How hard is it to find a remote software job?

Blake2

Robin
Let's say person A starts out today.
He learns to code, maybe even gets a BS in Comp Sci from a mid tier school.

How hard is it to get a 100% remote job?

ex. Would you need to work in an office environment for many years first? How many years?

The reason for asking is this- I'm only into programming because of the possibility of working remote. If I end up working in an office anyways, I'd choose a different career.
 
You won't get a remote job first. You need at least 2 years, maybe 3... Also, you shouldn't be that picky with your first programming gig. Almost nobody wants to hire Jr. engineers. They're expensive.

You need to establish also whether you can work remote. It's not for everyone. You have to have excellent communications skills and time management. It's not the kind of job for someone who is a lone wolf (this is counter intuitive, but it's what I've been told at interviews). Also, there are some serious downsides to working with a distributed team, like 8pm meetings...

It's not hard to find remote work, I just got a 100% remote offer, but it was way below market. I'm going to try again at the end of the summer.
A lot of California companies are hiring out of state for remote since locals are getting priced out, but they'll definitely low ball you. Depending on local pay, it could be good or bad. If you live in Kansas City or somewhere else that has low pay, it might be a good offer. Dallas happens to be one of the highest paying cities for software engineers (adjusted for COL), so it's hard to find remote jobs that pay as well as a local job. My recent remote job offer was 25k below the in-person job I ultimately accepted.

I'd shelve doing a remote gig and just focus on getting a good in-person job for a couple of years first. You need mentoring and feedback first.
 

Blake2

Robin
Thanks, good response.

What about being able to live in Asia and work remotely from there?
Would that be possible given the time difference?

What about being a freelancer?



So, getting a BS in comp sci + 3 years work experience would lead to a remote job with at least 36K per year earnings?



+
 

Nineteen84

Pelican
Moderator
With remote work trust is a big factor. Build a quality portfolio and build your repos (on github) over a period of time. I'd rather hire someone with a proven track record (completed projects, repos, recommendations etc) than because of a degree.

People make money on upwork.com but for most people real world networking wins out - and like the other posters say - that takes time.
 

Captain Gh

Ostrich
Gold Member
Maybe you're one of these guy that can pick anything up easily... but becoming an ELITE Programmer is no walk in the park! A degree is simply learning the concept... but it's still not enough for you to be able to build an app from scratch!

Only practice & sweat will allow you to do that! If you get to this level... working remote might make you chuckle... as you could start you own biz!
 

Blake2

Robin
Captain Gh said:
Maybe you're one of these guy that can pick anything up easily... but becoming an ELITE Programmer is no walk in the park! A degree is simply learning the concept... but it's still not enough for you to be able to build an app from scratch!

Only practice & sweat will allow you to do that! If you get to this level... working remote might make you chuckle... as you could start you own biz!
Most people who are career changers into programming know that they won't be elite.

On reddit, the career changers I am reading about work at mid size companies in the US. They make around 40K starting and after a few years experience earn about 60K.

That's the reason I want to get clear info on how likely it is to get remote or freelance work.


The main thing that would make programming worthwhile would be living in a cheap country in Asia or South America.


.
 
Blake2 said:
Thanks, good response.

What about being able to live in Asia and work remotely from there?
Would that be possible given the time difference?

What about being a freelancer?



So, getting a BS in comp sci + 3 years work experience would lead to a remote job with at least 36K per year earnings?



+
Probably not, but it depends on where the job is based. For every 100% remote gig, maybe 1 in 8 is openminded about which timezone you're in. For the most part they want you residing in a certain range of timezones. More likely, you may find a job with a company that will relocate you to Asia. That's more realistic, I've seen some.

Freelancing is almost always lower pay per the number of hours your putting in. There are sites you can sign-up for, take a test, and they'll connect you with companies, but it's probably my last choice in terms of a job.

I'm in the US, 36k is poverty wages... even school teachers make more than that.
 
Blake2 said:
Captain Gh said:
Maybe you're one of these guy that can pick anything up easily... but becoming an ELITE Programmer is no walk in the park! A degree is simply learning the concept... but it's still not enough for you to be able to build an app from scratch!

Only practice & sweat will allow you to do that! If you get to this level... working remote might make you chuckle... as you could start you own biz!
Most people who are career changers into programming know that they won't be elite.

On reddit, the career changers I am reading about work at mid size companies in the US. They make around 40K starting and after a few years experience earn about 60K.

That's the reason I want to get clear info on how likely it is to get remote or freelance work.


The main thing that would make programming worthwhile would be living in a cheap country in Asia or South America.


.
Yikes, where'd you read that? My first job as a career changer was in the 70s.
I would not accept a programming job, even a junior dev role with no experience, for less than 60k. Especially if you have a degree. No degree, even less than 50k raises an eyebrow... After a few years, you should be into the six figures... If not, you're doing something wrong.

Main thing that makes programming worthwhile for a career changer is the high pay in the United States (among the highest paid professions, with less stressful hours than most). With high pay, and paid vacations, you can go anywhere. Why be stuck in Asia making poverty wages?

You shouldn't get into programming just because of logistics. It's a huge commitment and hard to learn, and they'll sniff you out if you're not truly passionate about it.
 

Blake2

Robin
Maybe you are quoting higher salary numbers because you live in a high COL area?

FullThrottleTX said:
You shouldn't get into programming just because of logistics. It's a huge commitment and hard to learn, and they'll sniff you out if you're not truly passionate about it.
Agreed. I asked friends (one guy in data science and another working IT) and they both said programming is not worth getting into for the money.

Both of these guys are career changers and admitted to me they are mediocre in their field.
I probably would be a mediocre programmer too. (Not bad...just average, being realistic here).

They both told me they regret going into programming and recommended I check out other professions with higher earnings and more job stability. Logistics (remote jobs) is the main thing that makes it seem worth it.
.
 

Blake2

Robin
Got a response to an email I had sent out.

Looks like online freelancing is the way to go.

With a couple years experience its totally possible to earn 25 to 35 K or more doing freelancing full time.

Thats totally worth it in a country with a low cost of living such as most of Southeast Asia, Africa, and some Former Soviet states.

.
 

Captain Gh

Ostrich
Gold Member
Blake2 said:
Got a response to an email I had sent out.

Looks like online freelancing is the way to go.

With a couple years experience its totally possible to earn 25 to 35 K or more doing freelancing full time.

Thats totally worth it in a country with a low cost of living such as most of Southeast Asia, Africa, and some Former Soviet states.

.
With all due respect.. if you even consider finding, regardless of the conditions, for 35k, then I'd advise you to stay clear of programming. With UdeMy courses going for $15-20, and companies asking you to not only know many techs, and to also stay on top of things, do you honestly believe you can compete with me that's putting in 6 Hours / day, and got 7 UdeMy projects in the Pipeline... that I'm gonna do at least 2x? Truly ask yourself this question?

Substance abuse issues have held me back, but I've been around entrepreneurial forums, and this one, for a minute. I believe you're Chasing the Unicorn. You clearly want to step away from office life, yet wants it's comfortability & easiness. Can't work like that!

You either gotta sweat via the trades route, or be highly skillful in something to make coins outside the office.
 
Blake2 said:
Maybe you are quoting higher salary numbers because you live in a high COL area?

FullThrottleTX said:
You shouldn't get into programming just because of logistics. It's a huge commitment and hard to learn, and they'll sniff you out if you're not truly passionate about it.
Agreed. I asked friends (one guy in data science and another working IT) and they both said programming is not worth getting into for the money.

Both of these guys are career changers and admitted to me they are mediocre in their field.
I probably would be a mediocre programmer too. (Not bad...just average, being realistic here).

They both told me they regret going into programming and recommended I check out other professions with higher earnings and more job stability. Logistics (remote jobs) is the main thing that makes it seem worth it.
.
No, I actually live in one of the most affordable major cities in the US.

You're too cynical. I was merely saying that 1) your first gig won't be remote. 2) don't enter a field just because of logistics. Plenty of us are working remote after a couple of years, it's still a goal of mine, but I'd rather go for higher pay than remote at this point. But if you want to know, the salary of the 100% remote gig I turned down was 85k USD plus benefits and overtime adjustment... that's how picky you can be in this field. I had another one going for 100k, but I dropped out of the running.

Data science and IT are different than software engineering.
All different fields.

I don't think it's accurate to say "not worth it for the pay", and I definitely wasn't making that argument. I'd argue software engineering is the best field to get into if you want to make tons of money without the stress/debt of becoming an MD or a Lawyer or the boredom of being in finance/accounting. But not everyone can hack it. Hard to say something like "I'd be a mediocre programmer" when you haven't done it yet... Most programmers, including the high earning ones, are mediocre so that doesn't mean anything.

Freelancing is mostly Wordpress and low-brow kind of web development that require a solid hustle to keep the bucks flowing, so if that's what you pursue, expect the pay to be commiserate... there's lots of remote opportunities that have nothing to do with freelancing. It's just, you're not in the field yet, you don't know the landscape. Most people not in software think of freelancing work as the kind of thing they'll be doing as a remote job, but when you're actually in the field you'll learn there's a lot more out there than Upwork... I don't even consider a site like that. Do I want to juggle a half dozen low pay freelance projects ("self-employment") or have one really good full-time remote gig that pays decent w/benefits from a solid corp? The latter is preferable.
 

Captain Gh

Ostrich
Gold Member
FullThrottleTX said:
Blake2 said:
Maybe you are quoting higher salary numbers because you live in a high COL area?

FullThrottleTX said:
You shouldn't get into programming just because of logistics. It's a huge commitment and hard to learn, and they'll sniff you out if you're not truly passionate about it.
Agreed. I asked friends (one guy in data science and another working IT) and they both said programming is not worth getting into for the money.

Both of these guys are career changers and admitted to me they are mediocre in their field.
I probably would be a mediocre programmer too. (Not bad...just average, being realistic here).

They both told me they regret going into programming and recommended I check out other professions with higher earnings and more job stability. Logistics (remote jobs) is the main thing that makes it seem worth it.
.
No, I actually live in one of the most affordable major cities in the US.

You're too cynical. I was merely saying that 1) your first gig won't be remote. 2) don't enter a field just because of logistics. Plenty of us are working remote after a couple of years, it's still a goal of mine, but I'd rather go for higher pay than remote at this point. But if you want to know, the salary of the 100% remote gig I turned down was 85k USD plus benefits and overtime adjustment... that's how picky you can be in this field. I had another one going for 100k, but I dropped out of the running.

Data science and IT are different than software engineering.
All different fields.

I don't think it's accurate to say "not worth it for the pay", and I definitely wasn't making that argument. I'd argue software engineering is the best field to get into if you want to make tons of money without the stress/debt of becoming an MD or a Lawyer or the boredom of being in finance/accounting. But not everyone can hack it. Hard to say something like "I'd be a mediocre programmer" when you haven't done it yet... Most programmers, including the high earning ones, are mediocre so that doesn't mean anything.

Freelancing is mostly Wordpress and low-brow kind of web development that require a solid hustle to keep the bucks flowing, so if that's what you pursue, expect the pay to be commiserate... there's lots of remote opportunities that have nothing to do with freelancing. It's just, you're not in the field yet, you don't know the landscape. Most people not in software think of freelancing work as the kind of thing they'll be doing as a remote job, but when you're actually in the field you'll learn there's a lot more out there than Upwork... I don't even consider a site like that. Do I want to juggle a half dozen low pay freelance projects ("self-employment") or have one really good full-time remote gig that pays decent w/benefits from a solid corp? The latter is preferable.
FullThrottle what would you classify as a mediocre programmer instead of a good one! Speed, imagination? Your answer on this would be much appreciated!
 
Captain Gh said:
FullThrottleTX said:
Blake2 said:
Maybe you are quoting higher salary numbers because you live in a high COL area?

FullThrottleTX said:
You shouldn't get into programming just because of logistics. It's a huge commitment and hard to learn, and they'll sniff you out if you're not truly passionate about it.
Agreed. I asked friends (one guy in data science and another working IT) and they both said programming is not worth getting into for the money.

Both of these guys are career changers and admitted to me they are mediocre in their field.
I probably would be a mediocre programmer too. (Not bad...just average, being realistic here).

They both told me they regret going into programming and recommended I check out other professions with higher earnings and more job stability. Logistics (remote jobs) is the main thing that makes it seem worth it.
.
No, I actually live in one of the most affordable major cities in the US.

You're too cynical. I was merely saying that 1) your first gig won't be remote. 2) don't enter a field just because of logistics. Plenty of us are working remote after a couple of years, it's still a goal of mine, but I'd rather go for higher pay than remote at this point. But if you want to know, the salary of the 100% remote gig I turned down was 85k USD plus benefits and overtime adjustment... that's how picky you can be in this field. I had another one going for 100k, but I dropped out of the running.

Data science and IT are different than software engineering.
All different fields.

I don't think it's accurate to say "not worth it for the pay", and I definitely wasn't making that argument. I'd argue software engineering is the best field to get into if you want to make tons of money without the stress/debt of becoming an MD or a Lawyer or the boredom of being in finance/accounting. But not everyone can hack it. Hard to say something like "I'd be a mediocre programmer" when you haven't done it yet... Most programmers, including the high earning ones, are mediocre so that doesn't mean anything.

Freelancing is mostly Wordpress and low-brow kind of web development that require a solid hustle to keep the bucks flowing, so if that's what you pursue, expect the pay to be commiserate... there's lots of remote opportunities that have nothing to do with freelancing. It's just, you're not in the field yet, you don't know the landscape. Most people not in software think of freelancing work as the kind of thing they'll be doing as a remote job, but when you're actually in the field you'll learn there's a lot more out there than Upwork... I don't even consider a site like that. Do I want to juggle a half dozen low pay freelance projects ("self-employment") or have one really good full-time remote gig that pays decent w/benefits from a solid corp? The latter is preferable.
FullThrottle what would you classify as a mediocre programmer instead of a good one! Speed, imagination? Your answer on this would be much appreciated!
Good engineer:

1) Clean, performant code that can be unit tested
2) Good communications skills
3) Following coding standards of whatever team you're on
4) Completing the work you've committed to each sprint
5) Having good attention to detail, but also seeing the big picture and not getting lost in unlikely edge cases and being perfect

Most of this stuff you won't be able to hone until you've worked full-time for a year or two.
 
I have more than 20 years of experience coding with job titles such as a Coder/Programmer/Developer/Engineer. The past 10 years I've solely done remote contract/freelance jobs. Only a handful since most jobs out there pay decent are actually permanent full time jobs. If you're set on freelance you can go to sites like Upwork or Fiverr but competition is high and everyone's undercutting each other's rates.

There are many areas in software and it would be bad to generalize the professional as a whole. One way to break it down is this:
- front end
- back end or server side or application layer
- database, which is also server side
- devops

For each area above there are choices on what platform and language(s) to learn.

I suggest you invest more time researching this before making a decision based on assumptions based on the generic advice in the posts above. I can help you but you'd have to provide more info about yourself and your background for me to give advice specific to your needs.
 

Blake2

Robin
Thanks for the offer of advice. Thats very generous.

1-Career-changer
2-Little experience in programming
3-Found some college programs where you can get a BS in Comp sci in a few years (faster for career changers)
4-Would be happy with 36,000 USD per year if it was fully remote (global)
5-Have some cash saved up so I could spend the next 2 years fully focused on learning programming
6-Would be fine working in an office job for a few years to get experience before going remote

I checked out Upwork and decided thats not an option. Full stack programmers with several years experience are making around 12,000 dollars per year on there with full time work. They say that they are very satisfied with such pay since they live in third world countries.

Thanks again.
 
As a remote freelancer, you'll be fighting for scraps. You didn't say why you decided to go the freelancing route - without that info, I suggest the permanent full-time employee route, the avg salaries are much higher plus all the benefits.

You didn't say where you're located and where in Asia you want to go. You need to be available during the company's hours.

You mentioned BS in CS above - that's 4 yrs avg plus 2-3 yrs of getting actual on the job experience. If you go this route, good for you. Other options would be bootcamps and/or being self-taught. I've been coding since my teens so the latter comes easy to me. These 2 options will be faster than the BS, or you can do all 3 at the same time if you have the mind and time for them and can accelerate or turbocharge your learning.

If you really really want to get in software without learning to code and being good at it, there are 'software' jobs or software-related jobs that don't require that you code but you need to be technical. These are:

- business analyst
- business systems analyst
- QA tester
- technical writer

There's also data science which TX mentioned.

You didn't say what your previous jobs/professions were but if you can leverage those skills you can try getting into these roles.

You didn't say your age - fyi, if you're over 40, it's going to hard getting hired as a newb or entry level coder. Most companies hire new grads for this level. Ageism is rampant in the tech industry.

If you're a US citizen and/or white and you apply to a company in Silicon Valley you'll be at a disadvantage. American whites only make up around 30% of workers. Foreign workers on visas are mostly the gatekeepers and hiring managers and they tend to hire their own, part of the nepotism and corruption in the industry. If you're black or hispanic it's even worse. If you are a foreign worker brought here on a visa then you have to work onsite. The company isn't going to hire you on a visa just so you can go work remotely but they can hire you as a remote/offshored worker to save them getting the visa..

I'd say the situation is similar in other US tech hubs such as Silicon Alley in NYC, Silicon Prairie in Austin, and Silicon Beach in LA.
 

Matianus

Sparrow
Does pursing a career in Data Science require either a moderately high level of background math or a general aptitude for math/math-like reasoning?
 
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