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This question is related, but I am on the other end of my career: aged 60, retired in 3 years. I worked all my professional life in the same organization (CEA, the French organization making French nuclear warheads, so the equivalent of US DoE, but I always worked on non-military activities, including free software compilers), except for a one year sabattical at INRIA.

The answers to that related question have been useful.

My resume is online on http://starynkevitch.net/Basile/cv-Basile-Starynkevitch.pdf

I am interested in challenging software development activities on Linux, mostly working from home near Paris, with a few occasional meetings (perhaps in the Euro zone).

I am not sure to have found websites to help me find such work.

For example, I feel being able to design and implement challenging web sites (while subcontracting the artistic design part to others, and focusing myself on the IT part).

In other words, where can I find clients for freelancing? Of course, I am attending meetings close to Paris like Systematic, Paris DeepTech, etc...

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  • And when you tried googling "work from home linux" were none of the many job sites satisfactory? Why?
    – Aida Paul
    Mar 8, 2020 at 19:50
  • What is your question?
    – guest
    Mar 8, 2020 at 19:51
  • My question is : "how to start freelancing". In other words, how and where to find clients? And what are the actual job sites to use? Mar 8, 2020 at 19:52
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    I'm voting to close this question. Probably a better fit on freelancing.stackexchange.com
    – PeteCon
    Mar 8, 2020 at 23:30

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With that much experience you should focus on your professional network. To be frank your age and experience work against you as a freelancer to unknown clients. Whereas they're an asset to people who know you.

A lot of your experience is irrelevant to people's needs and one of the reasons to hire freelancers is cost. At your age I would (perhaps wrongly) assume more health problems and drama than I can be bothered dealing with and your relevant Linux experience is easily covered by someone half your age. Linux hasn't been around all that long.

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  • I wouldn't count it against him, I've hired a share of 50+ freelance devs and they delivered about as much as anyone else. Though important caveat, those were 100% remote jobs (with just occasional meetup) so I generally didn't know the age until decision was made.
    – Aida Paul
    Mar 8, 2020 at 20:43
  • @TymoteuszPaul yes, I've also hired people I've never met, smallish projects at low cost though that were one off work. Whereas almost all my work is from referrals where people I know have matched my skillset to work they need done and trust me to get it accomplished.
    – Kilisi
    Mar 8, 2020 at 20:50
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In other words, where can I find clients for freelancing?

Everywhere.

No, really, everywhere, I am not kidding. All those years in industry hopefully resulted in sizeable Rolodex, use it and let people on it know that you are now freelancing and explain to them how you will bring them value.

After that start trolling all the online boards for jobs, freelance contracts or just local businesses that you think you can help. Plenty of websites and businesses out there that exist solely for that reason.

There are also recruiters who strictly work with freelancers, search around, reach out to few, see what they think. They can usually also provide a good estimate of how do you fit in the corner of the market they are handling, as a lot of contractors and companies go through their hands.

Once you find some, reach out and do your humanely best to sell the value you will bring and problems you can solve for them. Problems you know that they are facing, without having to actually ask; you know it because of your years of experience.

Rinse and repeat. There is nothing special to your situation that isn't true to anyone else who wants to enter the freelancing game. Just gotta keep selling until someone buys it. And be prepared to hear "No" a lot, as no matter how good you are, what's your track record, most of the time it won't work out.

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  • Your answer is true, but too general to be useful. What actual forum are good enough to find freelancing for old but expert Linuxers? Mar 8, 2020 at 20:19
  • @BasileStarynkevitch that's level of detail youw won't be getting here as what website is right or not is extremely different for very much everyone. Gotta do your research, I've merely pointed out the channels.
    – Aida Paul
    Mar 8, 2020 at 20:42

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