Great Freelance Developer Traits

Marketing ScreamingBox, Thursday, December 20, 2020

Freelancer Success

Written By David Levai

ScreamingBox works with hundreds of freelancers, and I have had the opportunity to work with and/or interview with a lot of them. Of course, people are generally very different, but there are a few characteristics that I’ve noticed that spectacular freelancers possess. In the following four points, you’ll find out what attributes are needed in order to be an efficient and evolving freelancer.

1- Accountability
This is the most important attribute, which I’ve learned in my last six years in the freelancing business. As a freelancer, only you are responsible for your work. You are your own boss, therefore, you are responsible for your actions and managing your time. If you start working on something, hold yourself accountable. If you keep your word and adhere to deadlines then you can be considered a spectacular freelancer.

2- Lifelong Learner
In this industry it is vital to be a consistent and continuous learner and this is probably more important than in any other business. It is awesome if you are a Javascript Expert, but, for example, in 2015 JS evolved so much that if you didn’t keep up and evolve the next year you really could have only referred to yourself as a junior developer, not an expert. It helps if you dedicate at least five hours per week to learning something new. Remember this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

3- Detail-oriented
As a freelance developer you develop projects and write code. I get it. But the other things you should care about include documentation and handling edge cases. Incorporating some nuances, like a microinteraction when the user taps on a button. Don’t just mindlessly follow tasks on your Jira board.

4- T-Shaped
This is one of my mantras. A T-Shaped person is an expert in one thing, but knows lots of other related things. Think about the letter “T”. The horizontal line is your extended knowledge. What should this be as a freelance frontend developer? It may include UX, accessibility, basic backend, some serverless, maybe a pinch of digital marketing, and product knowledge. And the vertical? That’s the thing that you’re crazy good at. In this frontend developer example, it could be general knowledge in React, Vue, or Javascript.

How Can You Achieve These Things?
Well, the good thing is that all of these can be easy to learn if you are consistent and have self-discipline.

Keep an eye out for new blog posts here on ScreamingBox’s website in order to learn more about how to be a better freelancer. Check out my personal free email course or website.

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