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FREELANCE SOFTWARE ENGINEER, IN-DEPTH: You Have To Micromanage Your Time

About this video 

Jordan, a freelance software engineer, describes the challenges of his job, what he likes most, his key decisions, how difficult getting into the industry is, and his work-life balance. He tells us that a key decision in his life was nailing down what exactly he wanted to do out of high school because he was then able to take that to plan out his exact path.

Job Title: Freelance Software Engineer
Employer: Self-Employed

Job Summary: Software Developers

Job Description

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers. Others work in computer and electronic product manufacturing industries.

Software developers typically do the following:
- Analyze users’ needs, then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
- Recommend software upgrades for customers' existing programs and systems
- Design each piece of the application or system and plan how the pieces will work together
- Create flowcharts and other models that instruct programmers how to write the software’s code
- Ensure that the software continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
- Document every aspect of the application or system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
- Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

On-the-Job Training

Variable, depending on whether or not you get a degree. It's possible to learn development skills by building applications using a range of free resources on the internet.

Additional Info

Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers. Some work in computer and electronic product manufacturing industries. Some developers telecommute (work away from the office).

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$60,000 - $145,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
25 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours, Irregular
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Home, Indoor, Office, Remote
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Creativity, Detail oriented, Problem solving skills, Technical skills, Mathematical skills, Patience

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='400'>What</span> <span m='500'>I</span> <span m='600'>love</span> <span m='750'>most</span> <span m='1060'>about</span> <span m='1230'>my</span> <span m='1340'>job</span> <span m='1660'>is</span> <span m='1940'>the</span> <span m='2020'>freedom</span> <span m='2400'>it</span> <span m='2490'>provides.</span> <span m='3160'>I</span> <span m='4320'>can</span> <span m='4480'>pretty</span> <span m='4680'>much</span> <span m='4950'>just--</span> <span m='5780'>I</span> <span m='5880'>wake</span> <span m='6100'>up</span> <span m='6210'>when</span> <span m='6370'>I</span> <span m='6430'>feel</span> <span m='6640'>like</span> <span m='6800'>it.</span> <span m='6930'>As</span> <span m='7070'>long</span> <span m='7280'>as</span> <span m='7370'>I'm</span> <span m='7480'>getting</span> <span m='7750'>my</span> <span m='8250'>stuff</span> <span m='8675'>done,</span> <span m='9100'>I</span> <span m='9230'>wake</span> <span m='9460'>up</span> <span m='9560'>whenever.</span> <span m='10090'>I</span> <span m='10740'>currently</span> <span m='11050'>don't</span> <span m='11230'>go</span> <span m='11340'>to</span> <span m='11410'>bed</span> <span m='11580'>until</span> <span m='11950'>4:00</span> <span m='11990'>AM,</span> <span m='12250'>because</span> <span m='12530'>I'm</span> <span m='12640'>a</span> <span m='12690'>night</span> <span m='12880'>owl.</span> <span m='13570'>So</span> <span m='13750'>I</span> <span m='13860'>wake</span> <span m='14080'>up</span> <span m='14260'>super</span> <span m='14680'>late,</span> <span m='15250'>get</span> <span m='15420'>up</span> <span m='15540'>at</span> <span m='16020'>noon.</span> <span m='16320'>Sometimes</span> <span m='16740'>I</span> <span m='16770'>work</span> <span m='16960'>in</span> <span m='17020'>my</span> <span m='17120'>pajamas.</span> <span m='17590'>I</span> <span m='17650'>can</span> <span m='17760'>do</span> <span m='17870'>whatever</span> <span m='18140'>I</span> <span m='18170'>feel</span> <span m='18390'>like,</span> <span m='18800'>and</span> <span m='18990'>I'm</span> <span m='19220'>still doing</span> <span m='19430'>what</span> <span m='19560'>I</span> <span m='19620'>love.</span> </p><p><span m='20530'>What's</span> <span m='20820'>most</span> <span m='21130'>challenging</span> <span m='21660'>about</span> <span m='21970'>my</span> <span m='22090'>job</span> <span m='22540'>is</span> <span m='23000'>probably</span> <span m='24410'>consistently</span> <span m='25080'>finding</span> <span m='25390'>work</span> <span m='25590'>as</span> <span m='25700'>a</span> <span m='25750'>freelance</span> <span m='26170'>dude.</span> <span m='26690'>I</span> <span m='26950'>used</span> <span m='27140'>to</span> <span m='27200'>work</span> <span m='27350'>for a</span> <span m='27470'>mobile</span> <span m='27710'>gaming</span> <span m='27940'>company,</span> <span m='28390'>and</span> <span m='29560'>that</span> <span m='29820'>was</span> <span m='30420'>consistent,</span> <span m='30900'>but</span> <span m='31000'>it</span> <span m='31050'>wasn't</span> <span m='31620'>doing</span> <span m='31950'>what</span> <span m='32340'>I</span> <span m='32730'>loved.</span> <span m='33120'>What</span> <span m='33510'>I</span> <span m='33560'>love</span> <span m='33780'>is</span> <span m='34010'>making</span> <span m='34440'>really,</span> <span m='34800'>really</span> <span m='34900'>cool</span> <span m='35090'>games.</span> <span m='35530'>The</span> <span m='35970'>company</span> <span m='36240'>wasn't</span> <span m='36390'>going in the</span> <span m='36730'>direction</span> <span m='38270'>I</span> <span m='38550'>was</span> <span m='38920'>super</span> <span m='39010'>feeling,</span> <span m='39490'>so</span> <span m='39860'>I</span> <span m='40120'>moved</span> <span m='40380'>over to</span> <span m='40560'>freelance</span> <span m='40940'>work.</span> <span m='41230'>I</span> <span m='41320'>get</span> <span m='41460'>to</span> <span m='41630'>work on gigs,</span> <span m='41820'>get to</span> <span m='42030'>pick</span> <span m='42320'>my</span> <span m='42460'>own</span> <span m='42590'>stuff.</span> <span m='43210'>But</span> <span m='43510'>finding</span> <span m='43940'>gigs</span> <span m='44190'>I</span> <span m='44250'>want</span> <span m='44450'>to</span> <span m='44510'>work</span> <span m='44740'>on</span> <span m='45015'>is</span> <span m='45290'>kind</span> <span m='45686'>of</span> <span m='46480'>difficult.</span> <span m='47050'>You</span> <span m='47430'>have</span> <span m='47610'>to</span> <span m='47700'>know</span> <span m='47900'>who to</span> <span m='47990'>talk</span> <span m='48250'>to.</span> <span m='48410'>Twitter</span> <span m='48670'>helps</span> <span m='48860'>a</span> <span m='48910'>lot</span> <span m='49060'>in</span> <span m='49495'>that department.</span> </p><p><span m='49930'>The</span> <span m='50310'>key</span> <span m='50520'>decision</span> <span m='50910'>I</span> <span m='51030'>made in</span> <span m='51280'>my</span> <span m='51370'>life</span> <span m='51590'>to</span> <span m='51670'>get</span> <span m='51780'>me</span> <span m='51870'>where</span> <span m='52160'>I</span> <span m='52270'>was</span> <span m='52490'>today</span> <span m='52770'>was</span> <span m='52970'>just</span> <span m='53990'>going</span> <span m='54320'>out</span> <span m='54470'>of</span> <span m='54550'>high</span> <span m='54730'>school,</span> <span m='56140'>I</span> <span m='56590'>locked</span> <span m='56900'>in</span> <span m='56990'>on</span> <span m='57070'>game</span> <span m='57250'>development.</span> <span m='57710'>I</span> <span m='57830'>knew</span> <span m='57990'>that</span> <span m='58120'>was</span> <span m='58240'>what</span> <span m='58360'>I</span> <span m='58390'>wanted</span> <span m='58700'>to</span> <span m='58770'>do.</span> <span m='59270'>I</span> <span m='59290'>knew</span> <span m='59450'>being</span> <span m='59640'>a</span> <span m='59700'>programmer</span> <span m='60130'>was</span> <span m='60930'>the</span> <span m='61190'>path</span> <span m='61550'>I</span> <span m='61640'>should</span> <span m='61830'>take.</span> <span m='62460'>So</span> <span m='62660'>once</span> <span m='62980'>I</span> <span m='63050'>decided</span> <span m='63430'>on</span> <span m='63570'>that,</span> <span m='64099'>finding</span> <span m='64610'>the</span> <span m='64700'>right</span> <span m='64940'>school</span> <span m='65430'>to</span> <span m='65750'>let</span> <span m='65920'>me</span> <span m='66050'>follow</span> <span m='66380'>that</span> <span m='66580'>dream--</span> <span m='67370'>in</span> <span m='67500'>this</span> <span m='67750'>case</span> <span m='67960'>it</span> <span m='68020'>would</span> <span m='68150'>be</span> <span m='68230'>Full</span> <span m='68410'>Sail</span> <span m='68550'>University--</span> <span m='69860'>that</span> <span m='70990'>was</span> <span m='71150'>probably</span> <span m='71430'>the</span> <span m='71750'>biggest</span> <span m='72310'>key.</span> <span m='72580'>Because</span> <span m='73030'>once</span> <span m='73560'>I</span> <span m='73630'>knew</span> <span m='73890'>what I</span> <span m='73970'>wanted</span> <span m='74300'>to</span> <span m='74390'>do,</span> <span m='74835'>d</span> <span m='75280'>then</span> <span m='75750'>I</span> <span m='75890'>could</span> <span m='76070'>sit</span> <span m='76250'>down</span> <span m='76440'>and</span> <span m='76520'>figure</span> <span m='76750'>out</span> <span m='76830'>the</span> <span m='76910'>path</span> <span m='77310'>to</span> <span m='77640'>get</span> <span m='77830'>where</span> <span m='77990'>I</span> <span m='78010'>wanted</span> <span m='78270'>to</span> <span m='78330'>be.</span> </p><p><span m='79180'>Depends</span> <span m='79870'>where</span> <span m='80060'>you</span> <span m='80200'>go.</span> <span m='80900'>Out</span> <span m='81070'>here</span> <span m='81350'>in</span> <span m='81510'>San</span> <span m='81680'>Francisco</span> <span m='82140'>it's</span> <span m='82250'>not</span> <span m='82410'>super</span> <span m='82640'>difficult,</span> <span m='83140'>because</span> <span m='83380'>this</span> <span m='83530'>is</span> <span m='83620'>Silicon</span> <span m='84050'>Valley,</span> <span m='84360'>and</span> <span m='84450'>this</span> <span m='84650'>is</span> <span m='84740'>where</span> <span m='85350'>my</span> <span m='85650'>particular</span> <span m='86470'>line</span> <span m='86640'>of</span> <span m='86720'>work</span> <span m='86890'>is</span> <span m='87010'>in</span> <span m='87090'>demand</span> <span m='87470'>all</span> <span m='87780'>the</span> <span m='87880'>time.</span> <span m='89030'>In</span> <span m='89260'>places</span> <span m='89600'>like</span> <span m='89760'>the</span> <span m='89840'>Midwest,</span> <span m='90380'>I'd</span> <span m='90480'>imagine</span> <span m='90870'>it</span> <span m='91070'>to be a bit</span> <span m='91220'>difficult.</span> <span m='91995'>But</span> <span m='92250'>because</span> <span m='92620'>it's</span> <span m='92750'>a</span> <span m='92820'>digital</span> <span m='93230'>field,</span> <span m='94910'>mostly,</span> <span m='95170'>you</span> <span m='95430'>can</span> <span m='95540'>do</span> <span m='95690'>programming</span> <span m='96130'>from</span> <span m='96290'>anywhere.</span> <span m='97080'>As</span> <span m='97210'>long</span> <span m='97330'>as</span> <span m='97400'>you</span> <span m='97480'>know</span> <span m='97620'>who</span> <span m='97760'>to</span> <span m='97860'>talk</span> <span m='98080'>to,</span> <span m='98310'>you can find</span> <span m='98620'>work</span> <span m='98860'>somewhere.</span> </p><p><span m='99430'>My</span> <span m='99520'>balance</span> <span m='99770'>between</span> <span m='99970'>my</span> <span m='100080'>personal</span> <span m='100490'>life</span> <span m='100670'>and my</span> <span m='100840'>work</span> <span m='101285'>life.</span> <span m='102560'>Basically,</span> <span m='103370'>I</span> <span m='103470'>set</span> <span m='103680'>aside</span> <span m='103970'>X amount of</span> <span m='104360'>hours</span> <span m='104720'>to</span> <span m='104810'>work</span> <span m='105030'>every</span> <span m='105320'>day,</span> <span m='105560'>and</span> <span m='105840'>I</span> <span m='107010'>will</span> <span m='107130'>generally</span> <span m='107510'>wake</span> <span m='107760'>up,</span> <span m='108050'>attack</span> <span m='108420'>those</span> <span m='108620'>core</span> <span m='108900'>hours,</span> <span m='109470'>get</span> <span m='109620'>what</span> <span m='109760'>I</span> <span m='109830'>can</span> <span m='110140'>done.</span> <span m='110510'>If</span> <span m='111190'>things</span> <span m='111630'>aren't</span> <span m='112130'>moving</span> <span m='112470'>as</span> <span m='112600'>quickly</span> <span m='112890'>as</span> <span m='113000'>I</span> <span m='113070'>need</span> <span m='113280'>to,</span> <span m='113400'>I'll add</span> <span m='113700'>extra</span> <span m='113960'>time,</span> <span m='114710'>but</span> <span m='115110'>usually</span> <span m='115820'>I</span> <span m='115950'>have</span> <span m='116070'>enough</span> <span m='116260'>time</span> <span m='116630'>to</span> <span m='117360'>get</span> <span m='117550'>stuff</span> <span m='117820'>done</span> <span m='118270'>and</span> <span m='118500'>hang</span> <span m='118700'>out</span> <span m='118790'>with</span> <span m='119125'>friends.</span> <span m='119720'>As</span> <span m='119880'>long</span> <span m='120300'>as</span> <span m='120510'>you're</span> <span m='122270'>super</span> <span m='122510'>strict</span> <span m='122760'>about</span> <span m='122950'>your</span> <span m='123050'>personal</span> <span m='123410'>scheduling,</span> <span m='123990'>because</span> <span m='124150'>freelancing</span> <span m='124570'>isn't</span> <span m='124770'>for</span> <span m='124890'>everyone.</span> <span m='125760'>I</span> <span m='125910'>knew</span> <span m='126860'>years</span> <span m='127150'>ago</span> <span m='127390'>I</span> <span m='127490'>wouldn't</span> <span m='127690'>be</span> <span m='127800'>able</span> <span m='127940'>to</span> <span m='128009'>do</span> <span m='128130'>something</span> <span m='128410'>like</span> <span m='128550'>this,</span> <span m='128990'>because</span> <span m='129470'>I</span> <span m='129910'>knew</span> <span m='130320'>I</span> <span m='130449'>was</span> <span m='130580'>not</span> <span m='130780'>good</span> <span m='130900'>at</span> <span m='130960'>managing</span> <span m='131310'>my</span> <span m='131430'>time.</span> <span m='132280'>So</span> <span m='132470'>nowadays</span> <span m='132990'>it's</span> <span m='133100'>like</span> <span m='133300'>wake</span> <span m='133550'>up,</span> <span m='134340'>there's</span> <span m='134580'>a</span> <span m='134620'>hard</span> <span m='134900'>six</span> <span m='135140'>hours</span> <span m='135520'>where</span> <span m='135670'>I'm</span> <span m='135760'>doing</span> <span m='136000'>work.</span> <span m='136660'>I</span> <span m='136760'>treat</span> <span m='137020'>it</span> <span m='137100'>like</span> <span m='137300'>I</span> <span m='137360'>would</span> <span m='137630'>if</span> <span m='137750'>I</span> <span m='137840'>were</span> <span m='138000'>to</span> <span m='138070'>go</span> <span m='138360'>out</span> <span m='138540'>into</span> <span m='138760'>an</span> <span m='138810'>office.</span> <span m='139940'>Don't</span> <span m='140950'>goof</span> <span m='141150'>around</span> <span m='141440'>on</span> <span m='141540'>Facebook,</span> <span m='142560'>don't</span> <span m='143050'>read</span> <span m='143310'>Twitter</span> <span m='143570'>all</span> <span m='143660'>day,</span> <span m='143850'>stuff</span> <span m='144200'>like that.</span> <span m='144550'>You have</span> <span m='144690'>to</span> <span m='144760'>be</span> <span m='144890'>really</span> <span m='145070'>strict</span> <span m='145380'>about</span> <span m='145590'>your</span> <span m='145860'>time.</span> <span m='146460'>So</span> <span m='146680'>if</span> <span m='146850'>you</span> <span m='146980'>can</span> <span m='147130'>micromanage</span> <span m='147710'>your</span> <span m='147800'>time,</span> <span m='148280'>you</span> <span m='148530'>can</span> <span m='148710'>strike</span> <span m='148810'>a good</span> <span m='148970'>balance,</span> <span m='149400'>get</span> <span m='149550'>stuff</span> <span m='149760'>done,</span> <span m='150050'>and</span> <span m='150310'>still hang out</span> <span m='150610'>with</span> <span m='150910'>friends.</span> </p>","file":{"id":378756,"video_id":"3374650318001","name":"2313-Jordan-FreelanceSoftwareEngineer2 In-depth","duration":151673,"thumbnail_url":null}});