How to be a location-independent developer?
People often ask me what would be a smart path for a fresh web dev to get location-independent as fast as possible, without having that “first job”?
Here is what I have to say.
There are no shortcuts here (not that I’m aware of anyways), so you have to spend your thousands of hours to achieve a true understanding of a field you’re in.
Having said that, if you are a good self-learner (and most technical-minded people are), then you can potentially skip the office job altogether. But you need to be aware, that – as compared to a traditional office job – you’ll have to develop your soft skills (interpersonal, sales, marketing) at the same time as you’re developing your hard skills (best practices, testing, efficient patterns, specific languages and frameworks, devops, etc). It might not be easy, and it’ll definitely take time.
If you’re naturally outgoing and extraverted, this might help with sales. But this will not help with your technical skills, where you’ll have to spend countless hours in front of your laptop, learning stuff – all by yourself. The opposite is also true.
I’m not sure what your financial situation is, but maybe it’s better to work for a year or two in a great team (yep, in an office!) where you can learn a lot of technical stuff and become a professional, and then take a leap? This will provide you with a safe (although, entry-level) salary, and free time to develop your soft skills.
Then you can check places like https://weworkremotely.com. Just don’t go to Freelancer / Upwork / etc – you’ll be competing with a very low-paid individuals there and pressed for deadlines all the time – not the best learning environment.