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I want to start making money as a programmer, I'm on the third year at uni (mature student), I have skills but not at the top level since I have to work to maintain myself. for another time while working on projects for uni I saw I can do quite a lot thus I'm sure I can improve my skills fast if I can spend enough time on programming - the problem is I don't have it now. to change it I want to start as a programmer - I guess freelancing would be the best. I enjoy coding a lot, this is what can make me stay up nights and days and I will be happy to do that if it gives me money and opportunity to learn and my work will be rewarded appropriately to my effort. I don't expect god knows what - I know I'm a starter.

the question is - where do I start? I know websites like odesk, getacoder and a few others - has anybody used them? are they reliable? how do I find a potential employer? how do I convince the employer I have skills and if I don't I'm capable of getting them fast because of my passion for programming and ability to learn fast? I think the last one is the most important because - as I mentioned - I will improve my programming skills as soon as I start doing it more intensively. I can't take part in projects at uni because I have to work. I don't have any projects of my own - because of the same reason. would be useful to show some work apart from what did for uni - I mean when applying for a job?

I'd like to program with java - this is what seems to be the most interesting technology for me at the moment. but obviously this is not the only language/technology I can learn or improve.

if anybody can give me a tip - will be great.

closed as off-topic by gnat, enderland Dec 5 '14 at 11:37

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – gnat, enderland
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NOTE:Answering based on my personal experience.

All the freelancer sites occupied by experienced people and as a fresher we cannot get projects by convincing the employer that we have skills to work.To be a best freelancer we need to have some tags in our profile which states our skills in visible and practical way(only this things will be considered by employer(s)).We have some tests available within the sites which helps the employer to trust our skills and based on our performance in those test we are awarded credits and some tags which will be useful for us to prove our skills and then we can get some fame then the employers will trust us and will assign projects.

The final word is as a fresher even we have skills to work we cannot get projects to work in freelancer sites.Take the tests show your proficiency and succeed as a good freelancer.

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When I was in Uni, I used to work pretty much full time as a freelance.

The websites you are talking about are really difficult to work with if you don't have experience. And on top of that, it's not really well paid.

But you have to know that around you, you have possibly many different contracts awaiting you. The issue is that they are looking for a developer but they don't know any.

Gain visibility

Visibility in your uni is what will give you your first contracts.

You uni probably has an IT club or something like this. Although you might consider boring etc, it's a really good way to gain visibility and to be considered "skilled" by people. Create websites for other clubs in your school, or small software etc. You probably won't get paid but you will gain visibility again on top of gaining experience (which is very important, it's better to make a mistake there than when it will be paid).

Once you have done some work for few people, if they are happy, you can be sure that they will recommend you next time they hear someone looking for a developer. It happened many times like this for me. And on top of that, although you didn't earn any cash for the first ones, you can easily negotiate free entry to their club parties, or drinks etc... In general, it's hard for them to give you cash, but they can easily offer different things which are better than nothing.

You don't have to, but going to parties like these where you are responsible for the software they use etc, basically, without you, they couldn't do it gives you even more visibility.

And once you start having some real clients, be sure to stay professional and you will soon get more clients etc... This is a small world, if people feel like you didn't cost too much and were hard worker and professional, you can be sure to be hired again or that your name will pop-up in conversations.

One of my biggest clients (I got a 7000€ contract while in uni from him (which is pretty huge when you are still a student!)) came to me directly. The president of the IT club gave my name to him because he considered me the most skilled and that I worked hard.

So, to help yourself in the future, help others. On top of doing sometimes some cool projects, you will gain a really valuable experience and a contact list (which is the most important when you freelance).

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