What kind of work do digital nomad web developers do?

#1

Hi everyone! I’m thinking of making the jump from being an office-bound web developer to freelancing instead. I was hoping to talk to some of you who do freelance web dev while living a nomadic lifestyle.

I’m at a bit of a loss, because when I’ve tried looking for posts about this kind of lifestyle, the majority of what I’ve found is for web designers or Wordpress developers, which are both pretty different from being a developer who likes to work with React or whatever other framework.

So for those of you who are living my dream right now:
Are you usually building Wordpress sites, or more often using a framework like React or Ruby on Rails? Or something else entirely?

What types of contracts do you take on? Ecommerce? Building blogs?
Are they on-going, or one-off projects?

How do you get clients while on the road? Is it mostly Upwork or word of mouth?

I have a ton of questions, and would greatly appreciate hearing about your experiences. Thank you!

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#2

Hey! I just made this jump. I found the exact same thing, nobody is writing about the nuances of making this transition, so I started to: Medium @SamFeder. Hopefully some of what I’ve written about resonates / helps.

I generally use tools like Crunchboards, remotecom and codementor to find work, but truth be told, I’ve made the most money through word of mouth.

Feel free to message me any thoughts or questions. I’m always looking to help and curious what people are asking so I can write about it!

#3

Thank you for your response! I’ll take a look through what you’ve written and get back to you :slight_smile:

#4

Frontend web dev here. Been nomading almost fulltime in the last 2 years. Freelancing can work if you have constant work, we all need consistent income. But if you’re jumping from project to project then it might take you a while to find the next project and so you’ll have no income in that time gap. This has been my struggle.

So I would advise the following:

  • Find a way to get consistent freelance work
  • Get a fulltime job in a remote-first/remote-friendly company
  • Build personal/hobby side-projects that might generate income
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#5

What about monthly retainer fees with clients?

Even if it was $50/mo, once you’ve had 10 different clients, that’d be $500/mo passive income. Plenty to cover essential living costs.

#6

Definitely good info, thanks for responding.

What kinds of work do you personally take on, such as building blogs or something? Are you freelancing or with a remote company?

#7

I’ve done work like converting designs into HTML/CSS, web app development, hybrid apps, etc. I’m currently freelancing.

#8

Very cool. So what kind of stack are you usually using when you do your web development? What I mean is, do you find yourself using something React or Ruby on Rails, or is it all Wordpress and PHP work?

#9

I’m focused and specialised in frontend dev so I use HTML/CSS/JavaScript and whatever related framework/library/tool is needed for a specific project.