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I am currently a trainee web developer and hope to go freelance once I have learnt the ropes and am confident enough in most areas.

One problem I have noticed is my speed with working and coding. I don't touch type or have that zip that surrounding developers seem to have. Previous sites I have done prior to my training always too a while too.

On the plus side, I am really keen at learning the new technologies hitting the market and there is passion here. I have always been heavy into automation too, so once I know how a certain language works. Scripts and automation could be a good substitute.

Will this just result in me earning less money or in employment always being on the edge of getting the sack for being "just not quick enough"

  • "slow" is a relative term. What you may feel is slow, others may not. It is impossible for anyone here to tell if they feel you work too slow or not. What it all really comes down to is your pricing and how that is impacted by your speed -- and if clients are willing to pay you and employers willing to hire you. Also realize speed comes with practice and familiarity. – Scott Jan 31 '16 at 18:38
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hope to go freelance once I have learnt the ropes and am confident enough in most areas. [...] Will this just result in me earning less money or in employment always being on the edge of getting the sack for being "just not quick enough"

If you take fixed-price projects it will likely result in you earning less money, because it will take you longer to complete projects and you'll be able to take fewer projects as a result. You might try to offset the reduced number of projects by charging more, but that can backfire and cause your clients to complain if you charge a lot and work slow. You can also lose income or clients if you miss deadlines.

If you work hourly, clients will be more attentive to how slow you work and may ask you to reduce your hourly rate or even fire you if you take more hours than most people.

Real answer: You can't be a developer and not know how to touch type. That's just inexcusable. Would you hire a contractor who didn't know how to use power tools to build you a house? Learn how to touch type, and you'll be fine.

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Speed also comes with writing modules ( ex. login module, pagination module, database module) or using ready to use modules written by others. You can also use existing frameworks to work fast. For ex if you are a php developer you might want to us Laravel or codeigniter framework to be quick. Codeigniter is simplest to start with for beginners. If you find these complex at the start you can write your own modules. Its easy to understand your own code than to understand code written by others. New coders do seem to be slow to employers at times :)

Have the courage, simply do your homework. If have are able to code you have the possibility to succeed if you work hard.

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I am really keen at learning the new technologies hitting the market and there is passion here.

I think this is the most essential quality you have right now. Everyone started small. But, if you never stop learning you will go far.

Don't be discouraged. Success comes from hard work after all.

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Here's the thing: a client doesn't really know (or care) whether you're slow or not compared to other developers. All they really care about is whether you're delivering the positive benefits they hoped you would achieve when they hired you, for a price that justifies their investment, in the time frame they expected.

While you will get faster in time, here's what you should focus on if you want to succeed (hint: it has nothing to do with your speed):

  • Set the client's expectations appropriately: If you have a project to work on, don't just say "great, I'll start ASAP and let you know when I'm done." If you think it will take about 2 weeks, pad that number a bit and tell them "great, I'll start ASAP - it should be done in about 3 weeks." Then when you finish in 2 weeks, you look really fast. And if it takes longer than expected, you still deliver on time.
  • Send consistent updates: Give your client regular, unsolicited updates on their project. For example, send them a quick status report every Friday with what you accomplished and how it ties in to their business goals. If you hit a roadblock, let them know early that their project will be delayed. It's much better to tell the client about delays early in the project than tell yourself "maybe I can make up the lost time later in the project." It rarely happens (trust me) and then you break the client's trust when you miss your deadline. If you proactively communicate timeline changes, you actually build your client's trust, which seems counter-intuitive. But speaking from experience, this is the way to go.

If you focus on providing the client great service and keeping your promises to them, it doesn't matter whether you're 500% slower than everyone else. The client most likely won't know the difference, and even if they do, they may just assume you're juggling a lot of other projects. And if the project delivers the positive benefits they were hoping for, you will probably get recommended over many other "faster" developers. In the end, clients don't hire you to write code fast, they hire you to solve problems for them and deliver those results in a professional way.

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There are different meanings to the word "slow". Your speed might seem slow to some people and faster to some other people. Basically, the intellect of other people around you could make you feel that way.

It is up to you. If you feel you are slow in programming, you can think of ways to speed up your work.

Try using reusable code, making custom libraries from previous projects which you feel might be useful for some other project down the line etc.

Things like these help a lot to overcome that barrier you have. It is more of a mental one, I feel.

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