Notes on freelancing
Freelancing might some awesome, because it is! 😄 But there are also downsides that you need to be aware of that might not be obvious when comparing with a regular position through unlimited time contract.
There may be no included benefits such as health insurance, vacation days and sick pay, corporate events, free meals, and equipment. On top of this, you have to pay your developers even if they’re on the bench because they don’t have a project at the moment.
In short, think about:
- job security
- pension fund
- paid sick days
- paid vacation
- paid equipment
- work time flexibility
- place of work
- getting to know your team
- product stakeholders external vs internal(your team and people you know)
- project duration
- required skills to work remotely
- other benefits: paid sport programmes/gyms, conferences, certification/training, library/paid courses, bonuses etc.
You are on your own.
That’s maybe the best description for it. There is more freedom in this option, but also more risk. You need to find a client that wants to work with you. Settle on pricing, and work contract. You need to be careful not to end up doing work that won’t get paid. There is no job security as in permanent role at a company. Clients can usually let you go at any time or on a very short notice, but this can differ based on your specific contract.
This option also brings additional administrative overhead because you need to take care of taxes, healthcare, pension fund etc. on your own. Switching between clients and jobs can also take some time and leave you without income. Because of these insecurities and some bureaucratic overhead typical hourly rate for freelancers is noticeably higher than it would have been for a permanent position in a company. It basically covers the risks and additional administrative overhead of work.
When working as a freelancer you may work as an only developer in a team or join an existing team at basically any given role. Freelancers can work on either agency based work for another client, but typically join teams working on their in-house products. These days, as a freelancer you’ll usually work form wherever you want, but in some occasions clients might want you to be with the onsite whole the time or when needed.
PROS: freedom to change clients and jobs in a regular manner, usually the freedom to work from wherever you can be productive, possibility of changing your client and project much more easily than in other 2 options
CONS: administrative overhead, more risk, job insecurity as you may loose your job more easily and then it takes some time to find another gig while having no income, so you need to plan and prepare for such situations and calculate the risk into your hourly price