On freelancing in Solidity for $100/hr
by Randy Gingeleski
4 minutes to read
Learn Solidity and start freelancing in it before market saturation. For $100 an hour.
Let me make one thing very clear. I can’t freelance because of restrictions from my day job.
This isn’t a complaint. It’s just, usually I practice what I preach. And what I’m suggesting you do here I haven’t done myself.
Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Can you code? Can you write Solidity contracts?
According to CodeMentor’s freelance calculator, that qualifies you to earn $80-$100/hour on average.
There aren’t a lot of people doing it right now. The market is unsaturated. Which means you being a newcomer won’t keep work away.
In this post I want to point you to a bunch of getting started resources. I want you to make freelance bank writing Solidity. I want to live through you.
Kidding. Maybe. Let’s start.
Before we do anything else, you need Node and npm installed on your machine. They should both come together so that’s one whole installer.
Grab Node from here if you don’t have it.
Playing with Ethereum
For familiarizing yourself with dApps or eventually using your own, Toshi looks suitable.
To quote the team behind it, “Toshi is a combination of a few things…  a private and secure messaging app,  a user controlled Ethereum wallet,  a browser for Ethereum apps”.
When I was at Lockheed Martin, using an integrated development environment (IDE) was a branch of this “NextGenLM” initiative.
While I’d hardly call it “next-gen”, you should be using an IDE to code. Autocompletion and keyboard shortcuts will gradually save you a ton of time. You’ll make less mistakes. Everything is right at your fingertips.
For Solidity there’s Truffle IDE. It’s open-source and free, like their own Eclipse project.
Otherwise, I’m sure Visual Studio Code with a bunch of plugins will do just as well. At this point it’s really better than Atom, Sublime, Notepad++ …
Where do I learn to code on my own
Hacker News has a whole thread on this.
Where do I learn to code with a cert
If you want a certificate/credential with some clout, there’s Consensys Developer Academy.
This should help separate you from other freelancers. People - and not just HR people - like certificates. Consensys is a respected entity in the Ethereum space.
You’ll also be in good company. I’m part of the Consensys Developer Academy 2018 class.
It costs a grand ($1000). You could recoup that in ten hours of freelancing, potentially.
I don’t think a cert/cred like this will make or break you. It also adds 10 weeks to your start date, if you were to wait until the end. The choice is yours.
On the topic of Consensys, their newsletter is downright inspiring. The future is being built right now. Check out their newsletter here.
You’re an Ethereum developer now. You’ve got to know your stuff.
Frameworks are great. They save time for us developers, who are fundamentally lazy people. In a good way.
Ideally frameworks keep you from making mistakes (n00b ones or otherwise). Especially security mistakes. Ask my fellow infosec folks.
Here are the biggest frameworks out there for developing with Ethereum and Solidity.
“But I’m a .NET person!!”
Uhh okay. This Nethereum library may be of interest to you.
However then we’re not really working in Solidity. And I’m of the opinion .NET shouldn’t yield that hourly rate.
It’ll be bad for your reputation if you deliver an insecure smart contract or dApp.
There’s an Ethereum security scanner that’s open source from Consensys.
Use mythril on your code before you deliver. At least.
Where to get work
The great thing about the Ethereum ecosystem is it’s very supportive of bounties. With bounties, you can grab some work without much of the selling-yourself process.
And, of course, the more traditional freelance markets apply.
I can’t speak so much to Fiverr, but you should consider video proposals to further set yourself apart on Upwork. That’s the gist of this older post on Elance. The tips there should help here still.
It seems like we’re still early in the growth of a Solidity freelance market. Right now, if you can write Solidity decently, there’s opportunity for you to cash in.
I can’t freelance myself due to work restrictions. This has been a post to help you do it.
Good luck + happy hacking. 🐱💻