It is amazing how technology does not seem to stop improving in recent years, that is why experts believe that programming will remain as a highly in-demand job. If you have knowledge about programming, you are not likely to experience unemployment. On top of that, you will always get a good-paying job. However, working in a company as a programmer or Android developer can be boring. You will have supervisors and managers telling you what to do and you won’t have a choice but to do it. It is not different from an average 9 to 5 job.
Being a freelance Android developer will spare you from this monotony. But take note, freelancing is not for everyone and it is not a solution for all your problems. Being a freelancer has some downsides, too. But if you look at the bright side of it, then all you have to do is to become a freelancer. Take charge of your time, take charge of your earnings and choose the projects that you like working on.
Learn how to Program
If you have previous experience working in a programming company, or you have a programming degree, you already have an edge. But do not worry if you do not know how to program because you can learn it. If CVs matter in some industries, they don’t in Information Technology. Companies or clients care more about what you can do for them. The first step is to learn how to program.
There are lots of resources that you can use to learn programming and the best of these are books. Read and learn about Java, PHP, C++, Python and the like. Learn how they function, their uses and their popularity. You can select two or more programs to master. And be serious, master them.
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Join an Open Source Assignment
Open source projects will give you a chance to learn from other programmers. They can evaluate your work and guide you. Your co-programmers can practically help you improve. Here, you will also see how to create real software. Without a doubt, you will gain experience, you can add something to your portfolio and you will be able to give something back to the community.
Create Free Software
Once you have maximised the potentials offered by learning from an open source project, it is about time to have your own project. It can be anything from a little application such as an awesome calculator or a game, or a plugin for WordPress. It can be a library for other developers or a script. You can create anything to make sure that you have the knowledge and you can apply the knowledge. After finishing your project, you can distribute it for free.
Having your own project will let you experience finishing it from start to finish. You will also understand what it takes to promote your software as well as yourself. If you managed to create good software, you will also gain recognition from the programming community. You can even get your first paying project here. Usually, Android developers get their first clients through open source customization and support. It is important to take this step because writing software is your best investment to land a career as a freelance Android developer.
If you can’t get a client through open source and your freebies, you can apply these strategies to find not just your first client but also the succeeding customers.
First, join a couple of freelance marketplaces. There are countless freelance marketplaces on the internet and among the most popular are vWorker, Freelancer.com and Elance.
Second, write a blog. However, make sure that you do not blog about programming because your clients are not programmers. It is better to write about solutions for particular business problems.
Third, put your advertisements in blogs that are being read by your potential clients. This will involve research and a little capital. Do not worry because you can get your investment back once you have customers.
Fourth, read forums. Forums have a classified ads section where stuff and services are bargained and advertised. You can check these forums if someone needs your services. This holds true for programmers because forums for webmasters do not just include programmers but also people who are looking for programmers.
Fifth, purchase PPC advertisements in Microsoft Adcenter or AdWords and the like. Make sure that your ad does not read vague. You will only get clicks and not real business through it. Instead, make it specific. Mention the services that you can offer as well as your compensation for each working hour. Make sure that your ad goes to a specific page dedicated to that ad. This way, you can save on the advertisement cost and each click on the ad has greater potential to get a customer.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an Android developer is $94.41 in 2010. InfoWorld, on the other hand, estimates that an Android developer can make as much as $97,000 to $120,000 annually. The increase in salary can be easily understood because those who can do it are very few and the demand for them is continuously increasing.
To make sure that you succeed in the position, you can practice over delivering your work. Always exceed the expectations of your clients. If you have five clients, two of them can become abusive; just do not work for them if they do. Three of them will continue to give you jobs and will eventually help you grow. They can recommend you to their friends, too.
Furthermore, learn how to manage your finances. In the life of an Android developer, there are low months wherein you will seldom have projects. Learn to put something on the side rather than straining yourself trying to finish more projects and earn more money. This principle is simple and when you apply it, you are sure to live better than those who depend on the paycheck.