The new world order (or how I loved freelance) Advertorial | 24 June 2016

How I got here

I was 5 years old when I met with computers. I am 30 now. The first computer I had was a Commodore PC and it was built on the same year I was born, 1986. The computer had DOS operating system, displaying some white lines starting with C:\\ and didn’t have any graphics. That was the time I started programming: because I had to, to run any programs.

In high school I started writing my first ‘real’ programs. I wrote an encryption algorithm & software for national computer olympics, aside with many other small programs. In college, I was the best in C class and when I was bored because I was finishing my term assignments in one day, I started solving other classes’ assignments and publishing them open source.

When I left school and started working, I started as a technical support, fixing customers’ computer and server problems in 2005. But I still was bored because I did not see enough challenge. I learnt PHP and started creating simple websites and applications as my company and customers needed. At first it was learning phase and I didn’t charge, but when I thought I am better, I started creating freelance projects. The main reason I was writing web applications in my spare time was not extra money, but the companies needed it! Because the software to automate processes or provide more online services required for the companies was either too expensive or not existed at the moment. That was the main reason I have written my first big-scale app, an open-source ERP (which is still used by 2 million-dollar companies.

Then I realized that fixing servers and building stable IT infrastructures wasn’t the meaning of life for me. Instead it was creating software and finding solution to the world’s needs (at least in a small scale). I always loved solving problems and fixing them for real, and writing applications was the fastest, most creative and most rewarding way to do them for me.

My steady 2nd job: freelance

When I switched my career to PHP development 5 years ago, I was learning and working in day and at night, I was completing assignments from various different companies and customers. I realized that I have the easiest profession in the world because I can work anytime, anywhere! I have never stopped working even when I didn’t have a full-time job: I was going to Starbucks in the morning and was staying there until the evening - like a proper office. Once I travelled to south america and paying my expenses with freelance work! I did the same thing when I was travelling Russia, too. The life was awesome!

It was great until I started receiving less projects. I thought it was not a steady way to live my life and depend it on. Also living in Turkey that time was hard because no matter how big the project was the customers was paying -if not less- not more than their full-time employees to freelance developers like me. Five years ago both the industry and the companies was not ready to realize the power of freelance.

But then they started to understand that not all the projects they need could be done inhouse. And the software development was also improved and the projects got bigger but the pieces got smaller. Giant projects can finally be divided into smaller parts. The technology was developing too and the demands started to require more skills, skills that cannot be provided by the inhouse developers only. The customers finally though that it would be more expensive to hire developers for every skill needed.

Freelance era and Toptal

Suddenly I found myself in between high demands of jobs. The internet showed its true power and there are not enough developers to complete all the tasks. I finally had the chance and relaxation to choose the project I would love to work on amongs all offers. Freelance spreaded and finally became as one of the facts of software industry. In the last 3 companies I have worked, we all have acquired freelance developers and consultants on areas that we are not expert at or didn’t have the time. To find those freelancers we were asking people in our network ask them to recommend us someone with the demanded skills.

What the industry, both customers and freelance workers- needed was companies like Toptal to gather them together. Now it is super easy to apply to -for example-, create profile in a few minutes and look for the best candidates. Thanks to this, not only finding and hiring freelance workers got easier, but tracking got standards and it spreaded world-wide. The online freelance working gave the opportunity to track and measure working time on projects, increasing its productivity. This is just like working in a steady job at home. Online freelance work is the new thing! So join now to the Toptal web developers network now!