The possibility to earn money as a software coder is increasing daily. More and more companies are using internet-based software designers as a way to get their software done instead of hiring a local entrepreneur.
Depending on your ambition it is possible to earn some real money!
Things You Will Need
To start you will have to define, as with any other job application, what makes you suiteble for the job. What makes you exceptional. If you have a nice presentation the negotiation with a prospective customer gets faster.
The presentation is not critical but it's nice to have. Stating finished project (preferrable web based), your programming experience and language competencies are the most important. Your presentation should be a "work-in-progress", update it as you notice what customers are looking for
Most of the online services has a rating system for both the customers and the developers. That makes it possible for you to view a potential customer and them to view your past jobs. Having good rating may be critical to a winning bid. Some sites let the customers choose specific designers depending on their rating.
Choose Online ServiceThere exists alot of online services and they all work abit different. Look around and see what fits you the best. The ones I've worked with the most are:
There are harder competion in certain areas on each site. Depending on your area of expertise one might fit better than the other. The actual site doesn't matter. Where you win bids and get the projects are.
You might see the same project posted on several sites, which if why a project might never complete - the customer choses a designer on another site.
When starting your career as an online software coder it might be good to start small. The main reasons for this is to get good rating and get the hang of how things work. You will not get paid much but you'll learn how the system works, you'll build confidence how to communicate with your customer and how to estimate correctly.
The ProjectContact customers about projects of interest. Ask for clarifications and come up with suggestion if you have any. Discuss the project to understand the customers needs. If you seem sincere and interested there is a better chance you will get chosen.
Make estimates to the work load (rough ones) and send that as part of your final bid. Try to avoid sending estimates at first contact.
CommunicationThe most important thing to win a bid and complete the assignment is communication. You need to know what to do and the customers expectations. If you are wrong you will have to complete the project anyway or loose money.
Always use the online-service as a way to communicate, atleast regarding requirements. If the requirements doesn't exist on the site they are no use for you in a mediation.
Anytime a problem arises discuss it with you customer.
Make sure to make weekly reports with relevant content. That way your customer will be secure that the application is developing as it should.
Send several smaller deliveries and always deliver your project ahead of schedule. Your customer will almost always have comments on the final design and you need to have time to fix those.
Be Service mindedI've never completed a project where the requirements didn't change during the implementation. When this occurs discuss it with the customer. If you need more money or have to remove something, communicate it with the customer. Try to adjust as much as possible.
Get StartedThe hard part is to get the first project started. When you get the hang of the cycle it get's easier and easier.
Sign up to one of the existing services and start looking for work!
Tips & WarningsCommunicate - If you are not able to communicate with your customer you won't succeed! You need to understand what the customer wants and communicate what the outcome will be. If you are unsure if the customer understands, clarify!
Avoid mediation! It may happen sometimes, due to personal issues or major misunderstandings. Try to avoid is a much as possible as it will look bad on your resume and your wallet in the long run.