When it comes to the dream job, many people cite an opportunity to travel as the most attractive “perk” and working in a remote web developer job is arguably the best way to achieve this freedom.
In fact, web development is also one of the easier ways to get started as a remote worker and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this sector is expected to grow by more than 15% over the next five years. As you may know, this is much faster than most other occupations and the rise of e-commerce and mobile technology is largely the reason for this exponential growth.
Now, in order to know how you can land a job as a remote web developer job, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of a web developer and some common misconceptions about the role:
What is the Role of a Web Developer (and What isn’t)
Web developers are responsible for building the core structure of a website. As part of this role, they will work on the coding, performance or technical aspects of the website, and even create content on occasion. Just so you know, the role of a web developer is not to be confused with that of a web designer, who focuses on visuals from the point of view of the end-user.
But is a professional web developer even necessary anymore?
Web development takes an initial concept and turns this idea into a reality. It’s a complex process that is highly time-consuming and often a frustration for individuals in a remote web developer job.
However, the emergence of WordPress, Wix, and other website builders mean that the role of a web developer is increasingly scrutinized and misunderstood. In other words, these platforms make the process look easy and affordable, which often leaves business owners with a sense of mistrust for professional web developers. It’s true, many people now seem to have a misguided perception of the process, and web developers end up having to prove their value and worth.
Now, that’s not to say these “self-develop” services have no real utility but rather to explain that experienced web developers can produce a much higher quality of web development. More specifically, web developers can create an end-result that will match the initial requirements with much greater detail and accuracy.
1. How Can You Learn to Become a Remote Web Developer
Solo Learn’s Courses – SoloLearnis completely free and you can literally learn any of the most popular programming languages using this app. With an easy-to-use dashboard, this is also a very personalized way to learn code as you can track progress and build an impressive profile to show potential employers.
The HTML Fundamentals Course – HTML is at the core of every web application and this course will help you learn about the fundamentals around HTML. As part of this course, you will learn how to define HTML markup and follow the steps to create tables, images, and lists, as well as textual elements.
The CSS Fundamentals – As you might expect, this is a website on which you can learn about the fundamentals of CSS. You should already have a basic understanding of properties, selectors and values before taking this course but this is a great starting point for laying a solid foundation on your CSS knowledge.
2. Yes – You Can Land a Remote Web Developer Job Without Experience
A remote web developer job can seem out of reach for those with no experience in the field but this is simply not true. Many web developers manage to land their very first job without any formal work experience and a few hours on Youtube can reaffirm that ability and attitude can trump experience.
For example, Ruseberry is a popular YouTuber who is now a senior web developer having started out with absolutely no experience. After learning code online, Ruseberry taught herself Adobe photoshop and illustration and started to create her own website projects using this programming language. According to Ruseberry, posting examples of code on websites such as CodePen and Github is a great way to demonstrate your skills and abilities to potential employers.
On the other hand, Chris Sean recently explained how he used online courses to become a web developer in just three months. In fact, without a high-school diploma or any college experience, Sean went from skipping classes to landing the remote web developer job of his dreams.
And that’s just part of the story…
Chris even managed to talk his way into the job by expressing his passion and enthusiasm for web development to the company owner. After checking out an example website that Sean built using programming code, the company owner was more than happy to take him on without any third-level qualifications.
3. How to Reach Out to Companies and the Importance of a Portfolio
Here are just a few of the most common tips from Youtubers for reaching out to companies:
Print Business Cards – Keep business cards ready at all times and hand them out to local business owners that you come across in everyday life.
Personal Networks – Even if you have no professional network or connections, you most likely have friends and family that you can tell about your services. Your personal network is a great way to find your first clients and this work can be used for your work portfolio at the very least.
Contact Software Developers – Reach out to software developers and either state your services at a discount or offer to volunteer in return for some valuable experience.
Focus on Small Jobs – Say yes to the small jobs that nobody else wants to take and ask that your client allows this work to be displayed in your portfolio. References are very important for web developers and a great way for potential clients or employers to assess your reliability.
About Building a Portfolio
Building a portfolio is the best way to demonstrate your ability to potential clients and employers. As if that’s not enough, creating this portfolio is completely free and helps you learn more about code in the process. For example, GitHub and CodePen are two platforms which allow users to upload their work:
In case you might be asking yourself, GitHub is a web-based service provides control and source code management functionality and adds certain features which enable users to create an attractive portfolio. Meanwhile, CodePen is an online forum for showcasing and testing code snippets and this immense community had more than 300,000 registered users and 16 million visitors every month.
4. What You Should Know About Working from Home
Working from home is a real privilege with the right approach and anyone who disagrees with this statement has likely never worked from home. As with anything in life, there are also disadvantages to the process but these downsides are most certainly outweighed by the benefits.
Benefits of Working from Home
Freedom of Hours – You can literally choose when you start work, when you finish and when you take breaks in between. As lenient as some employers may be, this is simply not possible in most workplaces.
Increased Productivity – Productivity is most often increased when you feel liberated from the constraints of a conventional workplace. Also, remote workers usually get paid based on the work produced and this can be a motivating factor for freelancers who want to earn more money.
No Daily Commute – You can say goodbye to that monotonous daily commute and spend this time either enjoying a coffee or getting a head start with work.
Freedom to Travel – If you work from home, it’s likely you can work from anywhere. For example, most people who take on a remote web developer job end up traveling the world.
No Dress Code – Dress codes can be rather unnecessary and frustrating. Working from home means that you can dress whatever way you want – an obvious benefit for anyone!
Disadvantages to Working from Home
Discipline – With no manager or boss on your back, it can be hard to stay disciplined at times.
Disconnect – Believe it or not, some people claim to feel disconnected from work when they do not have an actual workplace.
Pressure – You will not be privy to the support and guidance of management or peers. Working from home can lead some remote workers to feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Limited Social Life – You will no longer have that same close working relationship with colleagues. For many people, these relationships form an important aspect of their social life and working from home will remove this entirely.
Burnout – Burnout is very common for people who work from home and this is certainly true in a remote web developer job. In this sense, freedom is a great thing but it can also prompt remote workers to take on too much work or too many hours at the laptop.
Now, let’s take a look at a typical day for a web developer who works from home…
5. A Typical Day for a Remote Web Developer
Most successful web developers realize the importance of productivity and establishing a routine. For this reason, it’s quite common for web developers to rise early and start the day as they mean to go on. Whether this involves a coffee or light breakfast, this also tends to be quite a relaxing period in a remote web developer job and certainly a lot more laid back than working from a busy office environment.
After finishing off a project or piece of work in the early hours, many freelancer workers like to spend a short period checking and replying to emails mid-morning. As you may know, this is often the best time to check or respond to emails as this allows you to focus on a priority task first thing.
At this point, remote work really starts to make sense as you are completely free to take another break. Another coffee? Maybe a walk around the block? Some freelancers even take this time to practice yoga! You might need to take calls or consult with colleagues at some point but otherwise, the morning is a fantastic time to get the most important tasks finished.
As for lunch, remote work allows you to whip up something healthy to eat and relax in the comfort of your own living room. On the other hand, you also have as much time as needed to visit the many eateries in the area or even visit a nearby park, local gym or swimming pool – the list is endless.
Whether productivity is high or low, remote work allows you to stay as late as necessary at the “office”. You also have freedom to choose your hours so there is always the option of logging off early and scheduling work in for a later time that week.
Either way, this schedule is always flexible and studies show that over 80% of remote workers have higher moral by the end of each working day. Needless to say, this can result in lower stress and inevitably means that remote workers can unwind in the evening and decide what time they wish to start work the next morning!
6. Working Remotely from a Different Country
Working remote is not what it looks like and many people feel overwhelmed when they first step into the role that comes with being location independent. In fact, there are many misconceptions about working remote and traveling through different countries, but they are mostly ignored until they are experienced:
Travel Becomes a Hindrance – It’s true, travel is little more than a means to get somewhere when you become a remote worker. After all, working on the move is much more difficult than it appears and travel takes time away from getting things done.
Working in Different Timezones – If you happen to work in a different timezone to your clients or employer, this can prove very frustrating for everyone involved. More specifically, delays and miscommunication will usually lead to missed sales and opportunities in general.
Dealing with Tourists –It might sound a little selfish but crowds of tourists can be a nightmare for remote workers. If you think about it, tourists steal the Wi-Fi bandwidth and fill those quiet coffee shops with noise. What’s more, they make everything more expensive and reduce the likelihood for availability when it comes to hotels.
Finding Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi seems like a petty thing to complain about for tourists but this can prove one of the most frustrating aspects of the job for remote workers. The truth is, whether it’s slow or unavailable, Wi-Fi is still largely unreliable the world over.
The Beauty of Working Remote from Around the World
On the other hand, working remotely from abroad is quite possibly the most exciting and rewarding experience. That is to say, if you can handle the downsides above, remote work enables you to travel all over the world and literally mix business with pleasure on a daily basis.
Whether you can afford a lavish lifestyle or not, travel can also be an extremely frugal lifestyle and this is certainly true when compared with the cost of living in most western countries. For example, one can live quite comfortably on less than $1,000 per month in places like Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and most countries in South America. More importantly, you can visit some truly incredible places along the way such as Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat or just spend the rest of your days relaxing on white sandy beaches.
Either way, no matter your preference, remote work allows you to create the lifestyle of your dreams.
But where can you find the remote web developer job of your dreams?
7. Where to Find Remote Jobs for Web Development
Flexjobs – With more than fifty categories, Flex Jobs is a popular job site for every type of freelancer but with more than 20,000 remote jobs at any one time, this is certainly a good place to start your search.
Remote.Co – Every web developer job on Remote Co is hand-picked by staff. You will also find some very useful features in terms of filters and browsing for specific jobs in specific places.
Just Remote – Just Remote is quick and easy to navigate. Also, you can refine the filters to ensure that jobs outside of your specific requirements do not appear in your feed.
Virtual Vocations – Although this job site is mainly focused on writing and paralegal, there are also some very high paid positions for web developers advertised from time to time.
RemoteOK – Remote OK is very user-friendly for employers and home to one of the largest resources for
those looking for a remote web developer job that will allow them to travel.
As you can imagine, these are just a few of the best places to find a remote web developer job. However, you should also know that many employers prefer to advertise directly on the career section of their own website.
8. Networking is the Best Way to Get your First Job
Did you know that the majority of jobs are unlisted? According to Indeed, as much as 75% of vacancies are not listed on job websites. With this in mind, the online world is not always the answer and even these purpose built careers sites are not the best way to find work as a remote web developer.
But what’s the alternative?
Networking is the best way to land your first remote web developer job. For this reason, you should try to attend relevant industry conferences, events, or co-working spaces and try to reach out to individuals in the same field. As you may know, most interviewers have a tendency to favor the candidates they like on a personal level. If you think about it, this also means that networking will drastically improve your chances if a position becomes available and you already know someone within that same company.
9. Don’t Just Land the Perfect Role, Safeguard the Job
Believe it or not, safeguarding their role is one of the greatest challenges for those who manage to land a web developer job. In other words, things move so quickly in this space that web developers need to continually advance and upgrade their skills to stay relevant in the role. With this in mind, it’s important to upskill to stand out, and here are some certifications that can help safeguard a position:
Microsoft MTA Certificate – $115
High school and college students are most often drawn to MTA certification which is designed for people who are completely new to programming. Software development, windows development, mobile gaming and many more key elements are part of this certification and the exams for each module is multiple choice.
Amazon Web Services Certificate – $150
You can learn to design and build applications for the AWS platform on this course and there are no prerequisites for the credential. However, you must undertake an hour long exam to access the course which covers many fundamentals and general information about web development.
Cloudera CCDH Certificate – $295
Cloudera allows you to learn about how to create and optimize Apache Hadoop-based projects which helps businesses make the most of their big data. Once again, you must undertake an hour long exam to access the course but just 70% is enough to pass this exam.
Oracle APEX Certificate – $50
Oracle offers a certification that covers storage, servers, and cloud solutions. In fact, this is one of the most comprehensive certificates to support an application for a remote web developer job. At the same time, this course will best suit individuals who already administer the Application Express Workspaces by Oracle.
10. About Learning Additional Applications and Code Languages
Whether you know one or two languages or none at all, you should always be seeking to learn more in a remote web developer job. As you know, there is not any one language that is absolutely necessary but knowing more than one form of code or application will most certainly boost your resume.
Java – Although twenty years in existence, Java remains one of the most prominent programming languages for good reason. It can run on any hardware and while many Fortune 500 companies use Java for back-end development, this is also the basis of every android app in existence.
Python – Most often used in scientific computing and artificial intelligence, Python is catching up with Java quickly and this is sure to continue with the rise of machine learning in particular.
Ajax – Ajax is a web application that resolves request-response communication requests.
PHP – Also known as Hypertext Preprocessor, PHP was created as a general-purpose coding language to design and build web development projects.
Ruby – Ruby simplifies and abstracts common tasks and enables developers to create websites and applications a lot easier than other frameworks.
You Can Make a Decent Living
Working in a remote web developer job was simply not possible twenty years ago and not even common just ten years ago. However, the rise of online has ensured a steady flow of work for web developers and a very healthy remuneration for those who take time to learn and grow through experience.
In fact, recent estimates indicate the average remote web developer job in the United States will come with no less than $80,000 per year. That being said, there are different types of web development and a front-end developer or full-stack developer is likely to earn much more than a wordpress developer.
But at what price does this salary come?
Well, any web developers will know that deadlines come with the territory and pressure is inevitable in this kind of role. For this reason, developers often experience burnout and can even lose interest in the role due to excessive deadlines. Whether they are under pressure or not, the hours are usually quite long and the possibility of taking a day off is often ignored for the age of getting the job done.
At the same time, it’s just as important to note that more than 85% of web developers are highly satisfied with their career and the work-life balance that one can find in a remote we developer job. Also, there is good news for those who think they might be too late, for there is also no age limit to the role and this survey even details how three hundred inexperienced developers managed land their first remote web developer job in their 30s, 40s and 50s.
As e-commerce expands and the demand for web developers continues to grow, the prospect of landing a remote web developer job will only increase. As a wise man once said, “some people have a hammer and assume that everything is a nail” but for those who think outside the box and take time to learn the code, web development is a realistic career regardless of age, experience, or previous qualifications.