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Medium Partner Program revenue from this post will be donated to the ACLU of Minnesota.

I had someone reach out recently about advice for new programmers who want to freelance, given that finding clients is even harder right now than it would otherwise be. Specifically how does a new freelancer find opportunities for contract work? My response got long enough that I figured I’d post it, so here it is.

Finding contract work as a brand-new freelancer is tough. My first year or so of doing freelance web development, I reached out to small local businesses, friends and family, and organizations, looking for the lack of a website to guide me to paying customers. I found a decent number of people who wanted websites, but not very many (read: none) who wanted to pay me to build them. …

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The Stripe Press just published a beautiful reprint of Richard Hamming’s The Art of Doing Science and Engineering, which led me (and quite a few others, I imagine) to read some of his work for the first time. The written form of his lecture, “You and Your Research”, is chapter thirty of the book (go read it if you haven’t).

It opens with Hamming admitting that the lecture could just as easily be called “You and Your Engineering Career,” or even “You and Your Career”. He suggests that we should try to do significant things in our careers, rather than insignificant things. …

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Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

In Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman talks about spending a summer at Caltech to “Just try out biology”, a field he was completely untrained in and unfamiliar with:

…I went over to the biology lab to tell them my desire, and Bob Edgar, a young post­doc who was sort of in charge there, said … “You’ll have to really do some research, just like a graduate student, and we’ll give you a problem to work on.” That suited me fine.

Feynman goes on to do work in the field and even contributes some non-trivial new findings to biology. …


Austin Tindle

Software developer, writer, sometimes thinker.

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