Truths Behind Becoming a Dev Freelancer (Drupal Dev especially)

There’s this myth among mostly youngsters, that once you become a programmer and get your BA in informatics or something similar, you will be rolling in money. Probably you think that everyone will invite you at some high-class events and so forth and so on.

While it’s true that programmers are having some of the best paychecks at the end of the day, there are a few aspects that some may neglect. As we don’t know much about freelancers from other domains of interest, we came with what we know: Drupal Devs freelancers.

“I’ve started learning Drupal 9 years ago…it was not that much noise on the market about it, if you know what I mean. My dream was to be hired by a multinational company or something similar, but almost all jobs were quite far from my hometown…my mom was all alone, and I had no intention of leaving her. Then, more by accident, I’ve discovered a freelance website and it all made sense.”

Alex, one of our Drupal certified devs used to be a freelancer, but now he collaborates with Softescu and he agreed to give us some hints on the subject.

ALL JOBS ARE GOING TO BE GREAT AND EXCITING

Mostly yes, but not all of them.
Generally, Drupal is used for complex websites. Challenges everywhere, solutions to be discovered, modules to be created and all that, usually for just one project. For a passionate developer, this is a dream and also a nightmare come true.
While some of the jobs will be amazing and challenging, there are lots of projects that require creating just some small presentation or conference websites, and the routine is just killing you softly.

I had no intention of leaving her (his mum). Then, more by accident, I’ve discovered a freelance website and it all made sense.

The salvation for all Drupal devs comes from the community. After delivering a project usually, you get some spare time…not a lot, but enough, time that you can spend working and improving Drupal. That’s maybe the best thing and that’s on of the reason why we now have Drupal 8 fully functional.

PROJECTS WILL FLOW

That is quite true. Lots of websites that use Drupal need an upgrade once in a while. Usually it’s not something really difficult to do, but it’s still something that brings a bit of financial satisfaction.

Lots of CEOs and CTOs decide that they have to change the CMS, usually to the most secure Drupal, so you’ll have to perform lots of website’s migrations. Don’t worry, as long as there still exists Drupal, projects will continue to come…just remember to deliver work on time and fully functional (if the case).

THERE ARE SO MANY FREELANCE DRUPAL DEVS

This is so false that it almost hurts. While there are lots of wannabe Drupal devs, the really good ones are hard to get. At the moments, there are quite a few that have some knowledge of Drupal but use other CMSes in their everyday life. While this is not a bad thing, your clients want someone that masters Drupal at a certain level and not a beginner that would experiment on their project.

I NEED A CERTIFICATION

Certifications are not mandatory, yet it’s really good to have them. Acquia provides an exam-based Drupal certification that will endorse your PHP and Drupal skill. The tests are not that difficult, but all we can say is that all your Drupal skills will be put to a test.

DOWNSIDES OF BEING A FREELANCE DEV

You have the community which is great, but sometimes you feel a sort of anxiety and social isolation, as there’s no real person to consult with. Programmers are solitary creatures and prefer the company of their laptops, so this is not a sine qua non.

You forget the difference between night and day and usually you schedule your day depending on a call with the clients or with the other devs contracted by your employer. Your work never ceases and God forbid for procrastination, as this may mean working 24/7 at a certain point.

Then you must always seek as many projects as possible to keep the bills paid, so it’s like being your own project manager, sales person, and programmer at the same time. Sometimes that proves to be rather difficult, if not impossible. One lost e-mail and puff…here goes a thousand bucks contract.

Keep in mind that that’s the case for almost all freelancers, so it’s not a Drupal or programmer only thing. For example, our content creation team and our digital marketing person mentioned the same downsides, and we think that that is the case in every field for almost all freelancers.

Sometimes the freedom that is said to come with a freelance job, is a bird in a golden cage…just sometimes.

Freelancers, it’s time to express yourselves! Comment with the best part or with most important downside of being a freelancer!

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