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What advice would you give someone starting out their own software company? Are there specific resources you found helpful to define how you wanted your company to be formed?

 

Hey Corey, I started a while back (in 2010) so back then I sort of had to piece together information and learn from experience.

However, one resource I very highly recommend is The Futur. They have tons of content in their YouTube channel that helps freelancers and entrepreneurs of all levels.

In my opinion, it is by far one of the best resources you will find. They tend to lean towards designers, but there is just so much good info for independent professionals in general, it will definitely be of big help to you for sure.

Some advice I can give you to be successful is:

1 Do amazing work. This can't be understated. The actual work you do should be of very high standard, but this goes beyond the actual tasks you do. A big part of it is being communicative, responding promptly to emails and messages from clients, being proactive, being a curious person (wanting to learn constantly), wanting to improve, and working well with teams. If I could pick out a single reason for the success I've had it is this one.

2 Set up a company structure. Form an LLC or S-corp, get yourself a separate bank account for business revenue, pay yourself at regular intervals (don't touch the business money for personal things), work with a trusted accountant. Don't deal with tax issues on your own. You will go mad.

3 Document everything you do, measure how long it takes you to get work done so you can better price your services, and document everything you learn. Get as much insight as you can with how you work, so you are able to know where you need to improve and what is working well.

4 Use your time wisely. Your time is your most valuable asset. Work smart, automate tasks, build processes, create your own templates and configurations.

5 Blog about what you do and engage in social media. Get your name out there, keep yourself on people's minds. This will increase the leads you get. This is something I personally have recently started to take serious.

6 Learn to write well. I realized this myself by listening to Dan Lok once (another resource I recommend) when he talked about copywriting and the impact your words can have on others. It is a fundamental skill that anyone should have.

This helps you in writing about your process, it helps you when writing to clients and explaining complex ideas. It helps you in sales as you persuade leads to use your services, and it helps you in your personal life too.

I'm on this path myself now. I bought a book called On Writing Well which has some great tips. It's been a really interesting read and I try to apply it as I blog.

Definitely a book you will probably read a few times. It has a lot of information.

There are a lot of other things that can be mentioned, but I think these are the most fundamental to me so far. Good luck!

 

By god! This is the best write-up ever. This should actually be in your main article, not just in the comments!

We're also doing the same with our engineers. We document everything. Our knowledge base kept growing. We've come to the point where we have so much knowledge stored up that we're now trying to organize the knowledge via publishing books on LeanPub.com. (We just started there.)

Thanks @jonw , really glad this helped! Yes documenting is so important! You learn so much valuable info every day even from the smallest task that you do, it is so worth writing it down.

Not only do you help yourself stay organized and re-use info, but the act of writing helps you remember what you learned, it helps you understand even more what you think you knew until you wrote it down, it helps you save tons of time because the info is always there to come back to, and it also helps you have organized info for blogging.

LeanPub.com sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out!

 

Thanks Daniel! Appreciate the response and solid resources you linked. I'll check them out. :)

No problem Corey, I'm glad I could share those with you!

 
 

100% :) It sucks I can't have pets in my apt though.

 

Hi, This is Mohammad Mizanur Rahman a Full Stack Web Developer. Actually I would be grateful if you tell me how can I get a remote job

 

Hey Mohammad, there are many different ways. I think the main problem you will have is not that you won't find any, but you will find way too many jobs. It is overwhelming, so I think the first thing is you need to decide what kind of remote worker you want to be. This will help you narrow down your search. There's 3 types:

  1. Remote full-time employee = You are an employee of a company and you work with them full-time. You have all the employee benefits they offer.

  2. Remote contractor = You are in this weird place between employee and freelancer. You work long term (for years) for a company, but technically you are not an employee. You have no employee benefits, you work at their schedule, you answer to a manager of the company.

  3. Freelancer = You are not an employee, and you work only per project. You most likely work directly with business owners or executives. You work at your own schedule, you are considered more like a partner to them.

You might be open to only one of these types, or maybe all three. Depending on what you want.

If you are starting out I recommend full-time employee first. It is the easiest way to find remote work. The hardest is as a freelancer, because it is the most unsteady one, and requires that you learn some crucial marketing and sales tactics.

Once you know what type you want to look for, use the correct tools.

For all types, check with your friends and colleagues first. This will probably be the fastest way to land a job. Many times this way you don't even get interviewed. You get hired because your friend recommended you.

If you already did that, then use some online tools:

For full-time employment, you will most likely find it at angel.co, indeed.com, monster.com, careerbuilder.com, or similar sites like this that favor full-time jobs (although you can find contract work there too). You can also do local searches, maybe you will find companies that you can cold-email to see if they have remote openings. Many companies have needs that are not posted on their site or anywhere, and you could email them at the perfect time. LinkedIn will also have tons of jobs you can look for to see if you can find remote. I have found most posted by companies are not remote, but you can get lucky.

For contract or freelance work, I personally favor Upwork. I slowly built my reputation there and have landed good contracts. You can do the same. It takes time to get hired at first but don't give up. You can also try toptal.com or freelancer.com, etc... I have not tried these but I know colleagues who get work there

If you want the hard way that has the biggest return on investment, you should start a blog and post/engage in social media. This will get people to know you exist, see what you do, and if the right person finds you, they will reach out to you for work. This is the hardest to do because it takes time to build a blog and audience. This is what I am working on myself. I have slowly been building my blog, and engagement in social media, and I hope it will pay off in the long run.

The top ways I personally have found remote work in the past and now has been:

  1. Upwork
  2. Friends
  3. LinkedIn (by being found in search and being contacted directly)
  4. LinkedIn (by finding a post from someone needing a developer, right in my feed)
  5. Local companies via Indeed

I want to mention that it sounds easy to do the above, but it takes a lot of time to search and find the right fit. Just be patient with the process. There's plenty of opportunity out there.

The most important thing is for you to do good work. Make sure you work on improving every day, learn new things, practice and do the best work you can.

Also, communication is extremely important as a remote developer. It is just as important as good programming skills. This is the biggest fear companies have with remote developers. They need someone who responds promptly, is going to communicate any problems early, and is not going to be a burden. Be helpful and take initiative.

I hope this helps!

 
 

Hey Daniel,

In what ways do you put your name out there for remote/freelance work? Should I create my own blog, continue to post on dev.to, medium?

Thanks!

 

Hey Edwin, in the past I have mainly relied on referrals and Upwork, and LinkedIn although mainly by accident.

Last year I finally decided to push myself to blog and to engage more in social media. It's been a hard process for me. I learned that writing outside of emails and chat messages was pretty difficult, and I have dragged my feet up to pretty recently.

I wanted to mention that because what I found is that I feel I haven't given it a great effort, yet from the work I've put in so far I already get 200 visitors a month to my blog with about 14% new users each month. It's not a lot, but the cool thing is that it didn't require much effort and gave me that feeling of accomplishment and belief that if I work harder I can get the results I want. I write about things I think people want to know about, I try to add relevant keywords, and many posts slowly start to rank. I also see visitors from many parts of the world that somehow find the content. It's been really cool to see the effect!

I'm focusing mainly on using LinkedIn to post and engage right now. I do use Alignable.com to connect to local businesses and I get visibility there (no leads yet), and I just found dev.to which seems like a really cool place to engage in. Oh I'm also just starting with Medium to re-post some of my blog posts. I also love answering questions on Quora where you can get visibility very quickly. Since late 2017 I have gotten 39K views on my answers.

Right now this feels like this is something I can handle. But doing much else (Facebook, Twitter, Insta, Youtube) just feels too overwhelming for me. There are just too many options. But maybe by the end of the year what I do now will seem easy and I will have built a more automated process for it.

I think the most important thing is to take that first step. Don't think too much about the future, and take it day by day.

So to answer your question, yes create your own blog, post on dev.to, medium, as much as you can handle. I don't know what you do, but I already want to know what you do. The cool thing about blog posting is that we all have a different story to tell. No story is the same. The more personal you can make it the more interesting it becomes.

I believe if you put in the work you will get the results.

Hope this helps :)

 

Thanks! I find it really refreshing to hear about posting to feel rewarding. I do get a bit of dopamine release when I see someone views my posts :)!

Thanks for reassuring me! I hope to have some blog posts that might be peak your interest :)

 

Hey Daniel, welcome to DEV! :)

Do you generally build your own software, or is it creating software at the request of clients?

 

Hey George, thanks, glad to join the community :)

I'm actually doing both now. I started out as a freelancer for many years and worked as a contractor for clients. I make a living building apps for clients. Been working remotely since 2010.

I recently decided to start getting into building my own tools and apps.

I have a couple I've done so far. Here's one you might find interesting, if you're curious. It's a free estimation tool for developers. It's called Devstimate.

It's handy because you can re-use estimation tasks you have estimated before, so you don't have to constantly estimate and calculate repetitive tasks.

You can estimate with an Agile approach using story points, estimate with hours, or use flat fees: It's available for iOS and Android

I kind of like the idea of building tools to help fellow developers. I'm thinking of building some more in the future.

Classic DEV Post from Mar 15

What was your win this week?

Got to all your meetings on time? Started a new project? Fixed a tricky bug?

Daniel Montano profile image
Full-stack remote developer