Freelance Vs Office Work for Developer: What to Choose?

Freelance Vs Office Work for Developer: What to Choose?

Developers with skills to develop products like applications, websites, software programs, and computer systems have lost of opportunities at their disposal. However, there are two ways for software developers to get a job:

  • As a freelance developer
  • Working in an office as a full-time developer

When starting your career as a developer, it’s important to understand the difference between full-time and freelance developers. Understanding this difference can help you shape your career. 

In this post, we shall discuss both career paths in detail, and help you decide what to choose. Read on for more information. But first:

Who is a freelance developer?

Freelance developers do not work from an office. Most people refer to them as ‘self-employed developers’ because they have the freedom to choose the client they are interested to work with. Thus, a freelance developer can choose to accept or decline a project. 

Unlike developers who work from an office, freelance developers have their terms for every project, like payment rates and working hours. This kind of freedom allows freelance developers to handle numerous projects at once. However, freelancers mostly handle smaller projects, unlike full-time developers.

Who is a full-time developer?

Both freelance developers and full-time developers have the same role. However, full-time developers work under an employer, and mostly in an office setting. Besides, when you work in an office as a developer, you will be responsible for analyzing user needs, writing code, as well as testing products for your company. 

Unlike freelance developers, full-time developers are paid on a monthly or hourly basis. Moreover, their employer must provide them with the required office space, equipment, medical benefits, and vacation, among other benefits. 

Security vs. freedom

  • Freelance developers – freelance developers have the freedom to chose the projects they would like to work on. If the pay rate isn’t attractive, you can turn down the opportunity. Freelance developers have a wide variety of jobs to choose from. 
  • Full-time developers – working in an office guarantees salary and job security, unlike freelancing. Therefore, you don’t have to worry that you won’t get paid at the end of the month, even when you didn’t have a project. The thing is, you can keep your position so long as you continue performing well


  • Freelance developers – unlike full-time developers, freelance developers lack external motivation. However, they must have internal motivation if they want to finish projects on time, and continue bidding for new projects. Becoming complacent as a freelance developer can land you in trouble. 
  • Full-time developers – working from an office means you will have management, performance reports, and rules to deal with. Besides, there’s someone—a boss, who supervises whatever you do. This can either motivate you to work harder or demotivate you, especially if you feel treated unfairly. 

Work-life balance

  • Freelance developers – as a freelance developer, you can work from home, meaning you get more time to spend with your family, unlike a full-time developer. However, some freelance developers find it hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When working from home, your family might forget that you are at work. However, you have the luxury of choosing when to work and when not to since you are your own boss. However, this can also affect your social life, especially if you like working for long hours without interacting with your friends. 
  • Full-time developers – working in an office as a full-time developer can be very stressful. When a company sets a release date for a project, you might need to spend several weeks or months, working for longer hours than usual in order to meet the deadline. Thus, you can end up spending little time with your family. While some companies are mindful about the work-life balance of their employees, you will always find yourself spending more time in the office, especially if you have an approaching deadline. However, there are times when you won’t have much work to do, and this can allow you to spend more time with your family and friends. 

Ongoing training

  • Freelance developers – to perfect your skills as a freelance developer, you must remain up-to-date with the current trends in coding. Besides, you must learn how to use the most common languages in development. Therefore, you must dedicate your time and money to training to ensure that you have the skills needed by clients. 
  •  generally, companies provide the necessary information, training, and courses to make sure that their employees have the required skills for any job at hand. Moreover, you will not neeFull-time developers –d to spend any money on training since the company takes care of everything. 

Choosing your career path

Know your strengths

According to the Houston software development experts from Entrance Consulting, make sure that you understand your professional strengths before choosing your career path. To work as a freelance developer, you must be disciplined and be motivated to continue bidding for jobs. Besides, since you will be working on different projects you must be willing to learn new skills to meet the requirements of these jobs. 

Full-time developers, on the other hand, have a consistent scope of work. This is a plus for developers with strong programming skills in specific areas. Also, to work in an office as a developer, you must have good teamwork skills since you will be collaborating with other developers. 

Know your work requirements

Knowing your work requirements can help you choose between full-time and freelance development. Typically, freelance development is ideal for people who want freedom and autonomy to create their own schedules. 

In contrast, full-time developers have a consistent work schedule every week. However, they can work for longer hours if they want to meet a set deadline. Also, working in an office as a developer guarantees consistent pay and job security.

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