If you are a programmer and you want to try your hand at this type of work you should first master your programming skills in the specific tasks for which you offer your profession.

Remember that chickens are coming home to roost so even if you’re tempted, don’t propose yourself for jobs that require skills you don’t have. You will only feel frustrated when the company takes you through a test or confronts you with a problem you’ve never faced without having the slightest idea of where to start.

Which companies do they hire remotely?

Remote work is offered by more and more companies in Italy. In northern Europe, the concept of flexibility has come before us and the concept of working on the move is also inherent in the concept of time flexibility. From there to remote work is just another step.

Agencies undoubtedly manage the work process remotely better than large companies, most of which the concept of telework is still seen as a lack of control over their employees.

Small software houses, communication and marketing agencies are definitely the best companies to start this job opportunity.

What are the most sought-after professions for remote work?

Fortunately, most professions are in our area, fortunately for us. All of those are related to the digital world: web and mobile software development for (including apps), IT and networking, data science and analytics, graphic designers and designers.

There is also an interesting part of professionals linked to the world of writing (writers, translators, interpreters) and legal.

Credits: Nomadidigitali.it

Websites for remote work

There are many sites that offer the possibility of intermediate between companies and freelancers, allowing the first ones to propose real projects to be entrusted to programmers remotely, as well as continuous remote collaborations.

Upwork

Upwork is the ideal place to find more customers and to manage and grow your freelance business.

On Upwork you manage your business and choose your clients and projects. The greater the success of projects, the greater the likelihood that they will be taken on by customers using Upwork.

Twago

On Twago you can buy credits (you’ll have 35 as soon as you sign up) and propose yourself for the projects that are hosted on the platform. Some projects have deposit funds from the supplier that work like advances but are brokered by the platform.

Freelancer

You can choose up to 20 skills you take care of and start with the basic plan (free). The projects are also organized for remuneration (between a minimum and a maximum) established by the customer.

The competition is very intense and you see jobs often paid very little.

PeoplePerHour

Very similar to freelancer, even in the layout.

With a little less competition and a little more profit.

Guru

Here you can buy credits without spending a fortune and contact the customers of your interest: often they are real companies.

If you are looking for job offers for the development of more elaborate projects such as apps, mobile or systems to develop in teams, Guru offers really interesting projects with excellent remuneration.

Coderblock

A separate chapter concerns Coderblock, an Italian startup founded in 2016 and winner of TechItalia 2018, now has more than 2000 freelancers and more than 500 companies, guaranteeing a remarkable balance in the competition.

The strong point of this platform is that freelancers do not have to pay to present their budgets, as is the case in all other platforms: the credits will be scaled only if the customer accepts the offer, thus not unfairly burdening those who do not only it was not chosen, but had to pay to send a quote (a nonsense if you think it took you some time to write it).

Managing your time

Perhaps the most difficult thing when programming remotely is time management. Often in programming there are problems arising from bugs that must be solved, analyzes that require more time than expected and dialogues with the customer who does not always know what he wants or has all the materials needed to complete the project (especially texts and images).

When I say that he does not know what he wants I mean that often the logic that a programmer needs to describe the functioning of the applications – but also of the pages of a website – is more complex than that which a customer thinks because he foresees complex case studies and management of situations that are often unpredictable by those who are not in the sector. It is here that an additional time must be evaluated to resolve these nodes before starting the project.

Often it happens that these nodes happen during the performance, slowing down the execution and complicating the execution of the work both for the client and for the programmer. Since we are professionals, it is us who conduct the work, defining roadmaps and precise tasks – in writing – stating that anything not written is not included (as travel agencies do when they organize a tour).

Taskomat

But how important is organization in time management? Where you mark deadlines, customers, projects, so you can answer the only question your customers always ask you (as well as how much it costs):

for when will it be ready?

In the various forms: how long does it tak? is it ready for tomorrow? it’s urgent. Well, this is easy come one, it takes you just some minute

If you only have some work, an Excel file or even calendar reminders are enough. But as soon as you find yourself following more than one client on different projects, a tool like Taskomat, which is simple and intuitive to organize all your deadlines, also allows you to answer the first question seriously, without finding yourself then having to swear because you had forgotten a job to do and you have to call the customer to apologize.

Or worse still pretend nothing happened and hope he forgets the deadline. Hint: customers never forget anything. If they don’t tell you it is only because they are tied to the finger.

Alberto Tiboni, CTO of Taskomat, gave us his testimony on his vision of remote work, (original ITA).

Vivo in cima a un monte, ho km di bosco a 20 metri dal portone di casa, ruscelli, alpeggi, fauna, flora, serenella e quant’altro… il paese più vicino è a 8km, la città più vicina a 45 abbondanti.

Dovrei stare 3 ore al giorno in macchina come minimo se non lavorassi da remoto.

Odio il traffico.

Non vedo l’ora che le auto si guidino da sole. Ma è un altro discorso.

Per me è diventato vitale avere il mio ufficio nel mio ambiente casalingo e non separare la vita professionale da quella personale (cosa molto sana se non ti fai prendere la mano) e avere la possibilità di plasmare la mia giornata perfetta e manifestarla in ogni giorno della mia vita per me non ha prezzo.

Ho la possibilità di seguire i ritmi biologici e non quelli industriali, di stare almeno 2 ore tutti i giorni immerso nella natura, fare lunghe passeggiate, respirare aria pura, bere acqua di fonte, prendermi cura dei miei pensieri in un ambiente adatto.

In estrema sintesi, per me lavorare da remoto è “solo” una condizione necessaria per poter perpetuare lo stile di vita dei miei sogni. 

Types of remote work

You can work remotely a little, a lot or really so much.

Little

There are companies that offer remote work for some days a week (usually from 1 to 3) as a facilitator for programmers who avoid home-office travel (perhaps in another city) or who organize only meetings of planning and updating of the works and then allowing the development activity to be conducted in the respective dwellings (or studies, usually coworking).

This possibility is also of great help for companies, which can reduce workstations, with consequent savings on connected services and on the sizes needed to host developers (not counting fans to cool brains trusts).

A lot

Then there are companies that have an organized structure to work remotely. In these cases, all or almost all employees can work from home thanks to specific tasks that are assigned to them by a management company inside the company, managed by tutors who are then trusted by the entrepreneur. Larger and more organized companies are also able to automate this level thanks to artificial intelligence.

Some companies have tried, in my opinion with a bad result, to use tools to monitor employee activity remotely, installing software that records the time spent in front of the PC. The problem with this approach is that it tries to reproduce a concept that already makes little sense in the companies in which the time of entry and exit is in force: establishing the time a person passes in front of his workstation is equivalent to ensuring a return ( minimum) of that resource. And this is associated with an idea of equality which tends to give all employees the same treatment.

The most avant-garde companies from the point of view of smart working, on the other hand, have understood that what really motivates their employees are the assigned objectives and the reward generated to achieve the objectives. To do this, however, the objectives must be gradual, achievable and calibrated on the capabilities of the individual worker, even balancing the corresponding reward.

Really so much

Finally there are freelance workers who, with their VAT number, are real freelancers. They work for more clients, located throughout Italy or sometimes all over the world, and have a direct relationship with each of them. They manage both the commercial and the development part and are, in a nutshell, small companies. When started well, they manage to continue their work thanks to word of mouth, which despite the digital age, is still one of the first ways to carry on its business.

Of course, if you work well.

I’m a company: how can I find programmers remotely?

If you are a company that has never experienced a remote collaboration usually fears mostly concern the reliability of the programmer proposed. Will it be up to par? Will you try to fool me? Will you leave me with the job halfway?

The answer is made of two parts: good fences make good neighbours.

Good fences: define precisely what you need

I read from time to time job requests that seem more like whining: poor me, they cheated me and now I’m very angry (subtitle: I’ll make you pay for it). Perhaps it is not useless to underline that this is not the best way to start a work relationship (but a relationship in general). No one cares much about the past of those who don’t know, but what emerges is the probable future that awaits you, or that of having to pay the penalties of a customer who is reluctant to trust us.

What you need instead is to say and write exactly what you need. It will be a way to be able to sit at the table not only in the preliminary phase, but also during meetings for updating projects, with the precise points to follow.

Good neighbours: use appropriate tools

Trust builds over time. It is not given to anyone. There are certainly incorrect professionals who take advantage of them. Just as there are companies that do the same. But ultimately the trust that is established between company and professional is born above all from the relationship that binds them over time.

The best advice, if you find a reliable professional, is to keep it. Even if it costs a few euros more. Indeed, I will tell you more: there will always be those who will offer you a lower price. Evaluate carefully if it’s worth it, especially if you can negotiate a better price, but do not fool yourself that your collaborator is “cheating” because maybe he is only looking after the quality better than his competitor would.

If you are looking for a new one, then keep these simple points in mind:

  • be honest with him and he will be (more easily) with you. If you try to scrub it in any way (even putting unplanned jobs on it) it will lose the respect and the desire to work with you.
  • write a contract. You don’t need a notary to draw up a contract. Write down exactly the things you want from him and ask him to integrate it with the details. Reread it together and that will be the starting point of your work. Establish by contract the fees, the methods of collaboration, the payment installments and what they are subordinated to. But above all insert SLA.
  • call. Prefer verbal communication to written communication in the operational phase. If you have already defined everything to do, it makes no sense to send mileage e-mails to ask for things you can also say on the phone. It helps maintaining good relationships and will increase your mutual trust.

Always remember that the professional you hired is your collaborator, not your slave. Bring him respect and value his work. If he makes a mistake, point it out to him because he understands that it is important for you, not because he perceives that you want to humiliate him.

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