Vitor's Blog
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How to get your first freelance job?

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Your portfolio matters less than it seems.

If you only have exercises and personal projects on your GitHub, know that this will help you less than it seems to get your first freelance.

A lot of people hammer on the portfolio, and that's the most important thing you can build at the beginning of your career, but that's a fallacy. If you're looking for a quick freelance opportunity, you're going to need to create an image and show that you know something. Exhale what you study.

What would it be like to exhale what you study? There are several examples on Twitter. Eduardo does a lot of lives on Twitch and talks a lot about OCaml, if I had a question about this lang it would be him I would talk to. Sibelius manages to convey the image that he knows everything. Daniel smells and lives PHP. Guilherme talks about Haskell, when I think about lang I remember him, it's automatic. NFT and related? fakenickels. Solana, blockchain, and Rust? Me or Igor. Every time I post something about Solana, Rust and that involves this blockchain branch because I work with it.

I gave these examples - and it's full out there - to show that people have consolidated images about what they like. All these examples exude what they know - or what they show/seem to know. And that's what matters to getting a freelance.

What you seem to know matters more than what you actually know - for non-technical people, like customers in general.

Your customer is not technical

Another point is that your client - probably - doesn't know how to read code. This person doesn't care how you've written your awesome portfolio and super-organized commit pattern. She wants the project up and running, done by a person she trusts and seems to understand about it.

Personal experience

I've been coming for a while - about 4 months - building the image of the techs I want to show you know. I currently work with Solana, Rust, and TS. Over time I've been sharing content about, showing my evolution, and commenting. I've posted some memes about Solana, I help when I see a question, etc. The result of this is that now, normally when someone wants to know something about Solana, I'm probably going to get tagged on Twitter or get some DM/Discord message.

In the last few days, I've been talking a lot about Rust and I've already received some messages asking for tips on how to get started in this lang.

Based on what I've managed to build, I also regularly get job opportunities involving Solana and Rust.

Side Effects

The side effects of all this will also make you get good opportunities because people will recommend you. And at that point, your portfolio might even be interesting - for other devs to know what you know.

Some of the proposals I received were indications from those who knew my knowledge in Solana, and they only knew that because I allowed it and showed it to everyone.

Another thing is that "seeming" to know, makes you really know one day. Commenting on something and being involved in it daily makes you evolve independently. But be careful not to lie to yourself. Never stop programming. I recommend reading my Dev 10x article