#FreelanceLife 23: “Uncomfortable freelance developer lesson”

Uncomfortable freelance developer lesson #11: Some companies are tech companies but don’t yet behave like tech companies.

I owe the wording of this to Izzy & Clare of No Mayo, as they put it so well.

This lesson means:

  • freelance developers may be given far too much responsibility for things that can massively impact a company’s revenue and customer experience
  • freelance developers may be expected to shoulder these responsibilities alone when they actually should be shared amongst a strong team
  • freelance developers may be expected to also take care of any number of additional schedule-disrupting ad hoc tasks that nobody within the company wants to do
  • freelance developers may then also get to shoulder the blame anytime anything goes wrong, which it probably will given the above

Basically: freelance developers are sometimes hired when an in-house team is what is really needed.

Watch out for this, if you are a newbie freelance developer.

Or at least be aware, when it inevitably happens to you, that it’s not your fault and you’re not the only one to experience it.

The best/only way to handle this situation is to openly and clearly communicate your thoughts with the client, and offer sensible and realistic advice for moving forward given their specific circumstances.

Can 1+ additional freelancer(s) be brought on board? Can 1+ full-time developer(s) be hired? If so, when? And how can you help make the process quick and pain-free?

Be mindful of the likely restrictions & challenges on the client’s side, but stick to your guns because struggling on alone is likely the worst possible choice if you want the project to be a success.


If you’re a freelancer and you have a spare moment, write a response to let me know what you’re doing & thinking today.