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Nigerian developers (by extension African developers) gets tips on securing gigs while freelancing

techpoint inspired 2018

There were some pretty inspiring pro tips in the offing at the Techpoint Inspired 2018 event held on May 29, 2018, in Nigeria. The event highlighted some of the gains and opportunities being brought up by the advancement of technology.

The biggest focus on how technology is transforming our lives is in how we work. These days, more and more millennials are turning to telecommuting to work, where you find a professional (developer, graphics designer, or a writer) simply works online.

More and more companies are finding it more cost-effective and even more productive to hire freelancers who work remotely on their projects. Freelancing was a big topic during the first-panel session at the Techpoint Inspired 2018.

With freelancing, temporary positions are prevalent and companies contract freelance workers on short-term engagements. The term used to describe this type of online work arrangement is a gig economy.

According to a 2017 study dubbed Freelancing in America unveiled that about 50% of millennial workers in the USA are working part-time as a freelancer. It would seem that trend is not only catching on in Nigeria but across Africa.

Speakers at the Techpoint Inspired 2018 delved into how Nigerians stand to benefit by engaging in the gig economy. They also went ahead to give some pro tips on how best to secure jobs; not just from local clients, but internationally. It has proved an uphill task for Nigerians to bag international clients, and speakers at the event were giving tips on how to go about it.

Prosper Otemuyiwa, a Software Engineer and Developer Advocate who was a speaker at the event shared his views with the attendees on the Smart Work Panel. He advised developers looking to secure international clients to join developer communities and go full-throttle in open source projects contributions.

Some of the seasoned developers shared their sentiments at the event, and collectively they gave out the following pointers for Nigerian looking for a successful run in the world of freelancing:

#1 – Know your Trade thorough

While to be a good developer you must have a good grasp of software development. If you are looking to get foreign gigs, then you must first hone your skills as you will be competing in the international waters, where the best of the best from around the world will be as well.

Chris Nwamba, a Software Developer and Developer Advocate added: “When you have the fundamental knowledge of a language or framework, spend more time on playing with algorithms, data, structures, and building actual (side) projects.”

Becoming quite familiar with the best international standards for web and app development goes a long way. So does knowing the specific standards for a particular country (or countries) of interest. That way, international clients will find you already up to speed with the standards that apply to their regions.

It is best not to use a Nigerian hosting provider for international projects for accessibility,” advised Ismail Olasunkanmi, a Web Developer from Dream Mesh Ltd.

#2 – Put Yourself Out There

Like said earlier, to get noticed by international clients, you need to be visible. So how do you become visible? Well, for one, you need to join groups with common interest and become an active member. You could join open source groups and become a regular contributor.

#3 – Apply, Apply, Apply

It seems like a no-brainer plan, to get the job, you need to apply for it. There are probably hundreds of online jobs boards online. Ranging from Github to Stack Overflow jobs and many others where developers can get their freelance jobs.

Such platforms give you the best opportunities to build up a profile and a network to easily earn the trust of international clients.

#4 – Build some soft skills

Though the technical skills are mandatory to secure clients, it is the soft skills that cement them to you and could build you a long-term working relationship with them. It is therefore mandatory for people taking the freelancing route to develop their soft skills.

#5 – Know how to take Rejection Emails; because they will be many

Rarely does something good come easily, and the same applies in freelancing world. There are many jobs out there, but that is no promise that securing a contract is going to be easy. You need to develop a thick skin for those moments when you open your inbox and get those rejection emails. It does not mean you quite; it only means you need to package yourself better and send better compelling application letters.

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