I’ve been hard at work making sure that Faveroo keeps humming along, pushing out new features here and there and making sure everyone is happy. The growth we’ve seen has been steady and we are continuing to push forward. Work has been a little hectic lately, if anyone ever tells you that growing a product and a brand is easy, you just punch them right in the face, I don’t care that it’s your Grandma, do what I say, I’m a blogger. Anyways this blog post isn’t about my 9-5 it’s about my 6-10.
I do a lot of cool side projects, some of them like Prosper are just for fun, they scratch an itch I have and I think I might be able to use them later. Some never see the light of day, they lose momentum or turn into something that I can’t figure out how to make any money or help anyone with so they just languish on my hard drive. Lately I’ve been trying to break into the freelancing stuff, I thought, how hard could this be, I have years of experience, I’m willing to work for a reasonable price, I write high quality code really fast, and I tend to think that I’m a fairly nice person to work with. Well its been an uphill battle so far, but I want to share my thoughts with you.
Online freelance boards just suck. They do, I hate you, I hate them, hate is really the only emotion I can feel about these boards. 90% of the posts are for ridiculously ill-defined or impossible jobs, 99.999% of the replies are someone in some third world country willing to write the new facebook for a shiny new nickel, and there is no way to get the point across to anyone that you get what you pay for. I’ve yet to find any useful paying work from these sites.
Craigslist is a mixed bag so far. When I started on this journey I got some help from a friend who basically just spammed me with every blog post they could find on the subject of freelance consulting. A nice thread on Hacker News, here’s a Two part series by Ryan Waggoner on freelancing. One of the pieces of advice was to use Craigslist, so I tried that, there is a ridiculous volume of stuff in the Computer Gigs section, and since you aren’t constrained by geography you can apply to a huge amount of them. I tried this for a few weeks but after sending out tens of emails, most custom written specifically for the project and only receiving one reply, I decided to try another avenue. I’m not giving up on the Craigslist approach yet, if for no other reason then the absolute mass of postings there.
Friends of friends. Right now this is where I’ve seen my only success. I’m currently working on a project for a friend of a friend and so far things are looking great. I’m enjoying the work, sweet lady PHP with my favorite unframework, Flourish, and I’m making great progress. It’s been a good project to work on so far, the client has been great to work with, and the code has been flowing. I’m sure there’s a downside to to this course, friends of friends will want you to do extra work for them for free or change things up as a solid, but so far so good.
Future plans. This blog post is part of it, but basically some self-promotion is in order. I’m going to be putting together an online portfolio of stuff I’ve done, Prosper is a nice large code base for someone to look at to see the quality of my PHP code. I realized I just need to get my name out there as an option, the current project I got was because I happened to tell my friend I’m trying to start consulting on the side, bam, first paying gig. I’m going to keep fighting the good fight on Craigslist, maybe come up with a more efficient system for submitting my name into consideration for postings.
If you need a good PHP programmer drop me a line in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I can write some awesome code for you.