Hey Zimbabwean techies, do you freelance online? Should you?

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freelancing-servicesToday, we got an update from Freelancer.com that had freelancing jobs trends worldwide for the past 3 months.  The update got us wondering about freelancing in Zimbabwe and what, with more accessible internet, the possibilities are for such internet based commercial activity.

How accessible the opportunity is now for the skilled Zimbabwean looking to sell their skill online. Now compared to say, say, 5 years ago. About the hurdles people have to put up with. Or, even more importantly, if there are freelancing opportunities more people could take up that they just don’t know about.

You can be part of the conversation by adding your comment below: Do you freelance online yourself? Which websites do you use? If not, have you considered this? Have you had any issues with the typical problems around internet payments that affect Zimbabweans? Do you think there’s enough skill locally for this industry to grow significantly? What about providing freelance services to businesses in Zimbabwe via the internet?

What about the other way – Do you outsource your software development and design to freelancers outside Zimbabwe? How well has it worked for you? Do face any issues getting payment to them? Does it work out cheaper than hiring a face to face freelancer in Zimbabwe?

The conversation is part of the #ZimBroadband Forum to be held in a couple of weeks.

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image via seofuturity.com

13 Comments

  1. Freelance is the way to go, Zim jobs are complicated and take donkey years to secure a client after several requests for back-handers too. Online your code does the talking. You are good, you get the job.
    But the competition is more stiff and our internet speeds leave a lot to be desired. Many pros and cons. I like the clean flow of online gigs. May the code be with you.

  2. Time says:

    I myself am not a freelancer/coder but however I am a business business in the tech world. There are certain situations where I really do support freelancing. However I actually think freelancing can lead to greed and lack of innovation. 

    For example, I have a great enterprise business idea. It will require an android expert and extensive testing and development. I could go the freelance route but every time I’d want something changed before product launch the freelancer will probably charge me thus limiting me in terms of experimentation to see what really works and what doesn’t before launching the product.

    But if said freelancer were to form a partnership with me and agree to split future earnings equally, I really do believe we’d be able to make something great. 

    I’m just blabbering on a bit off topic here because in Zim I wouldn’t encourage the freelance culture just yet. Instead, young innovative business minds should be welcomed with open hands with the talented coders and geeks to make and develop products that will improve the lives of Zimbabweans, Africans and even the world! Sure not every venture will be a success but the ones that do make it are sure to be big.

    Not everyone can afford a talented freelancer but that someone may have great idea so to the freelancers here in Zim, I ask you to not always see dollar signs, but rather a vision when someone approaches you to work on an idea that they have.

    Just some thoughts I thought I’d share 🙂

  3. E-learn says:

    I do put work out for freelancers. Have found Zim quotes rather high. For example I am currently looking for some one to produce to videos or interactive slides (15 to 20 minutes each) to run an e-learning resource. I also need someone to edit course ware notes.

    1. Depends where you are looking for video if you want quality don’t do the back yard stuff…you need to see their show reel first. Inbox me on facebook and l can send you some gud freelancer contacts munya.dodo@cmedia.co.zw

      1. munetsi says:

        Hi Munya
        I will be glad if you can refer experienced freelancers to our site.
        We are growing a database of freelancers on our site.
        They can register on the site below for free.
        outsourcejob.co.za

        1. munetsi says:

          Hi Munya
          I will be glad if you can refer experienced freelancers to our site.
          We are growing a database of freelancers on our site.
          They can register on the site below for free.
          http://www.outsourcejob.co.za/

  4. tinm@n says:

    I used to. From around 2006. Helped me survive Zim in 2008. Had one major one that really made a difference. Was able to support family and buy a brand new laptop

  5. Shaun Benjamin says:

    I do most of my jobs online..I have pretty ok reviews on my freelancer profile and I think doing jobs online is the way to go. They are challenging and at the same time very quick turnovers for the freelancer. I hate the way Zim tech jobs take ages to negotiate with the client, it frustrates the heck out of me!! But I understand, this is something I do EVERY SINGLE DAY, but for the client its usually their first time… @imaginashaun

  6. Chris Mberi says:

    The time for freelancing in zimbabwe is right now because few companies can afford indefinite work contracts. I believe if there was a visible and well organised community of local developers willing to take jobs on a freelance basis, this would reduce startup cost for many startups who are currently holding back their projects because they cannot afford the most basic and most important capital requirement: staff. To further simplify the system, like Time suggested, freelancers could accept payment in the form of shares on future profits also accepting the risk of making a loss. This way we could get a lot of projects going in Zimbabwe and no time get a real dev economy going. For now, we have developers on one side waiting on a miraculous high paying job while opposite side, we have entrepreneurs teeming with ideas but not enough money to pay demanding developers. I believe freelancing solves this problem if we can all understand team work and how much we complement each other.

    A canvas needs the artist and the artist needs the paint to create a single masterpiece

  7. Freelancing is the way to go but most freelancers don’t know what to do with their talent. i.e. Making a portfolio, look professional, be on time, have a work ethic. The freelancers l have interacted with focus on the free part of the word and forget that they still have to deliver services as though they where part of a big company. They tend to kiya kiya…and end up over promising and under delivering. In hindsite l have learnt to keep a pool of freelancers and always be strict and professional otherwise you get treated like a Musiyamwa Enterprise when tryin to do legit stuff!

  8. Telesoft says:

    Been doing it for 10 years now.It is a sure way to get constant revenue streams.In fact we are looking for freelance techies with skills ranging from A+ , Networking , Linux , Security , Cisco , VoIP and VSAT.Send us your cv to info@telesoft.co.zw

  9. ZimNinja Inc says:

    I have been freelancing for the last 5 years, working from home and working with clients when the need arises. Nowdays freelancers (if they are good at what they do) should be cheaper that a company, should be more efficient, offer agency quality. The world is evolving and lets be honest, if you are doing that same stuff as you did last year, two or three years ago, you and your work are ancient. I believe you are only as good as your last project and your reputation is only as good what is spoken about that client.

    Stay sharp and keep changing,.

    CR

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