You might think that programming from home is just a hobby, but the truth is that it can be anything from a casual activity to a serious career move. If you want to learn how to code to get your dream job or you’re already working in IT and looking for ways to improve your skills, programming at home has some big benefits.
Whether you’re already an experienced IT professional or simply want to explore programming on your own time, mastering how to code from home can have a multitude of benefits for your career. We cover eight ways you can develop your career as a programmer working from home below that should help you earn through coding in no time!
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
Practice makes perfect, and when you work with programming on your own time, there’s no one to tell you to stop working or go home. With only yourself to judge your performance, you can work on code for hours or days to get it right.
This is great for beginners because it gives you a chance to learn the basics of coding without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. If you’re an expert programmer, practicing from home lets you practice new programming languages and solve different issues that don’t necessarily occur in work-related projects.
Being able to code with little stress and plenty of time to perfect your skills can be a huge advantage in the programming world. Not only will you be able to hone your skills faster, but you’ll also be more confident in your abilities when it comes time to showcase them in a work or interview setting.
Programming at home also allows you to set goals and targets specific to your needs and interests. If you’re aiming to get a promotion at work, for example, you can create coding challenges that are related to the position you’re eyeing. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new challenge in your career, you can set coding goals that are out of your comfort zone.
Create a Project Portfolio
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but one of the main challenges of working from home is developing a portfolio.
Narrow down your interests and skills to find a focus for your portfolio. It’s best to have a separate portfolio page with links to some of your projects that you can give people when they ask about what you do and how it applies to them.
Work on projects that showcase your skills to future employers or clients. Ideally, this should be something that interests you and something you have a lot of knowledge about.
Working on personal projects not only helps you hone and refine your programming skills but can also help you develop a body of work that embodies your unique voice as a programmer. Distilling your abstract ideas into concrete projects will help you refine your professional skills by allowing you to practice in real-time.
Use Online Resources and Communities
If you’re passionate about programming, all your friends and family likely know it. But surprisingly, most people don’t have the technical background to be able to help you with programming-related questions or challenges you’re facing. Fortunately, working from home allows you to connect with an online community of like-minded individuals who can give you advice and feedback on your projects.
Use online forums such as Stack Overflow to ask programming questions and solicit a code review from experienced programmers. Not everyone will have the time to review your work, but you can find someone near your experience level easily and push each other to become better programmers.
Programming communities can also help you find work. Whether you’re working for a company or as a freelancer, there’s no getting around the fact that searching for clients or employers is difficult. This is where coding communities come into play—they provide valuable resources and information about finding employers and clients through networking.
Get Involved in Open-Source Projects
Working from home also means you have the freedom to work on open-source projects. Open source programming allows anyone to view, edit, and reuse code bases created by developers all over the world.
If you believe—as many coders do—that coding can make the world a better place, contributing to open source projects is one of the most impactful things you can do as a programmer. When you contribute to an open-source project, you’re not only giving back to the community, but you’re also producing code that millions of people will have access to on Github and other repositories.
Attend Online Conferences and Seminars
When you work from home, there’s no commute to a conference or seminar like you would have if you were working in an office. This means that attending events remotely has never been easier.
Real-life conferences and seminars can be expensive; online versions are not only cheaper than their traditional counterparts, but they’re also more accessible. Many online conferences and seminars are free, although it’s common for event organizers to provide paid options for added features like HD video streaming or access to exclusive content. If you’re passionate about coding, it’s worth the investment.
Study Different Programming Languages
Although it’s possible to work as a coder knowing just one or two programming languages, we find it better to have a wide array of languages in your pocket.
Different programming languages are better suited for solving different types of problems, and knowing multiple programming languages will make you a more versatile programmer in the long run.
When you work from home, it’s easier to study different programming languages on your own time. If you’re passionate about coding, the desire to learn new things is likely something that will never go away—which makes it easy to constantly learn new coding languages on your own time.
Take Online Courses and Tutorials
Online coding courses can help beginners and experts alike. If you’re just getting started with coding, programming courses can help get you familiar with industry terms and concepts. And if you want to learn a new language or pick up a new skill, online tutorials can be an invaluable resource for learning from the comfort of your own home.
There are plenty of free and paid online coding courses available, so be sure to do a bit of research to find one that’s right for you.
You can also consider boot camps, which often offer in-person courses and workshops. Boot camps are typically intensive programs designed to make you a professional developer in under three months.
Whether it’s online or at home, studying and practicing the right way will help you become a better coder over time!
Get a Mentor or Coach
In the past, your only options for getting a technical mentor were through an academic institution or being employed by a company. Since working from home is becoming increasingly common, finding a mentor is easier than ever.
There are plenty of ways to find professionals who would be willing to help you develop your programming skills—and in some cases, this may even mean working with someone online or across the world. You can connect with mentors and coaches through local user groups or attend coding workshops.
Working from home as a developer has its downsides but a lack of career development isn’t one of them. It allows you to take on projects that might otherwise get pushed to the side, work on coding tutorials or open-source projects, and attend online conferences and seminars—all of which will help you pursue your passion and develop your programming career in exciting new ways!