rise of the contract coder subspace freelance software development study

 What makes freelance developers different?

Read our new study on the state of the freelance software development market, and the coders who make it


Findings from the study

As software eats the world, those writing the code are increasingly going on contract. Software developers now account for 29% of all freelancers, thanks in part to a profusion of collaboration and communication tools that support remote work, and to the fact that businesses are more comfortable outsourcing. But who are the freelancers building all this software?

freelance developers are paid less subspace

Their #1 challenge is finding well-paid work

Freelancers say the number one way they find work is through dev shops. The second is freelancing sites. Overwhelmingly, they say that finding good, paid work that fits their niche skills is a top challenge to freelancing.

freelance developers are more likely to have children subspace

47% have children

Far from the trope of sandal-clad twenty-somethings coding on a beach, almost half of freelancers are family men. (Yes, men. Ninety-three percent are men, compared to only 91% of non-freelancers.)

freelance software developers work 20 hours per week subspace

54% have < 20 hours of availability each month

The rest are ready to take on the equivalent of a part-time or full-time job. There’s a tremendous amount of untapped supply in the freelance developer market.

freelance developers have more experience subspace

They may commit higher quality code

Freelancers have almost four more years of coding experience than their non-freelance counterparts, and spend 14% more time each week in code review.