For many people, going solo as a full-time freelance developer can be terrifying. In the “gig economy,” promises promoted by so many platforms and marketplaces just don’t pan out. You login and check for “jobs” only to find you’re competing in a reverse auction with offshore talent ostensibly willing to do your job for pennies on the dollar.
Over a rolling 12-month period we have collected data representing more than 30,000 hours of project and product development work. Having analyzed that data, we have arrived at a prime definition of the ideal contributor, a persona we have defined as the Professional Freelancer.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) they are a 9- or 10-level expert in their practice area, which, for the purposes of Gun.io, includes some combination of one or two of the following skill areas: Project Leadership, ScrumMaster, Product Management, Development, Design, User Experience, Quality Assurance, DevOps, or SecOps.
The Professional Freelancer is not a “side hustler” or “moonlighter”. They are available, present, and accountable during North American daylight hours. The PF enjoys being challenged across two to three simultaneous projects, each of which they would be willing to deliver with their name emblazoned on the result.
The Professional Freelancer craves and responds well to the rewards and responsibilities of:
By joining our worldwide community of freelance developers, whether or not you are immediately able to support your own PF career mandate, you will declare your desire and dedication to achieving the full-time, self-employed crafts(wo)man ideal.
If your application is accepted, you will join and be supported as a community member of our exclusive, invite-only Slack community, Team Gun.io. As a member you will interact and build relationships with a cohort of like-minded and exceptionally brilliant professionals, each of whom also aspires to the PF ideal. You will enjoy educational resources and chats facilitated to advance your PF career and you’ll seek and share team-based projects to help build your freelance income and experience member-to-member.
As you establish yourself as a meaningful value-adding member of Team Gun.io, you will receive access to “open roles,” which are opportunities to join existing Gun.io client projects, each of which invites you to join substantial project teams with an average duration of at least 7 months and one-third (~10 hrs/wk) to half-time (~15 hrs/wk) billing opportunities. These valuable positions are far more rare than one might find on a “marketplace” like Toptal, Upwork, Freelancer, or many others. As such they are far more valuable as a stepping stone to the PF career path.
Positions worth having are worth patience and commitment to attain. Top PF earners on Gun.io achieve annual earnings approaching $200,000 per year while working between 30 and 40 hours/week. These coveted positions become available only after each member of our PF tier has passed on the opportunity, making inclusion in the PF tier an exceptionally valuable opportunity.
As the PF tier ranks increase, the availability of open roles that remain unfilled becomes harder to attain. Only the most effective, value-adding community members achieve promotion to the PF tier. Once access to the PF tier has been earned, it’s up to each PF to maintain their status by contributing to projects at the peak of their abilities. In other words, to paraphrase Jonas Salk, “The reward for a job well done is another job.”
The best of the best members of Team Gun.io earn the opportunity to:
Gun.io is not another “marketplace” with streams of race-to-the-bottom “gigs” that devalue true crafts(wo)men practitioners. We abhor business models that encourage low quality, low price, and low durability engagements. We turn away clients seeking quick-and-dirty one-off jobs who fail to respect US market rates.
Imagine what it’s like to be paid every week for your previous week’s output without having to invoice. Imagine what it’s like to make a substantial income working 25-35 hours/week.
Picture yourself in your home office choosing to work anywhere between half-time to full-time while you make more time for family, hobbies, and passion projects. Visualize what it feels like to be backed by a team of like-minded professionals, all within a team-based culture of choice backed by enduring Core Values.
The chart below demonstrates the distribution of annualized gross incomes across the Gun.io Professional Freelancer workforce as of the publishing of this article.
“Gun.io’s been great, it’s made freelancing better in so many ways.”
“There’s visible improvement, it’s not just lip service”; “this business is about freedom, love, trust.”
“Working with Gun.io has, for the first time, allowed me to fit work into my life instead of life into my work.”
“Gun.io is the only company I’ve come across so far that I would work as a freelancer for indefinitely.”
“I love the fact that I don’t have to manage accounting, finding new clients, billing --- all that.”
“Yes, I’m a contractor, but I feel empowered. Everybody gets to run their own piece of the pie.”
“[Gun.io is] not just a marketplace, but a company, a culture, and a community.”
“Gun.io has felt the most professional out of all other platforms, with a standout sense of community and culture.”
Apply to join our exclusive, invite-only Slack community and join a cohort of like-minded aspiring PFs with free education and job opportunities.
We are seeking members with the following skills: project leadership; scrummaster; product manager; UX/UI design; all types of development; QA; devops; secops; and more (tell us about your mastery).