Remote working has become an increasingly prevalent trend over the past two years, transforming the way many people do their jobs and structure their lifestyles. As a software engineer, you have the opportunity to work remotely, so it is important to know whether it is the right choice for you and how you can make it work.
Although remote working has only been stress-tested over the last couple of years because of worldwide COVID restrictions, the majority of doubts over its practicality have now been eliminated.
In fact, many people have found remote working to have increased their productivity, improved their quality of life, and allowed them to better balance their work and their leisure time.
Of course, this lifestyle doesn’t come without its downsides. You may find that many businesses want their software engineers to work in-house, so you will be restricted if you want to work remotely for a single company full time. However, this is only one of many options open to you as a software engineer. Given the huge demand for software (which is only set to increase over the next decade), you potentially have a lot of scope to grow your own one-person business or freelance for various clients.
Above all, remote work requires a recalibration of what it means to work as a software engineer. Instead of focusing on commuting to an office, you can set your sights on traveling, finding new experiences, and spending time with family and friends. It is a ticket to a more rounded lifestyle.
Here’s how to work remotely as a software engineer:
You can complete your computer software learning online
If you want to pursue a career as a software engineer remotely, you will have to start by training yourself in the necessary skills. Although you could enroll with an ‘in-person’ university in order to do this, if you are trying to set up a more flexible remote lifestyle for yourself, this is far from ideal.
Instead, you could opt for an online masters in software engineering, which would give you all the benefits of a conventional software engineering master’s without the need to compromise your lifestyle by being beholden to a particular town or city in order to complete your degree.
Completing your degree remotely allows you to start building your remote working routine early, helping you to get used to how it works and how you can get the best out of yourself. As a result, you will likely finish your degree with an experience of remote working, cutting out the added stress caused by starting a remote working routine while setting up a business.
There is a strong demand for software engineers in a variety of industries
If you want to work remotely as a software engineer, you’re going to need a stable income. One of the hardest aspects of starting a freelance business is that you will often find it to be ‘famine or feast’. This means that sometimes you will have too many clients to handle, and other times the offers dry up, and you’re struggling to pay the bills.
However, as a software engineer, you will likely find no shortage of work in your chosen industry. This is because thousands of businesses (if not all) use software in some way or another, which means they will always find your services valuable.
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It is also why many software engineers earn large salaries because there are more businesses than there are engineers, putting a premium on software services.
There are many software engineering jobs that don’t require you to work in an office environment
Although it is true that many software-related jobs involve you working for a business in-house, there are plenty more that don’t.
In fact, to lead a remote working lifestyle as a software engineer, all you have to do is adjust your mindset. There are plenty of businesses that don’t want or need a full-time software engineer but a hired hand who can jump in and help them when necessary.
This is certainly true, for instance, if you’re helping a company design and build an app or implementing security software protocols. The very fact that you work freelance makes you more attractive to them because you are a no-strings-attached solution to their software problem.
Furthermore, it might be worthwhile for you at some stage to found your own fully-fledged software business. If you’ve always wanted to create a particular game, app, or security service, for example, you can build it yourself. While this would require a significant amount of capital, it is far from impossible given your skillset.
This latter option could be hugely lucrative if it is successful and provide you with a rewarding project to sink your teeth into. Given that it would be your enterprise, you can set the rules yourself and work wherever you want.
The digital economy is growing exponentially with increasing opportunities
The fact of the matter is that the world relies more and more on software. It runs everything from computers to cars, which means there is no shortage of options to take as a software engineer.
Unlike many jobs, software is not location-specific. You can write or manage software from anywhere on earth with an internet connection, and there is demand for your services wherever you choose to go.
It is now increasingly easy to work abroad, with flexible visas, cheap flights, and a variety of different accommodations. Indeed, thanks to the burgeoning digital nomad movement, many countries are specifically setting themselves up for remote workers, boasting super-fast internet, pleasant places to work, and communities of fellow nomads.
Even better, if you get bored by the software you specialize in now, you can always make a change further down the road. In fact, there are whole new industries popping up on a yearly basis, from blockchain to online accommodation platforms like Airbnb. There’s no doubt that this trend is set to continue, so you’ll never be short of new industries to specialize in.