Help : How to start my freelance career without a degree and after I finish my bootcamp (10 month)


I am taking a coding academy called codestack in my town. It is based in the Central Valley in Cali and they are trying to grow the tech presence. I am currently practicing C# and still need to better dedicate myself. I like to code and I know I need to better commit and take it like if its a real job. My class starts this september and they will basically teach us

  • HTML5

  • CSS3

  • SASS

  • JavaScript

  • TypeScript

  • Angular

  • C#

  • Azure

  • SQL Server

  • Cross platform mobile development

all within the 10 month long program…I have an interest in the programming and have no idea what the others are so my focus might change. The first month is pure C# and we must pass that section to move on with the rest of the program.

I asked them about freelance and working for myself but I want to ask ya’ll how to make that work without credentials like a degree- personal experiences. Once I better master how to create apps in the back end and front end, I plan to create apps for small businesses, like makes booking apps or web pages. I need to actually make money though or I will not be able to sustain myself…

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The biggest blockers with freelancing has nothing to do with technical skills. You can be a fantastic engineer, and still “fail” at freelancing for a living. The blockers all have to do with the “business” side of freelancing, as not only are you building stuff, but you are also running your own business at the same time.

So lets assume in 10 months you learn a lot, and know enough to build anything. Obviously, you will still have things to learn and expand upon, but for the sake of the argument lets assume you can develop anything in what you end up learning.

To start freelancing you’d generally perform the following:

  • Determine how much money you need to live, this is a key factor in determining if freelancing is viable to live off of. If you need to get paid a lot due to high costs of living, it will make freelancing difficult. You want to build a budget for yourself and your freelance career. Simply put you can’t make a living if you take to many cheap jobs that take to long to complete.
  • Find clients with projects that meet your skill level, budget, and time availability
  • Negotiate with the client to get the project, there usually is competition especially if you use online freelancing sites. You usually need to figure out:
    • What needs to be done
    • When is it due, how long will you be working on it
    • How are you getting paid
    • How is the project going to “end”
  • Execute the project, while working with the client on dealing with changes or issues found during development.
  • Hand off the project to the client.
  • Manage your finances, adjust and continue the process

Each of these steps more or less need to be figured out by you to get paid. Each part builds on the next part, and if you “fail” at any of these steps, you probably will end up wasting your time and the client’s time, further making the overall budget you originally had more strained. This is why freelancing is risky even with the right technical skill levels. It takes multiple skills and the right financial environment to freelance successfully.

Simply put its very possible to freelancing successfully, but its not easy as it requires a lot of different talents, and an approach that works for you, along with a lot of hard work to find the work that fits for you. For many the combination of all of this makes freelancing possible, but very very difficult.

The simple alternative is the usual job, where you throw all of those steps I just described with just “find and apply” and then doing your job.

Good luck, keep building, keep learning!


I am not a freelancer, so I can’t offer personal advice, but freeCodeCamp News has several articles about freelancing.