Starting the journey as a novice developer often comes with challenges since breaking into the competitive IT world requires more than technical skills. Many companies look for your practical experience as the critical factor. But what to do if you lack it? Fortunately, numerous freelance platforms let beginners showcase their talents, take on small projects, and gradually build a robust portfolio. In this article, we'll explore the top freelance platforms for novice developers. Whether you want to gain experience, enhance your skills, or secure your first few projects, these platforms can be a great starting point for your career.
How Does Freelance Marketplaces Work?Before moving on to the list of the best freelance platforms for beginners, we would like to explain the hiring process. As is the case with traditional job boards, you can browse lists of job offerings posted by companies on the website. However, unlike traditional job boards, you can't apply to the ones you like. Freelance marketplaces typically use a so-called bidding system where you must submit 'bids' (quotes) to the potential employer stating your rate. The employer can then evaluate all the candidates who've bid on the project and select the right one.
SimplyHiredSimplyHired is a fantastic platform for fresh graduates since it offers many resources beyond a typical freelance job board. The platform offers valuable tips on writing an attractive resume and cover letter, among other information. Moreover, the platform even has a free online resume builder. Notably, the site doesn't charge employers for posting job offerings, attracting fresh startups and reputable companies. Pros of SimplyHired: A floodgate of job opportunities, easy to get your profile up and running, and job search function. Cons of SimplyHired: Demand for low-skill roles mainly, so it may not be a good fit for professional developers.
UpworkUpwork is one of the largest freelancing platforms out there, which boasts a continuously updated stream of job postings. The platform attracts companies of any size seeking freelance expertise in various fields, including Java. Pros of Upwork: Ease of use, quick access to a wide range of offerings, mobile app. Cons of Upwork: Mostly suitable for short-term projects, it may take quite a while to find the best match.
We Work RemotelyWe Work Remotely attracts an impressive 4.5 million visitors to its job board and claims to be the world's 'largest remote work community.' Besides programming, the platform covers design, sales, marketing, customer support, etc. It's worth noting that even industry giants like Google, Amazon, and InVision use this platform for their hiring needs. We Work Remotely is a reliable resource, offering many part-time and full-time opportunities tailored to your skill set. Pros of We Work Remotely: Straightforward approach – no need to create an extensive profile for various projects. Cons of We Work Remotely: Rather high competition.
FiverrFiverr is a platform where freelancers offer their services, called "gigs," at different price points. Earlier, you could offer gigs for five dollars (hence the name), but now you can set your starting prices. Many novice developers set very reasonable prices for small projects to get long-term contracts afterward. This is for gaining experience and giving potential clients a cheap "sample," so they'll want to hire you for larger projects. The platform is not limited to coding, but a significant demand for development services exists. Pros of Fiverr: A wide range of countries and rates, easy and intuitive search. Cons of Fiverr: Mainly short-time projects are available, low rates.
GuruGuru is a platform with a built-in vetting process for freelancers. It can help you prove your credibility to potential employees, thus simplifying the hiring process. Guru encourages transparency and clearly states what a project entails. So, whatever your role, your expectations are likely to be met. Pros of Guru: Fixed-price or hourly projects, a smaller pool of freelancers compared to similar services. Cons of Guru: The website isn't intuitive and user-friendly.
FreelancerFreelancer offers a vast pool of freelancers and everything from coding projects to SEO and copywriting tasks (more than 16 million jobs have been posted since its creation). Besides English, you can find offerings in Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and some other languages. To filter out proposals, you can search by categories like fixed-price/hourly-rate projects, skills required, contests, and languages. Pros of Freelancer: Intuitive website, lots of jobs international companies offer. Cons of Freelancer: High competition. You can only apply for eight jobs per month on a free membership plan.
Alternative to Freelance PlatformsBesides dedicated freelance platforms, you can also browse through communities and social media like: LinkedIn. Nowadays, it's essential to have a LinkedIn profile to build your professional network. By posting your experience and skills, you can attract recruiters and potential employees. And thanks to LinkedIn job posting features, you can choose between remote jobs, part-time gigs, or full-time freelance work. Stack Overflow. It's a popular Q&A platform for developers and a job board where developers can find freelance opportunities. The platform provides a collaborative environment for developers to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together. GitHub. It's a fantastic place for open-source projects where developers worldwide can contribute. You can use the GitHub search function to find projects based on keywords, programming languages, and other criteria. For example, if you're interested in contributing to a Java project, you can search for "Java projects." GitHub also has a jobs board where companies post job listings, including opportunities for remote work and freelance positions.
Useful Tips for BeginnersCreating a compelling profile and crafting effective communication with potential employers are crucial steps in getting hired as a Java developer on a freelance platform. When creating your profile, you should:
- Use a high-quality, professional-looking photo.
- Craft a concise and engaging headline that highlights your expertise in Java development.
- Write a compelling summary that outlines your experience, skills, and what sets you apart.
- Mention your dedication to delivering high-quality work.
- List your core skills and additional ones like relevant frameworks or tools.
- Showcase your Java projects in your portfolio. You can mention the ones completed during the CodeGym course.
- Highlight relevant certifications, if any.
- If you already have Java-related work experience, emphasize your roles and achievements, quantifying your impact where possible (e.g., "Optimized code, resulting in a 20% performance improvement").
- Clearly state your availability for projects.
- Tailor your proposals to each job, demonstrating a clear understanding of the requirements.
- Highlight how your skills and experience make you the ideal candidate.
- Express your interest in the project and enthusiasm for contributing.
- Mention why the project is exciting and how your skills align with the requirements.
- Ask thoughtful questions about the project to understand your responsibilities and demonstrate your engagement.
- Emphasize your problem-solving abilities and share examples of challenges you've overcome.
- Price your services competitively based on your skill level and the project's complexity.