Major Tom Syndrome and the Freelance Web Developer

Freelancing is great!

So is employment with a company, benefits, policies, procedures and most importantly other people.

Freelancing by nature comes with none of the above including the ‘other people’.

No ‘other people’ means no colleagues, no one is smarter than you, no one is looking over your shoulder and there is no pressure to advance within some imposed hierarchy. This all sounds great but, these are all the reasons many of us continue to hone our skills and keep motivated?

It also means no feedback on the more technical aspects of your work. The Buddha on my desk knows everything but, you know, he’s the Buddha.

Design review?

When designing, the client either likes it or they don’t. If they don’t you tweak until they do. Working in a vacuum means no input except from browsing the internet and reading industry news.

Code review?

As a freelance developer code reviews just don’t happen. Others can tell a developer where they want stuff to go and what it should do, what fonts, what colors etc… However as far as the code that actually does it all \o/.

Lots of WordPress developers learn web coding languages by developing for WordPress. This can work however WordPress is a language in and of itself and really isn’t a great place to learn the nuances of a coding language like PHP.

WordPress is more of a platform and as such it ‘takes care of’ a lot of the inner workings of writing and fetching data, choosing a template, putting them together to make a webpage. While WP does provide access to much of these inner workings through filters and action hooks, an aspiring developer isn’t going to see the nitty-gritty unless they venture into the WordPress code itself.

Some do, some don’t.

Can You Hear Me Major Tom?

Every day I discover there is a better way of doing something or that there is a more appropriate/safer/newer function, tool or technique.

This will never end. So out here, there is no other option but to read, try the new libraries, tools and techniques, read some more, pay attention to what the cool kids are doing, go to meet-ups, conferences, etc…

If you are an extrovert you are all set. Others will need a little …


So far freelancing has been great!!! I found that if I treat everyone with respect, a light-hearted attitude, maintain transparency, always pick up the phone and do my best work possible, the folks I work for are happy. Some come back and refer friends and colleagues.

For 20 years now I have never needed a resume and have not needed to sell myself except via the work I have already done for others. Sweet, (knock, knock, knock).

Major Tom 2.0 – multiple orbits established

Update: COVID-19 virus quarantine, everyone is remote now!
See, it’s not all that now is it?

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