21st Century Freelancing: Using Platforms & Softwares

Freelancing platforms may be run by brokers that receive a profit from each project or by an end client that only handles projects for that particular organization. Platforms are essential for freelancers to find projects today, especially in the services industry where traditional methods of recruiting freelancers are no longer effective. Jeffrey Leventhal, CEO and co-founder of Work Market, says “Finding the right talent is one of the primary challenges in building an on-demand workforce.”

Diego Lomanto, vice president of marketing for Work Market, adds that service organizations have an increasing need to find, verify, engage, manage, and pay freelancers. He asks, “Why should a services organization, with cyclical demand and, at times, finding itself deluged with service opportunities it cannot keep pace with, feel required to recreate the wheel on a recurring basis?” Lomanto goes on to suggest that organizations can use freelancers on-demand to leverage the variability of the modern workforce.

The 2013-14 Field Service Management Benchmark Survey conducted by Strategies for Growth supports the trend towards freelancing among service organizations. This survey shows that 14 percent of all service organizations outsource some of their activities to a third-party. An additional 14 percent of these organizations planned to do so by the end of 2014, indicating a virtual doubling of freelancer usage within a single year.


Task Management

Plastic parts for management

Task management software helps freelancers to keep their projects on schedule by organizing communication and maintaining files. They must track all of their own work, which can be daunting when juggling multiple projects simultaneously. Successful freelancers receive new orders while working on current projects, making it essential to have a single method of organizing these tasks. This situation often causes a freelancer to remember a job only when the client asks for an update on its status. Good task management software must therefore remind a freelancer of upcoming deadlines.

Dextronet reports that effective task management software should allow freelancers to view the specifications for a task and enter notes for each task from a single screen. This feature allows them to see everything they need for a task at a glance. This software should also allow freelancers to add and edit tasks easily, which is where many task managers fall short.

Freelancers should be able to easily indicate when a task is completed, ideally with a single click. The task should then move to the bottom of the task list, where it may still be viewed even though it’s no longer active. Task managers should also allow the freelancer to update a task’s priority and filter tasks by due date.


Project Prototyping and Creation Tools  

Two designers developing mobile application framework on notebook

Software engineers who work as freelancers must also maintain their own set of tools for developing software. These tools must provide the ability to create wireframes and perform prototyping in addition to allowing for collaboration with other developers. IT workers who aren’t designers often think that wireframes and prototypes are the same thing, resulting in confusion when they receive work from a user experience (UX) designer.

Designmodo reports that a wireframe is a low-fidelity representation of a design. It should describe an interface and allow users to visualize their basic interaction with it. Wireframes should also provide the structure of information and main groups of content for that interface. They are the backbone of the software design and should be used to represent every important piece of the product.

Prototyping is a middle- to high-fidelity representation of the software design. It simulates the user’s interaction with the software, allowing the user to test the interactions and experience the content provided by the interface. The prototype may not look exactly like the final product, although it will resemble the product much more closely than a wireframe. However, prototyping often omits the dependence between the interface and backend mechanisms such as databases to shorten the development cycle.


For Developers Only  

The increased need for complex applications and platform coverage has greatly increased the requirement for automated testing suites. Iterative processes such as the agile development methodology are also driving shorter development cycles, resulting in less time available for testing. These trends increase the requirement for a high degree of cooperation between the development, testing, and operations phases of software engineering.

Automated software testing is also essential for ensuring application security. Hewlett Packard reports that more than 80 percent of current cyber attacks target applications, a figure that will continue to increase. Modern application security requires an integrated approach that allows businesses to continually scan and test their applications, whether they’re developed in-house or by another party.

Version control is the practice of managing changes to information, including documentation and software. Each change in a version control system is uniquely identified by a code known by various names such as “version,” “revision level” or “revision number.” Version control is essential for projects with many developers, where multiple versions of the same software are often deployed at the same time. For example, the production version of software is routinely different from the development version. Version control software is also necessary for managing bugs and features, since fixing one bug may result in the introduction of another bug in the new version of the software.


About Conojo

Conojo is an interactive wireframing and mock-up application designed to meet the needs of UX and UI freelance designers. From idea to implementation, the Conojo app will get you there. Use Conojo to sketch visual assets and collaborate with clients in an instant.