Become a Traveling Programmer… For Free!

By Carrie Wilder | Last Updated: May 14, 2024 

Here’s the deal:

The tech industry is booming with possibilities for aspiring digital nomads.

But how do you get the skills required to bust into this burgeoning industry?

All of the websites you visit, apps and games you use, softwares you purchase and even Social Media sites are all written in various computer languages, or code.

These computer languages are written and developed by programmers who tell the computer what to do.

Programmers make really decent money, and have the ability to work from anywhere.

The best part is:

You can learn programming for free

In this article, you’ll learn about various programming jobs, how much you can make as a programmer and where to learn these skills for free so you can start your life as a traveling programmer ASAP.

What is programming?

Programming is a term that can be used to describe writing the code that everything on the internet is built with today.

Programming/computer language, AKA code, makes up every single thing we do online.

Every website, app, game, software and even Social Media platform is written in various computer languages.

A programmer is someone who has learned these computer languages and writes it out to tell a computer what to do.

There are many different terms to describe someone who is a programmer such as: Web Developer, Dev, Front End Developer, Full Stack Developer, Coder or Software Engineer and many others.

Each of these titles is a different job function, but they are all in the tech or programming industry.

Literally everything we see and do online is built by code, so the demand for people who know how to code is very, very high.

Programmers are the masterminds behind all the things we know, use and love every day!

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Do programmers need college degrees?

A common misconception that people have about learning to code is that in order to get a job, they need a degree in Computer Science.

This just isn’t true anymore!

The demand for programmers is so high and there are so many businesses that value the initiative and knowledge of web developers who are self-taught.

As long as you have the skills and can prove it, you don’t need a degree to get a high paying job in the tech industry.

Learn to code for free

Remote Programming Jobs

If you are interested in becoming a traveling programmer, you probably want to know what kinds of jobs you can do remotely.

The Answer:

Pretty much any job in the tech industry can be done remotely! They include:

  • Web Developer:  A Web Developer is a broad term to describe someone who writes code.Web Developers write code in the language of their choice to develop websites and apps, working with Web Designers to make it look nice.
  • Front End Developer: A Front End Developer is a Web Developer that works with the Front-End of a website, or the part of the website that a user will interact with.
    Most of the design aspects you see on a website like buttons, animations, and even text were developed by a Front End Developer.Front-End Developers work with Back-End Developers to make sure a website looks and reacts the way it is supposed to.
  • Back-End Developers work on the server side of the website, the part that typically stores information like databases.
  • Full-Stack Web Developer: A Full Stack Developer or Engineer is someone who does both Front-End and Back-End Programming and has the ability to create an entire website on their own.
  • App Developer: An App Developer creates web and mobile apps. The languages an App Developer will use is dependent upon which system they are creating an app for.
  • WordPress Developer: WordPress Developers work with the code on WordPress websites and make things like plugins, themes, and modules for WordPress Users.This is a job that is in high demand, as WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world!

There are many, many more jobs in the programming industry that you can do as a remote employee or freelancer, or you could even start your own web development company, agency or consulting service!

How much money can you make as a programmer?

The amount you can earn as a programmer goes up with your level of skill and how specialized your skills are.

According to this Skillcrush Article, for example, a Web Developer can expect to earn around $65,000 a year. ‘Web Developer’ is a broad term and is typically lower paid.

Specializing in Front-End Web Development could cause you to see an increase in income – a Front-End Web Developer can expect to earn around $92,000 per year.

A WordPress Developer can expect around $65,000 per year.

The amount you can earn will vary depending on what type of programming work you decide to do, and what types of jobs you decide to take. This is also dependent on whether you’re an employee or an independent contractor.

Typically, programmers can make around $65k per year on the low end and upwards of $120k+ per year for more advanced roles.

Check out this freelance developer rate calculator from Toptal, an exclusive network for freelance developers. 

This calculator caters to 30 different skill sets. You can use it to get an idea of how much you can earn as a traveling programmer in many different fields.

Where to learn programming for free:

Learn to code for free with Codecademy

Codecademy – Codecademy is an awesome interactive platform for learning how to code, with in depth assignments and a visual programming interface. You will start learning basic HTML and CSS and then you will be able to choose additional languages to learn as you go.

Learn to code for free with Free Code Camp!

FreeCodeCamp – FreeCodeCamp is an interactive learning experience for learning several different coding languages. In addition to earning certificates for each different curriculum you complete, FreeCodeCamp partners with non-profits for you to continue working on and honing your skills to add to your portfolio, and can help you get a job.

Learn new skills for free with Coursera!

Coursera – Coursera is a collection of courses from top Universities. Coursera isn’t just limited to tech and coding courses, but is a great place to go to absorb some free coding knowledge! Coursera's courses and premium content are presented in a typical classroom environment.

Learn to code for free with Dash!

GA Dash – Dash is a project based way to learn how to code with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The projects on Dash can be completed in your web browser and has different course content than is offered by other platforms.

Keep In Mind

Learning to code isn’t exactly a quick or an easy way to start making money remotely. If you’re looking for quick and easy, programming isn’t for you.

Learning tech skills are for someone who is detail oriented, determined and has the willpower to stick through it and enter an industry that is changing the way we view and interact with our world, now and into the future!

Teaching yourself has its downsides, and while these programs have amazing interactive platforms and information, you will still need a decent amount of self-discipline to power through the lessons when it becomes challenging.

The good news is that there are communities all over the internet and connected with these platforms that are there to help you! You will form new relationships that will help you on your learning journey and can lead to new opportunities.

Become a Traveling Programmer!

Depending on how long you will have to work at learning these new skills, you could start looking for work as a programmer in as little as 3-4 months!

After such a short period of time, you won’t be able to expect to be an advanced programmer or land the big jobs, but you will be able to find freelance and contract work to make some cash and build up your portfolio.

In just a year, you could even be a full-time programmer, able to work from anywhere with wifi. A year is such a short time for a transition that could change the trajectory of your entire life!

If you have the guts, the determination and the will to succeed, learning to code is a great investment of your time that will pay off with not only money, but location freedom so you can finally get out there and see the world.

Do you have any other favorite resources for learning how to code? Leave them in the comments below!

Carrie Wilder

Carrie has a passion for location independence and nomadic lifestyles. After traveling full-time in an RV and living the van life, she created Making Money and Traveling to help others make the switch to a remote lifestyle. Learn more about Carrie on the About page or connect on social media below. 

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