Behind the scenes: A day in the life of a freelance JavaScript Developer

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Being a developer requires much than conscionable being bully astatine coding. Here's however 1 full-stack developer gets the occupation done.

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Image: SeanZeroThree/ iStock

Johnny Fekete was successful precocious schoolhouse successful the metropolis of Győr, Hungary, erstwhile helium archetypal learned machine programming. "I recovered it fascinating astatine the time, that you tin constitute something, and past the machine volition bash what you archer it to do," helium said. He soon realized that helium was up of his teachers. "They learned it from the book," helium explained, "but by the clip the publication is printed, the exertion is already outdated—so it was truly absorbing that I already knew much than my teachers, simply due to the fact that I learned from the internet." 

Now, Fekete, 32, is simply a freelance JavaScript developer surviving successful Barcelona and moving connected his ain startup, Recruitio, which builds a level offering nonrecreational tools for recruiters. After precocious school, helium enrolled astatine Corvinus University successful Budapest, studying concern and IT. At that time, helium inactive wasn't acceptable to go a programmer.

SEE: The champion programming languages to learn--and the worst (TechRepublic Premium)

"I had a precise atrocious stereotype of programmers," helium said, "and I had it successful my caput I don't privation to beryllium 1 of them." (At the time, helium thought a bundle developer "eats chips each the clip successful beforehand of their computer," helium said. But astir developers helium knows emotion hiking, climbing, and Crossfit—and are "really societal people.") Still, concern schoolhouse was utile due to the fact that helium learned what businesses request erstwhile it comes to software. 

A bundle engineering diploma is not needfully required, Fekete said, particularly if you're self-taught and tin lick problems. "The full manufacture is truly open," helium said. "They're astir unfastened for distant work. They attraction the slightest astir assemblage inheritance successful this field, due to the fact that each they attraction is that you tin bash the thing." And since the communal connection of programming is English, it besides means that it's easier for radical with antithetic backgrounds to get involved, helium said. 

"I deliberation I'm a palmy freelancer due to the fact that I'm not conscionable reasoning successful codes, but I'm reasoning connected what my customers volition need, what are their requirements and however tin I accommodate it to a software," helium explained.

After earning his grade astatine Corvinus, Fekete completed a master's programme successful concern medication and accusation systems astatine Copenhagen Business School and went to enactment for a selling agency. 

 A self-proclaimed self-starter, helium decided to determination to Barcelona and from determination became a "proper freelancer."

Fekete works with JavaScript—one of galore programming languages—which is much frontend and bully for gathering blase websites. Many languages tin beryllium applied to definite tasks, but immoderate are amended for circumstantial usage cases. Java, for instance, is simply a spot much "corporate" and bully for processing robust systems, specified arsenic those for fiscal oregon healthcare institutions, Fekete said.

SEE: C++ programming language: How it became the instauration for everything, and what's adjacent (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Working arsenic a freelancer is not each that antithetic from his enactment astatine an office, Fekete said. Both jobs usually person a speedy check-in, a five-minute "standup." And some besides would person a lawsuit gathering each 2 weeks, for instance, to footwear disconnected the week, due to the fact that "in programming usually we deliberation successful two-week cycles," helium explained, "called a sprint." This is simply a benignant of task absorption successful which a squad of developers mightiness cheque for bottlenecks oregon obstacles to completing a project. 

The sprints mightiness commencement with accusation specified arsenic representation assets, oregon the text, oregon entree to immoderate of the systems, required anterior to starting enactment connected a caller project, for instance. And nary substance what benignant of programming connection used, the process is similar, helium stressed.

After tasks are acceptable up, they're entered into the task absorption strategy specified arsenic Jira. And then, it's solo work—but that's not conscionable astir coding.

"I would beryllium lying if I said that I'm coding 8 hours a day," Fekete said, "because it's impossible."

Instead, helium spends a batch of clip speechmaking and learning caller information. "And sometimes, the champion advancement happens erstwhile you're not looking astatine the surface but conscionable reasoning successful the shower," helium said.

"What's a large portion of being a developer—it's truly hard to marque estimates due to the fact that you ne'er cognize that thing that you deliberation it's truthful easy, and it mightiness artifact you for a week, portion thing that you thought it's difficult, and past you recovered a solution online that's truly casual to implement."

At the extremity of the sprint, helium would showcase his enactment to the squad oregon the client.

Often, the occupation is astir problem-solving. When a random bug shows up, it has to beryllium addressed immediately. "It brings immoderate excitement to your life, really, due to the fact that possibly abruptly a strategy stops working, and determination are 10,000 users waiting for you to hole it," helium said. "That's besides portion of the beingness of a developer."

One peculiar situation happened astatine a selling steadfast successful Denmark, wherever each of a sudden, each the sites hosted were not reachable online. All of the developers teamed up and had to leap successful to find a solution. "They were projects for big, large clients, and we truly needed to get them backmost online," helium said. It besides turned into a "nice bonding experience. due to the fact that each the developers who different enactment individually we had to permission everything and conscionable absorption connected this contented together," helium said.

SEE: The champion programming languages to learn--and the worst (TechRepublic Premium)

"To enactment a bully developer, you request to perpetually learn," helium said. "This applies besides to assemblage acquisition and besides aft that. It changes so, truthful quickly, truthful you can't let yourself to usage the aforesaid things arsenic you did 2 years ago, due to the fact that by that clip it volition beryllium outdated."

Online tutorials and Udemy courses besides are a large help. Fekete besides listens to podcasts to larn much erstwhile he's looking to larn much astir parts of the occupation beyond coding.

He besides relies connected Twitter, wherever "there is simply a truly vibrant assemblage of developers, and they emotion to teach, truthful you tin conscionable travel immoderate people, and you simply won't beryllium capable to not beryllium alert of the advancements due to the fact that they support tweeting astir it and besides amusement you the tiny tricks and tips." This is essential, helium said, successful bid to "provide the latest technologies and solutions to your client."

Fekete's favourite portion astir the job? The freedom. He's moving successful a café successful Hungary now, and "could beryllium conscionable arsenic good successful the Bahamas oregon wherever," helium said.

"I person my laptop with me, and that's each I need."

The above-average wage doesn't hurt, either. "I enactment with American clients and I unrecorded successful Spain, truthful it provides maine with specified a fantastic lifestyle. What not to like?"

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