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Ask HN: Where do you find software development freelance work?
142 points by advanderveer 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments
I wondered if there are other places besides Upwork that you would recommend when looking for software development freelance work? I would prefer smaller jobs but tips for any good platform would be welcome. Thanks you!

In case anyone doesn't know, the Who Is Hiring threads on HN include a monthly thread for freelancers:


It doesn't spend as much time on the front page as the main "Who Is Hiring?", but you can always find it at that link. The next Who Is Hiring day is tomorrow!

There's a list of 100 alternative websites in an older discussion "Ask HN : What Are the Alternatives to Upwork?" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19573781

Thank you, that's super usefull.


I haven't used it for ~8 months so I don't know what it is like now, but in 6 months I was active on there, I made ~$20k, mostly web development stuff to add a single feature to an existing codebase, all open source.

Outside of a full time job? Roughly how many hours did you put in a week?

About 15 hours a week. No full time job, I was building my own products in the rest of my time. I now work on my own products full time (flightsim addons)

Honestly the best way to get good work have been other freelancers or consultants that know you well. It takes time to get a network, but once you have it you can participate in a lot of reciprocity on projects. Of course this only works if you also help your friends, bringing them good projects when you can’t handle the work.

One reason this works well is your friends aren’t likely to intentionally get you into a bad situation. They have an incentive to not screw you over :). They also know your skills and what you’d be suited for, helping to act as a filter... They also give you a warm intro to the client, rather than the client treating you like a faceless commodity on a freelancing site.

LinkedIn, various slack groups based on technology, reddit/r/forhire, CraigsList (if it is popular in your geography).

But especially LinkedIn. Connect with people and let people know you are available my making posts!

For Craigslist list, if it isn't popular in your area, you can use it to search larger cities as well.

reddit/r/forhire has incredibily low pay for freelance jobs (employment being different). 25-30$ per hour for development work is incredibly low

Sure, but this that is a function of what you can negotiate. There are solid gigs posted there. I see a lot of single-developers just looking for some help on their side hustle. That is interesting because you get paid to be in the passenger seat in someone’s entrepreneurial journey. Lots of learning beyond code.

I agree there might be better paid gigs elsewhere.

Oh i didn't negotiate, I was just looking around and was shocked.

I live in a costly place and that amount would be way too low to justify working, unfortunately.

I get that it could be interesting for learning purposes, but I prefer doing it for free and not being bound by a contract than being on a low pay

I recently got work by responding to a post in the HN who's hiring / looking for freelancers monthly thread. When I need a project I always look there, as well as the other usual places. Also try TopTal or Gun.io. They are probably the best freelance platforms with real projects and clients who pay market rates (or close to it). Upwork is garbage...

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It sounds like you want someone to build the entire product for you.

ask them. instead of guessing based on what it sounds like to you

I tend to get offers for new projects from past customers, as well as them telling me about their business buddies who need a project done. With that, I know whom to email when I have unsold time coming up.

It really is a sellers market at the moment, so you can probably just call up random mid to large companies in your area and ask them what kind of projects they are trying to hire for.

If the thought of that makes you uncomfortable, your best bet might be to team up with an agency so that they'll re-sell you at a higher rate to their customers. That tends to cost you 20% of the project gross, but if it is a profitable project, that price of admission might still be worth it.

Codementor is good. Do quick mentoring calls; those can turn into additional work. Many of the mentoring requests are generally better done as "off line", where you do a quick bit of work and turn it around in short order. They also have longer, more consulting style projects.

reddit.com/r/forhire is good, I've gotten several gigs from just posting that I was looking for work there along with my skillset and what I would be interested in working on.

Check out: https://www.turtle.dev/

I have used them and can vouch for its high quality work.

Dice.com works for the US. Most of the jobs posted there are contract jobs that are last from a few months to up to a year.

How does one join gigster as a contractor? There’s no obvious way to do this on their website.

If you're working with games:





Please don't do this here—it's off topic in regular HN threads. But please do post it in the appropriate Who Is Hiring thread tomorrow!

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