it’s important that you keep them all in your sights. Consult with an expert if you need bespoke advice.
Track Your Budget Carefully
It can be easy to get the wrong impression of how well things are going when you’re self-employed. You need to have a reliable way of tracking your finances to ensure that you always see the big picture. A basic business budget tracker can go a long way towards this, for example.
In general, it will be very important that you track your finances with a tool that takes all your specific business operations into account. There are various advanced budget trackers on the market which can get that job done, so explore them in detail before settling on anything in particular.
Remember to keep promoting yourself as well. Even if you’ve got the skills, the market is quite crowded, and you can’t expect to stand out on word of mouth alone. You’ll need to take some time to explore the options available to you for reaching out to new customers and put some effort into that. It might not be necessary right from the start, but it will be important sooner or later once your business starts moving.