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Working Remotely With Python in Times of Pandemic

Have you been thinking about working remotely with Python during the pandemic? Read our comprehensive guide to get you started.

Maybe you are considering working remotely with Python during the pandemic. However, you might not know whether it is a good idea, what you should expect, and how to get into it. In this article, we describe the labor market situation, list some options for working remotely with Python, and provide you the resources to start with.

We are living in a pandemic, and it affects how we work. The demand for some jobs and roles dropped or disappeared entirely, and even entire industries came to a halt. The virus also accelerated some already existing trends, the rise of remote work being one of the most important.

But how does this affect you? If you are reading this, it is very likely that you have felt its effect on your everyday life. Maybe your current role is in danger, or you are uncertain about the future of the industry you are working in. Maybe you are looking for a more future-proof job.

Or, even before the pandemic, you had already wanted to work remotely or try your hand at programming. Now, you are curious if there is an opportunity for that.

In these cases, we wrote this article for you! Here, we have collected some crucial information about the effect of the pandemic on the current job market and about the prospect of remote programming jobs.

We focus on working remotely as a Python developer, because we believe it is one of the best ways to get into programming. Accordingly, we talk about the benefits and the job prospects with Python knowledge and point you to resources to help you get started.

So, let’s jump right in!

The Effects of the Pandemic on Jobs

As we began to deal with the spread of COVID-19 and its economic impact, it became clear that its effects would be huge for the economy as a whole, and especially for the labor market. People lost their jobs either because of the immediate danger of infection or because the company or the industry they worked for went into financial difficulties.

In parallel, companies moved their activities online, and more and more people started to work remotely. See the chart below for the comparison of the percentage of people working remotely, before and after the pandemic start.

Percentage of people working remotely

Source: statista.com

Furthermore, the disappearance of particular jobs and the rise of remote work together accelerated another trend: the rise of freelance jobs. So, we are seeing three significant trends happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The disappearance/restructuring of jobs.
  • The rise of remote work.
  • The growth of freelancing.

These, however, are global trends. You might be wondering how programming jobs in particular fit in with them.

Programming During the Pandemic

Programming and IT-related jobs were among those most affected by the pandemic. According to McKinsey, 70-75% of computer-related jobs can be done remotely. This means that these trends will be even more amplified in this realm. Specifically, this means that:

  • Many current jobs will be replaced or substituted by programming jobs.
  • Programming will become a remote activity even more during the pandemic.
  • Many companies will outsource some of their programming or IT-related tasks to freelancers.

After the Pandemic

You might say, “this is interesting, but will this have a long-lasting impact? Will this trend continue after the pandemic?” This is a good question. Of course, we cannot predict the future; however, it appears that these trends may continue.

According to Pew Research, 54% of U.S. adults “would want to work from home after the coronavirus outbreak ends.” And Global Workplace Analytics predicts that “25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.” Based on this, it is a safe bet that what we see now is not a temporary glitch but, to use a popular phrase, “the future of work.”

 

And even if you are in an industry or a role where things might go back to “normal,” you may still have thought about moving into programming, going remote, or trying out freelancing, long before the pandemic. If that is the case, you can also use this time as an opportunity to act on these goals.

While the pandemic has had plenty of negative consequences, you can seek opportunities proactively to mitigate these effects. Furthermore, there is a chance that, in the long term, you might even improve your situation and help people around you.

Finally, while remote work is a necessity for many of us, it does have benefits that lead you to opt for it regardless of the pandemic or the state of the economy.

The Benefits of Remote Work

So, remote work is here and is probably going to be a normal thing to do. They say, “home is the new office.” Now, you might be wondering whether it is for you, personally.

There are many benefits of remote work. Some are true even in a “normal” full-time job setting, but some advantages are even greater with freelancing. We’ve listed the main benefits of each option and some points to look out for, so that you can make an informed decision.

The Main Benefits of Working Remotely in a Regular, Full-Time Job

So, what are the benefits of remote work in a full-time job?

  • No travel. Depending on your past commute, you can save 1-2 hours each day, which comes down to 5-10 hours a week, or 20-40 hours a month. That’s like having time for another part-time job or a hobby!
  • No office. You do not have to follow the office rules intended to fit everyone (and, therefore, no one). You can create your workspace at home based on your needs.
  • No strict schedule. You do not have to adjust your entire life around the availability of meeting rooms or other office facilities. Instead, you have the flexibility to organize your work around your life.

How to Prepare for Remote Work

Of course, working from home – especially if you are just getting into it – can come with its frictions. Here are some main challenges to consider and how you can tackle them.

  • Lack of work-life boundaries. The lack of work-life boundaries can take many forms, including physical, social, and psychological. It is the constant mix of your work and non-work lives. You want to address this deliberately, especially if you are new to remote work. Create a distinct working space, determine your working and non-working hours, and discuss the situation with the people who live with you.
  • Infrastructure and overhead costs. As your home needs to act as your office, you have to ensure that you can rely on your utilities and the internet and have the necessary equipment. Your employer should support you in this, so ask them!
  • Less movement. As you do not travel to your office (and especially if you rely on delivery services due to the pandemic), you begin to move less. However, your body needs to move to remain healthy. Use some of your freed-up time and the flexibility to plan your day to schedule walks and exercise into your routine. You can invite your friends!

The Main Benefits of Working Remotely as a Freelancer

While freelancing might not be your default option, remote work does make it easier to try it out. So, here are the main benefits of working remotely as a freelancer.

  • You can try out a wider range of jobs. A significant proportion of freelance jobs are part-time or temporary (although full-time freelancing is also abundant). Freelancing allows you to try yourself out in different roles, skills, and working styles.
  • You can pick your clients. Perhaps the biggest frustration in full-time work is that you are stuck with a job, an employer, or colleagues you may not like, but you don’t have the time to seek out change either. Freelancing, because of its part-time nature, gives you more opportunity to find clients and teams for which you are a good fit.
  • You can raise your value. In regular employment, you tie your pay to the salary at which you started at the firm. It might increase with time, but even then, it will have a lot to do with office politics and the “hours you put in” and much less with the value you actually produce to your employers. In freelancing, you have the opportunity to address your clients’ needs directly and, therefore, be paid based on the value you deliver.

However, a caveat. In spite of these benefits, you have to keep in mind that freelancing is not necessarily an easy thing to do. If you are unlucky and unprepared, you can easily find yourself in a vulnerable situation.

That said, if you take it seriously and put in the work, it can lead to more freedom and even to a more substantial business.

The Benefits of Python

Now that we have reviewed the main benefits of remote work and freelancing, let’s turn our attention to the question of how to work remotely as a Python developer. First, we give you our reasons to choose Python for remote work.

Popularity

Python is arguably one of the most popular programming languages today. This is true not only in the sense that people love to use it but also in the sense that it is in demand. Based on Coding Dojo’s research of Indeed jobs, Python is currently the top programming language in demand (together with SQL).

O’Reilly, one of the learning platforms for IT professionals and businesses, also found that Python is the most popular language among its learners. Furthermore, while it is already the top language by far, its usage is still growing!

Working Remotely With Python

Source: oreilly.com

Ease of use

It is not an accident that Python is a popular language. While it has many good attributes, perhaps the most important ones are its relatively low barrier to entry and its widespread adoption. This is especially important if Python is your first language or if you want to use it for a wide range of projects.

It is true that there will likely be a language that does certain things better than Python. However, there is currently no other language with which you can do so many things so quickly.

Complexity That Scales With Your Project

Despite its relative simplicity, people have created many complex projects with Python. There are even entire startups built on it.

This is possible because Python is a simple language not because it is “limited,” but because you can start to work with it quickly and later extend its capabilities when you get to a more complex situation. It is important to keep in mind that you do not have to start with the most complex things first; you can learn them if and when you need them.

Future-Proof

This combination of popularity and simplicity makes Python a powerful combination when it comes to problem-solving. This results in the proliferation of Python libraries for a vast range of cases. People create these libraries with an idea, an afternoon to code up, and some Python skills.

While we don’t know what the technology of the future will be, we are certain that there will be a Python library for it. So, if you are looking for something that you will also use in the future, Python is a good choice.

And the benefits do not stop here! For a full list, check out our comprehensive article.

Now that we have discussed the benefits of learning Python, we can turn our attention to working remotely as a Python programmer. In the next section, we will give you an overview of what to expect.

Working Remotely as a Python Programmer

Here are the most important things you need to know about working remotely as a Python programmer. If you are interested in freelancing specifically, we’ve written a whole article about that. Be sure to check it out.

Working remotely with Python

Opportunities for Working Remotely With Python

Because Python is such a versatile language, there is a large number and variety of positions where you can use it. Here is a list of the most important ones:

  • Python Full-Stack Developer.
  • Python Backend Developer.
  • Data Scientist.
  • Data Analyst.
  • Machine Learning Engineer.

In these roles, you will likely use Python every day as your primary tool.

Besides these, there are many other roles in which you use Python very frequently as a skill, even if you are not a Python developer. Here are some examples of such positions:

  • QA Test Engineer.
  • Product Manager.
  • Data Journalist.

As you can see, the use of Python is diverse and growing, often in unexpected roles. For more information on the types of work that use Python, we refer you to this article.

Expected Salaries for Python Developers Working Remotely

When considering working remotely as a Python developer, be it in a regular job or as a freelancer, the expected salary should of course be an important factor. While we cannot say exact numbers as each job and position is different, we can see data reported by job sites. Here are some average earnings reported:

Please keep in mind that these are average values; the actual earning may be different depending on many factors. Examples of such factors include the specific industry, your experience, and your country of residence.

This variability also means that if you are skilled, experienced, and working in a growing industry with a demand for Python developers, your salary can greatly surpass these numbers!

Where to Find Remote Python Jobs

You might be wondering where you can find remote Python jobs. For finding Python jobs in general, we have already written a great article. You can find it here.

For remote jobs, here are some jobs sites to start:

On these and similar sites, you will find plenty of remote Python jobs. You can get a sense of the positions and industries from which you can choose as a developer.

If you are still reading this, you are probably strongly considering working remotely as a Python developer. Maybe you are wondering what you need to know to become one.

We will tell you exactly that in the next section.

Working Remotely With Python: What to Learn

To start working remotely with Python, the most important thing you need to do is to, well, learn Python. You can do this in one of two ways: on your own or in a structured program.

Learning Python on Your Own

You can start to google for resources and learn Python on your own. As Python is popular, many have written articles about it.

We’ve written a few articles from how to install Python on Windows to how to practice Python if you want to remain up to date. These are useful to check out especially if you are comparing your options.

However, this is a relatively slow process in which you can easily find yourself in dead ends and long nights of working on the wrong thing. I can tell you this from my own experience.

Learning Python in a Structured Program

Compared to the DIY way, it is a much faster and fail-proof method for focusing on learning instead of researching. It is also more effective to work from tailored materials that give you the skills that you can use in your work.

We have created many courses on LearnPython.com especially with these principles in mind. Whether you are just starting to learn Python or thinking of learning it more seriously, we got you covered. If you are interested in learning Python for data science, we also have a course for you.

Work Remotely with Python!

So, what do you think – do you want to work remotely with Python? Are you ready for your Python journey?

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