Hi, I’ve only got a couple of minutes, so here’s a quick reply:
Getting part time (or freelance work) shouldn’t be too tough out here. Here’s some advice:
Networking: Companies get loads of email job applications, and the majority of them are crap. Get to as many events as you can (see Paul’s https://www.doorkeeperhq.com/, meetup.com etc for that) and meet people in person. My advice is to get to not just developer events, but design, business etc too, as you’ll have more chance of finding people who might want to hire you. Make sure you show as much interest as possible in what they’re doing, as people want to hire people who care about what’s important to them - their business. Also, don’t forget to tell people you’re looking for cool projects to work on with cool people (not “I’m looking for work”, as that’s not attractive).
Portfolio: After asking about what other people are doing, they’ll likely ask you what you’re up to. This is when you want to make sure you have a body of work to show, and be able to talk through the challenges, techniques, technologies etc. If you don’t have a few projects under your belt, you need to work on some as hobby projects or other internships, as it will be tough to get a job with just “theoretical” knowledge.
Be T-shaped: Can you talk with knowledge and passion about UX and design, product and business strategy and other topics? They can really help people get excited about you, especially in smaller companies where job roles are more loosely defined. It played a huge role in my early career for sure!
Being a girl shouldn’t be a problem in the grand scheme of things. I think a lot of companies (including mine!) are looking to balance out their development teams.
Mark (I’m director of www.tacchistudios.com)