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How To Thrive As A Freelance Developer

About the Book

Written from scratch and packed with advice from real-world experiences, career.fork() is a hit-the-ground-running guide for developers wanting to be their own boss.

This 130-page title combines author Steve Jalim's experience as a respected, trusted independent developer (and many years before that as a freelance journalist) with relevant advice drawn from his professional network of smart fellow hackers.

What people are saying about it

"I learned something on every page" @pete_naish

"Fantastic book; read this a year after starting and it still has some great tips to abide by" DM

"This is a well-written book packed with priceless information for those intending to make a career as a freelance developer. I wished I paid more for it!" KM

"Marvelous book. Light read, full of useful info. Heartily recommended for everyone who is thinking about freelancing or has already taken the leap." ST

"A really interesting book about freelancing. Recommended if you're thinking about it." @pyriku

"Really impressive. I wish I'd had it when I first started freelancing." @prydie

"For anyone thinking about doing the freelance thing, check out this gem of a book" @madteckhead

What's in it?

It covers a heap of key topics: from striking out on your own to keeping clients happy; from managing your finances to winning new work; from avoiding bad gigs to perfecting your work/life balance and lots, lots more.

About the Author

Steve Jalim
Steve Jalim

Steve is an experienced lead developer who likes making interesting webapps. Formerly, he spent a decade as a professional journalist and copywriter. He likes running up hills.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Release Notes
  • Life as a freelance dev: are you really sure?
    • Why being freelance is great
    • Why being freelance is awful
  • Set your sights: what kind of indie operator will you be?
    • Choose the kind of work you want to be doing
    • What’s in a name? Freelancer vs contractor vs consultant
    • Being a specialist vs being a generalist
  • The skills you’ll need
    • Starting from scratch as a freelancer
  • Practicalities
    • Picking a business entity
    • Picking a business name
    • Tools of the trade
    • Where to work
    • Working on-site with a client
  • Getting Started
    • “How do I find clients?”
    • Micro-lecture: Don’t poach clients
    • When to say yes to new work
    • When to say no to new work
    • How much should I charge?
    • By the day or by the hour?
    • Producing an estimate for a project
    • Getting estimates “right”
  • Oiling the wheels
    • Five PM tips to keep things running smoothly
    • Five PM tips to keep clients happy
    • Five PM tips to keep yourself sane
    • Five PM tips which don’t fall into the lists above, but are definitely worth remembering
    • Five tips for working alongside staffers as a freelancer
    • Tips for time management and tracking
    • Tips for arranging your next booking
    • Tips for backups and data security
    • Tips for when you’re sick
    • Tips for managing time off
    • Tips for when things go bad
  • Money matters
    • Managing your finances
    • Good invoices
    • Taxes
    • Surviving quiet patches
  • Legal
    • Contracts
    • Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)
    • Intellectual property
    • Insurance and liability
    • Data protection
  • Challenges
    • Working alone after working in a team
    • Dealing with tricky clients
    • Improving as an independent developer
    • Striking a good work/life balance
  • Afterword
  • Thank you

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