As a developer

As a software developer we have many options and opportunities to work a role we always dreamed of.

As a software developer we have many options and opportunities to work a role we always dreamed of.

As someone who has tried all 4 roles (employee, contractor, freelancer and business owner) I believe there is no reason to be stuck in a role that does not suit you for long. Ultimately I ended up sticking with being a freelancer and contractor.

After sometime of exploring multiple roles I found I grew a long for the freedom. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it consists of taking jobs where you feel you are being underpaid.

Other times it seems like all you do is work from the moment you wake up to the moment you pass out on your laptop. However you also have times when you can just take off of work for an unprecedented amount of time (Given your clients work is completed of course and finances in order). Also the ability to pick and choose my hours and days I work is a very big perk for me. Follow me as I discuss some of my experiences in every role and describe briefly a bit of the quality of life and work life balance associated with them.

Generally here’s how I would sum up each role. The freelancer has in my opinion the most amount of freedom, contractors have slightly less freedom than a freelancer in certain circumstances but still keep a bit of flexibility, employment will bring you stability, and the business owner has infinite potential for success.

The Freelancer

As a freelance software developer, you have the freedom to be your own boss, chart your own course, and work on projects that align with your interests and skills. The allure of freelancing lies in the flexibility it provides: setting your own rates, choosing clients, and working on a schedule that suits you.

This autonomy allows you to explore various industries, collaborate with diverse clients, and continuously expand your skill set.

However, freelancing also demands self-discipline, marketing prowess, and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

With the right mindset and a proactive approach, freelancing can be an incredibly rewarding and lucrative path.

The Contractor

The contractor strikes a delicate balance between freelancing and employment.

As a contractor, you can leverage your expertise and specialized skills to take on short-term projects or engagements.

This role often involves collaborating closely with clients, building strong professional relationships, and delivering targeted solutions within specific timeframes.

Contractors are valued for their domain knowledge and ability to tackle complex challenges.

By working on diverse contracts, you can broaden your network, enhance your skills, and establish a reputation as a trusted expert. Contracting provides both variety and stability, making it an attractive option for many software developers.

Personally I didn’t mind working as a contractor. I was able to work for some great companies and help them achieve their mission. Not to mention all of the soft skills I grew to appreciate everyday. Some skills included planning everyday, rapport building, some basic marketing and sales skills.

The Employee

You will gain growth and stability as an employee for a company as a software developer.

Perks can and are not limited to: the stability of employment, a structured career path, and a supportive work environment. As an employee, you become part of a team, collaborating on exciting projects, and benefiting from mentorship and learning opportunities.

Working within an organization allows you to focus on honing your craft, contributing to large-scale initiatives, and acquiring new skills.

Additionally, employment offers perks such as a steady income, benefits, and access to resources that can enhance your professional growth. Embracing an employee role empowers you to make a meaningful impact within a stable and nurturing environment.

I loved the stability of being an employee and being apart of a team. It was a great experience feeling everyday you contribute to the greater efforts of the company.

The Business Owner

For the ambitious and entrepreneurial software developer, owning a business is an avenue to drive innovation, make a significant impact, and shape the industry’s future. Starting your own software development business allows you to build a team, create your own products or services, and steer the direction of your company.

As a business owner, you’ll need to develop a range of skills beyond coding, including leadership, management, and marketing. The challenges are significant, but so are the rewards.

Owning a software development business empowers you to pursue your vision, disrupt markets, and leave a lasting legacy in the industry.

As a business owner for me, it was pretty stressful at times but what kept me persevering at the time, was the hope I could change the world.


Being a software developer opens the doors to a multitude of exciting and rewarding paths. Whether you choose to embrace the freedom of freelancing, leverage your expertise as a contractor, nurture growth and stability as an employee, or embark on an entrepreneurial journey as a business owner, the software development industry offers boundless opportunities for success.

Reflect on your aspirations, strengths, and long-term goals to choose the path that aligns with your passions. Embrace the challenges, seek continuous learning, and stay adaptable to the ever evolving tech landscape.

Regardless of the role you pursue, as a software developer, you have the power to shape the digital world and make a lasting impact. So, go find your true potential and live up to it!

Learning to code was the hard part if we can all agree? Embrace your chosen role, and embark on a fulfilling journey in the dynamic software development space.

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