How do freelance software developers market themselves

Become self-employed as a software developer

Business start-up: Software developers are facing a rosy professional future, with the innovative areas of mobile and cloud currently ensuring a good order situation. The importance of IT solutions in business life is shown by the fact that around 75% of all companies with vacancies are looking for software specialists. With the appropriate know-how and a good network, self-employed software developers in particular benefit from the opportunities of the flexible labor market, because many companies now like to work with external freelancers in order to close gaps or flexibly bridge bottlenecks. This is where the opportunities for self-employed software developers lie. However, at the same time, the demands of companies with a view to the desirable transfer of knowledge are increasing: From a company perspective, it is important to benefit from external specialist knowledge as long as possible. The demands in terms of quality and speed are increasing, which is why every software developer with a service-oriented range of services will have to strategically position themselves in such a way that their own specialist knowledge is perceived as indispensable. So it's about more than just the actual process of developing software: a previous one is also required Needs analysis as well as a subsequent quality controlin order to be able to concretely grasp or quantify the economic added value of a project.

Employed or self-determined: The job market opens up many career opportunities for software developers

Anyone who acts secretly as an expert and isolates themselves from customers should have a hard time in the long term. From the company's point of view, the external specialist knowledge must be usable in the short and long term. Overall, the career prospects in this area look very good, this also applies to a permanent position. However, if you are your own boss, you act more self-determined and generally earn a higher income. In this article, essential aspects and (formal) framework conditions for self-employment as a software developer are to be outlined.

Becoming self-employed as a software developer: What interested parties can read in this article

  • Analysis of the framework conditions for the strategic placement of your own range of services
  • formal requirements for self-employment
  • Software developer: freelance or commercial?
  • Worth knowing about the necessary qualification
  • Networks as a prerequisite for success
  • Homepage and references: effectively advertise your own expert knowledge

Formal aspects of starting a business as a software developer

A clear assignment of the software developer to the commercial or freelance corner is not easily possible. In practice, most software developers do self-employed act and thus neither have to register a business nor rely on extended bookkeeping. Even if IT professions cannot be found in the relevant catalog professions for freelance work, this does not necessarily mean that there is a commercial obligation. A freelance activity is always to be assumed if the activity is on a special qualification which is formally legitimized by studying, for example. As far as a software developer deals with system technology or system software, a freelance activity can usually be assumed, the registration with the trade office would then be omitted. Anyone who only programs application software (think of the emerging mobile apps here) can also access the Trade duty come. In this context, the Federal Fiscal Court has defined a very clear framework: For example, the software development of more complex solutions can also be a freelance activity if the theoretical knowledge for working with a graduate engineer or a graduate computer scientist is comparable and the software developer acts like an engineer, i.e. developing, planning and monitoring.

Commercially active is someone who only develops trivial software. In 2002 the Finance Court of Rhineland-Palatinate spoke of a sales price not exceeding DM 800. Your own starting requirements should therefore be checked, for which purpose your own range of services should be defined in more detail: Which services can be offered through your own specialist knowledge? What knowledge is currently in great demand? Ideally, self-employed software developers can have a unique selling point if they are demonstrably familiar with a new technology (= added value from the customer's point of view).

The entry requirements are not really clearly defined

Typically, freelance software developers have completed a university degree, which can then be used as a formal basis for their status. But self-taught people also have good career opportunities if they can be proven good work afford and keep repeating train. This seems to be a basic requirement for sustainable success anyway, because standards are quickly outdated, especially in the field of programming. A qualification can help to win and convince customers. Ultimately, a software developer can do his or her credentials but also always show it on the screen. In any case, the Federal Fiscal Court has also awarded autodidacts the ability to acquire the status of freelancer if the necessary skills can be demonstrated in their full depth and range. There is no classic or rigid training profile in this area.

Well-founded expert knowledge is the basic requirement for sustainable success

Software developers are often seen as introverted and solitary: Of course, these are not good prerequisites for building the necessary network and cooperating in a team. In this respect, every prospective self-employed person should honestly question their own abilities in this area: In addition to the programming language, the Communication with customers on: Flexibility, quick reactions and a high degree of solution orientation should be the maxim of the range of services offered. As far as the programming languages ​​or the necessary specialist knowledge are concerned, it should be as broad as possible in order to appear as competent as possible from the customer's point of view. Therefore, several programming languages ​​should be mastered.

Software developers should always orientate themselves on the technological pulse of the time

By Advanced training it can be ensured that customers always receive the latest, best technical solution. In-depth specialist knowledge can be proven by job references in order to convince customers (in case of doubt). Even if the beginning may be difficult, the number of customers will increase as the number of references increases. Who is in special Networks or presented on certain platforms as a professional freelancer, order acquisition can be automated in this virtual way or at least cranked up effectively in the start-up phase.

Those who understand their craft should show it visibly

It doesn't really need to be mentioned, but a professional software developer should combine his skills, knowledge and range of services with one own homepage convincingly to the outside world. Work samples, previous projects and, in particular, successes can be marketed on this virtual business card. And of course such a search engine optimized homepage can also be the first point of contact for potential new customers. Networks are crucial for software developers in every professional respect: In this respect, platforms such as Xing should also be used to present yourself and your skills and to win your own or someone else's job.

A conclusion on the opportunities as an independent software developer (freelancer)

Business processes and customer solutions will continue to be software-based in the future, so that software developers numerous fields of action especially with regard to the already noticeable shortage of skilled workers. It is the latter that brings freelancers in particular into a comfortable starting position. This is reinforced by the fact that companies also have a great interest in flexible solutions in which external expert knowledge can be integrated as required. Anyone who has the necessary know-how and a service-oriented and communicative attitude towards customers should successfully build up a professional independence, especially since there are actually hardly any investment costs. Any professional risks from mistakes in development and programming can be effective with a Professional Liability Insurance be narrowed down.

Conclusion with the most important aspects: successfully becoming self-employed as a software developer (freelancer)

  • The job market for software developers is attractive now and in the future, so that self-employment is an interesting alternative to an employment relationship
  • In most cases, a freelance activity can be legitimized on the basis of the qualification. In case of doubt, the responsible tax office will decide
  • There is no classic training profile: In addition to studying IT, self-taught people also have good opportunities as professional freelancers in this area
  • Broad and very up-to-date specialist knowledge is a must: the more programming options a developer has, the more and more optimal solutions he can offer
  • Network (s) as a basic requirement: through the presence on specialized platforms, business contacts can be promoted without spending a lot of time
  • A professional homepage is more than just a virtual business card: it visualizes your own range of services and references that are very interesting from the customer's point of view
  • professional liability insurance protects against financial risks in the event of 'work errors'