$100 an Hour as a Software Developer?

I hear and see a lot of vblogs hyping that you can earn $100 or even $300 an hour freelance in the tech industry as a software developer. My question is: if they’re preaching that this hourly rate can be charged, why aren’t they doing it? If I were making a $100 to $300 an hour writing software as a freelancer (being my own boss) I’d be doing just that and not writing on this blog. I freelanced for 5 years using the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) and its related frameworks. I worked hard and constantly searched for good paying clients. I had a variety of clients but none came close to a $100/hr mark. The closest I got was $60/hr and these clients were far in between and rare. It is simple math. Clients that can afford to pay a rate of $100/hr are mid to large size companies. Most companies that can afford this rate hire full time developers which they can have better oversight over the development/project. I’m not saying $100/hr clients don’t exist but they are very rare. After 5 years of freelancing, I grew tired of chasing work and not being financially stable. I was hired as a software developer by a Fortune 500 Company making $100,000 per year. It was a relief to finally have a lucrative position and stable income. I really enjoyed freelancing, but the income inconsistency and less than favorable hourly rate wore me down. You’re more likely to succeed as a freelancer if you take your self out of the writing the code equation, and hire a coder to do the coding and you focus on building a client list. I learned this a little too late in my freelancing career. I since then bought a hotel in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica (yes with the money I made and saved at the Fortune 500 Company position) and do a bit of software development for our in-house POS system. Overall, $100/hr as a freelancer sounds like a dream job. The only problem is that more times than not, it is too good to be true.

Author: Luis Fernandez

Luis Fernandez is a businessperson in the hotel and software industry. When not glued to a screen, he listens attentively to his 4 years old's imagination.

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