One Freelancer Web Developer’s Experience
Web, Software, and Mobile Developers often work from their own home offices with their own office equipment and their own team (even if they work solo). While it’s not the ideal work environment for everyone, many Designers, Developers, Engineers, Consultants, Freelancers, and Contractors enjoy working from their own home offices and are very successful. I’ve been mainly working from my own home office since 1996. I currently work as a Web & Mobile Developer and I’m going to share some insider information about the resources and lifestyle in this article.
Computer & Office Equipment.
Comfortable ergonomic seating and workstation is very important for those that work long hours on the computers. A chair massager can be purchased for under $100.00 and is awesome for those long periods of reading and research that are common for web developers.
I’ve also resorted to sitting on a giant exercise ball, going outside to sit in the grass, and occasionally going to work at public Internet cafes when my back needed a break from the long hours I sit at my computers in the past 15 years. It’s really important to have a pleasant work environment when working on projects that require developers to create complicated algorithms or designers to create something amazing and pretty, because an unhappy worker will eventually become burned out or worse; continue creating crappy stuff because they are focused on whatever is causing unhappiness (aching back, ugly work environment, poor health).
Protect & Maintain the Health of Your Hands, Body, and Brain.
People that work from home often do not have traditional workplace benefits and they learn to do all they can to insure they are as healthy as possible. As a web developer, I often end up coding and reading for many hours straight for many weeks, months, and years at a time. This can create a situation of muscle strain and atrophy. Ganglionic Cysts and Carpal Tunnel are extremely painful and can be avoided when we make time to do simple stretches for our hands, wrists, shoulders, arms, neck, and our entire body for about 5 minutes each hour. This won’t help to achieve a strong physical core, but it’s better than nothing when working long hours. A good workout program or any kind of physical exercise should also be added because sitting at a desk for years, does very unkind things to the human body. Smart Gloves can also be purchased for less $30.00 to provide relief and support for the hands and wrists. Whenever anyone sees me wearing my smart gloves, they usually know that I’m ‘in the zone’ and attempting to have a conversation with me is probably not a great idea at that moment.
Pure Coconut Water and Blueberries is one of my favorite snacks while working because I’ve read documents that claim it’s excellent brain food. I also try to practice a Raw Vegan Lifestyle as much as possible because it’s also good for helping to heal from damage, disease, and maintaining optimal good health. Philosophers from long ago insisted that their students practice a raw vegan lifestyle at least one month before they would allow them into their classes because their research led them to believe that the brain works best with a raw vegan lifestyle.
Health Insurance & Benefits
Today’s home office workers typically have to make arrangements for their own retirement, insurance, and benefits. Freelancer Unions are all over the world and they offer free and paid memberships. Members can access Community Insurance, Retirement Savings Plans, and Benefits. They also provide helpful articles, resources, and classes regarding how to get paid and where to get discounts for items freelancers frequently purchase. You can even check out list of clients to verify a potential client has no history of stiffing past web developers or any negative feedback from other freelancers.
A Solid Team vs. Solo
I work as a freelance Mobile Developer with a Project Manager (past Web Designer). My Project Manager works in between the client and me. He negotiates the best value, payment terms, and solution for the client, while negotiating the best schedule, work arrangement, and payment for me.
I used to work without a project manager to get my own clients, but I prefer to work with a stable Project Manager so I can focus on what I’m good at and what I enjoy the most (developing websites and mobile apps). I also prefer working with a Project Manager as my main client because it helps to cut down on negative incidents that happen when Web Developers work solo.
I tested many small business ideas in the past, where I did all the work of the entire team that I currently work with. It was a great professional experience and I really appreciate my team members more today, than when I was new to the industry more than 15 years ago. Working with a solid team absolutely increases income, productivity, final product value, and satisfaction for each individual on the team and the client. The team environment also removes incidents involving clients and/or web developers that can’t or won’t provide what they promised to each other. In my case, in the past, as my small companies grew it became very difficult to make enough time in the day to do all the work that had to be done for the entire business model. Today, working with a team, I only need to concentrate on being an awesome web & mobile developer, writing technical documentation, and providing technical training. The rest of my team handles finances, legal issues, marketing, advertising, client negotiations, and so much more.
Discounts & Savings
Thousands of Memberships are available for Web Developers and usually provide a card or account number that provides price discounts and extra benefits from most any business.
Like most Web Developers, I am also a student with various online schools, because it’s a common practice to learn the latest and greatest technologies. All online schools and universities usually offer Student I.D. cards that you can also use to receive discounts and extra benefits with your bank, at the movies, and pretty much anywhere that you would do business.
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References retrieved June 18th 2012:
Freelancers Union http://www.freelancersunion.org
FreeLance Switch. http://www.FreeLanceSwitch.com