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How to become a freelance developer: Python course graduate about an alternative to full-time work

While still studying at university to become a physics and math teacher, Daria was introduced to Python in a separate course dedicated to this programming language. A few years later, while already working as a tutor, she decided to try to change her profession and learn more about what had interested her as a student. After completing the Beetroot Academy course, Daria decided to move into machine learning and artificial intelligence. After gaining her first commercial experience through the Academy's community, she became a freelance developer, and her portfolio currently includes three AI projects, namely chatbots for various needs.

A time to make dreams come true

I worked as a physics and math tutor before entering the tech field. However, due to a full-scale invasion, many things changed, including my financial situation. I moved to another country and realized that my salary was not enough to live on. However, this was not even the main reason for my career change. 

I rethought my priorities and what I spend my time on. Finally, I wanted to pay attention to something that had always interested me: Python. Back at university, I had a separate course where we were given a good foundation, so I was already familiar with the basics of this programming language. I liked that it had a simpler syntax than other languages and wanted to understand it in detail. So, I decided that it was time to try my hand at it and take Python seriously.

I have never regretted choosing the Academy

I had heard about the Academy at university, and when it came time to choose courses, I immediately became one of the options. At first, I compared programs from different schools because I didn't want to go deep into web development. In many places, this is the main focus of the Python course, so I was looking for a program where it would be only a secondary topic, as it is at the Academy. 

I am happy with my choice. Now, after graduation and with experience in the industry, I realize how well the program is designed and the topics are chosen. I had two professors in my course, and they did everything to ensure that each student understood the topic: they stopped, explained it again, and gave additional examples. I really liked the compilation of additional materials for each lesson – everything is clear, high-quality, and in one place.

In general, communication with the Academy's teachers and managers was pleasant from the beginning to the end, and I am happy to recommend these courses for learning a new profession. 

Freelancing as an alternative way of development 

Immediately after graduating, I focused on additional studies. I was interested in Data Science, so I took another course in machine learning. At the same time, I sent resumes and monitored vacancies because I initially planned to get a job in a company. I had to perform many test tasks, but it was a good practical experience. Thanks to one of these tasks, when working with ChatGPT, I delved into the topics of artificial intelligence and large language models. 

I stopped looking for a job during this project because all my attention and time were devoted to it. Now, I work as a freelance developer focusing on AI or machine learning projects. It's a good opportunity to gain commercial experience and expand my skills and portfolio, and it's also an alternative to full-time work in a company. In my opinion, freelancing allows you to gain a lot of experience in a shorter time because you often work on different tasks and projects. 

How to get started as a freelance Python developer

For beginners, it's a good idea to create a good LinkedIn profile: include all the necessary data, work experience, resume, project examples, and everything in as much detail as possible because, in my experience, this is 75% of success. You can also look for projects on LinkedIn, and I advise you not to be afraid to respond to offers from foreign companies. 

Next, you should constantly improve your resume and gain relevant experience. First, look for non-profit projects, ask your professors at the Academy for advice, and follow thematic groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, think about what specific area you are interested in. For example, I knew from the very beginning that I did not want to dive into web development, and I came to machine learning and AI later. So, reflect on your past experience and preferences; it will make it easier to find projects, and you will definitely work with interesting tasks. 

Also, when you apply for a project, a cover letter will be an important bonus—it makes you stand out at the resume selection stage and presents you as a specialist. Therefore, be sure to learn how to write it correctly. The career counseling module after the main course at the Academy, where recruiters and HR will review it and help you improve it, can help. 

Veronika Yakubova
Content creator at Beetroot Academy
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