Pros and Cons of Freelancing Software Development

May 02, 2023

In recent years, the popularity of freelance web development has skyrocketed. While there are many benefits to being a freelance web developer, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before making the leap from a permanent employee to a freelancer. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each career path to help you make an informed decision.

Freelance Web Developer

Pros

  1. Flexibility - One of the biggest advantages of being a freelance web developer is the flexibility to work from anywhere, at any time. As a freelancer, you are in control of your own schedule, and you have the freedom to choose the projects you work on. This flexibility is especially beneficial for those who want to maintain a better work-life balance.

  2. More Money - Freelance web developers have the potential to earn more money than permanent employees, as they can negotiate their own rates and take on multiple projects simultaneously. This means that freelancers can earn more money per hour than they would as an employee, and they can also take on more work to increase their income.

  3. Variety - Freelance web developers have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, which can help them build a diverse portfolio and develop a wide range of skills. This variety is especially beneficial for those who are just starting out in their careers and want to gain experience in different areas of web development.

  4. Autonomy - Freelance web developers have complete autonomy over their work, which means that they can choose which projects to take on, how much time to spend on each project, and how they want to approach each project. This autonomy can be incredibly empowering and can lead to more creative and innovative work.

Cons

  1. Inconsistent Income - While freelance web developers have the potential to earn more money than permanent employees, their income can also be inconsistent. Freelancers must constantly find new clients and projects to maintain a steady income, which can be stressful and time-consuming.

  2. Lack of Benefits - Freelance web developers do not receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, or paid time off. This means that they must provide these benefits for themselves, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

  3. High Competition - The freelance web development market is highly competitive, which means that freelancers must constantly differentiate themselves from the competition to secure new clients and projects. This competition can be overwhelming, especially for those who are just starting out in their careers.

Permanent Employee

Pros

  1. Stability - Permanent employees have the stability of a steady income and the security of benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. This stability can provide peace of mind and reduce stress.

  2. Training and Development - Permanent employees have access to training and development programs provided by their employers, which can help them build their skills and advance their careers. This training and development can be beneficial for those who want to continue learning and growing in their careers.

  3. Teamwork - Permanent employees have the opportunity to work with a team of colleagues and collaborate on projects. This teamwork can lead to a sense of camaraderie and can help employees build strong relationships with their colleagues.

Cons

  1. Limited Flexibility - Permanent employees have less flexibility in their work schedules and may be required to work specific hours or be present in the office. This lack of flexibility can be challenging for those who have other commitments or who prefer to work outside of traditional work hours.

  2. Limited Earning Potential - Permanent employees have limited earning potential, as their salaries are typically determined by their employers. This means that they have less control over their income and may not be able to negotiate higher salaries.

  3. Limited Autonomy - Permanent employees have less autonomy over their work, as their projects and tasks are determined by what their employer wants. This means that working on tasks that are monotonous or outside of their area of expertise becomes typical, which can be frustrating for experienced software engineers.

Conclusion

While there are benefits and drawbacks to both freelancing and full-time employment, it's always a personal choice, one that has to fit with your lifestyle and your own situation. Personally, freelancing has been a great opportunity for me to work on some interesting projects and has been more lucrative than employment was. However, there are definitely aspects of full-time employment that I miss, which might ultimately persuade me to rejoin the workforce.

Are you looking to take the next step as a developer? Whether you're a new developer looking to break into the tech industry, or just looking to move up in terms of seniority, book a coaching session with me and I will help you achieve your goals or check out my available courses.