An Interview with a Successful Developer: Lifestyle, Taxes, and Node.JS


Written by Irina Papuc Topics: Business, Learn to Code, Self Improvement

At Toptal, we’re always looking for the best freelancers around. But what makes a freelancer truly great? Luis Martinho, one of our top developers, is beloved by his clients — so we sat down with him to talk about freelancing, technologies like freelance Node.js and HTML5, and paying your taxes.

So, to start, how did you get into freelancing? Have you ever worked a full-time job?

“I had worked a couple of full-time jobs: some of them were relatively corporate, but the most recent was in a startup environment, specifically in the enterprise SaaS space, building sexy management software in the cloud. We had a very talented team and a very ambitious vision. After four years of growth, we had an exciting product in an exciting space, which was great, but I wasn’t very happy. I needed a lifestyle change. When we started, I personally did not understand how hard it was to “start up”. It’s not just the hours, because you work long hours in all sorts of environments and projects; it’s the stress, the responsibility, and the pains associated with creating something new. It’s not all flowers and rainbows. In the end, I decided that I wasn’t co-founder material (at least, not at the time). But the experience gave me a much deeper understanding of the kind of pressure faced by startup founders, and I know that I’ve become a better freelance software developer because of that.

Freelancing looked more and more like the life I wanted: it presented an opportunity to find interesting clients and projects while being rewarded for quality work.

I started looking for regular jobs: first in my hometown, then in the rest of the country, then in the rest of Europe. I managed to find some interesting projects, some interesting compensation packages, and some interesting locations; but I believed that I could have it all. So I began to look into freelancing. And as I kept looking, freelancing looked more and more like the life I wanted: it presented an opportunity to find interesting clients and projects while being rewarded for quality work.”

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News Feed Eradicator for LinkedIn – No More Distractions!


Written by Jason Nesbitt Topics: Business, Self Improvement News Feed Eradicator

News Feed Eradicator for LinkedIn – The Distraction Saviour

I have been a massive fan of the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook for quite some time.

I loved being able to nip on to Facebook…send my little insignificant post that will change the world and then get back on to the important work that makes me happier and makes my life better. OK, there is a tiny distraction on that Facebook extension – an inspirational quote. Not something I would call a distraction though!

I first heard about the the Facebook News Feed Eradicator on Tim Ferriss’ awesome podcast. I’ve already recommended you check that beauty out. But here is a link to the exact episode that makes the life changing recommendation.

This article would be fairly useless if it didn’t link to the News Feed Eradicator Chrome Extension now wouldn’t it?

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Click here now, now…now to check it out, download it and give it a pleasant review.

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Bootstrapped: Building A Remote Company


Written by Irina Papuc Topics: Business

The Dream: Building A Remote Company

If you ask me, working remotely rocks. I’m currently writing from a small beach bar located on a remote island in southern Thailand. Looking up from my laptop, I see nothing but the endless ocean and its crystal clear blue waters. I’ll be enjoying this morning undisturbed and focused on my work because the rest of the team hasn’t even gotten up yet. Time zones work out really well for distributed teams.

My colleague Thomas recently talked to 11 thought leaders in project management about the impact of remote work on a company; some scrum experts argued that distributed teams could work together effectively while others came out strongly against it.

I understand the concerns; you can’t just open up the office doors and release everyone into the wild. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll end up with a thriving business. Marissa Mayer at Yahoo famously axed remote work in 2013 after feeling that some employees abused it.

So how does a tech company get this working remote thing right? Read on. The following is based on our story at Planio and how we made it work.

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Learn to Code: The 20% of Coding Knowledge You Need to Create the Best 80% of Websites & Apps


Written by Jason Nesbitt Topics: Business, Learn to Code, Self Improvement

Hello World!

Welcome to the first piece in what I hope to be a long and prosperous blog series titled ‘Learn to Code’.

I am always amazed by how complicated people make website & app development sound. They often refer to it as a task left for the enlightened Computer Scientists when in fact, it’s something that anybody from any background can do with the tiniest bit of knowledge. I will be using Pareto’s 80/20 rule in all of its glory by teaching you the 20% of coding knowledge that allows you to create the best 80% of a website & app.

What To Expect

The series will include explanations, activities to follow and videos to quickly and efficiently provide you with the only skills you need to create websites that look as good as the professionals.

So, sit back, follow the activities and learn the skill that can provide you with the best possibility to create the life you want. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how many bloggers and website designers have quit their job, retired away to tropical paradise and lived a fulfilled life that one can only dream of whilst sat in an office.

The kind of things you should look forward to learning are:

  • How to Create Your First Bootstrap Website in 1 Minute
  • How to Copy From the Best By Adding Bootstrap/Bootsnipp Examples to Your Website
  • How to Quickly Add a Google Map to Your Website
  • How to Obtain FREE Great Quality Images for Your Website
  • And Much, Much More!

Looking forward to hearing all your feedback and providing you exactly what you want and need.

Speak soon!

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Book Recommendation #1 | $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau


Written by Jason Nesbitt Topics: Books, Business, Deep Thinking, Self Improvement

My First Recommendation

I love to read. I love to recommend. I sometimes fear that my recommendations often don’t inspire the amount of action that I intended, so, I have decided to recommend to the Internet as I hear that there might be a couple of people out there using it…

Enjoy the first Nesbitt Web book recommendation below:

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Having recently finished the excellent Nassim Taleb’s ‘Antrifragility’, I can honestly say that this was a pleasantly short read. The $100 startup provides easy to follow steps in a logical order for anyone that wants a coherent how to guide of taking action and creating your own startup. Included are a generous amount of anecdotes and examples from people all around the world. These examples are very entertaining and short enough to hold your attention but I did struggle to relate to a lot of them and gained much more insight from the guide aspects of the book, as opposed to the examples.

I must admit that the title is slightly misleading, as that majority of the startups mentioned in the book start of with higher costs. On a far more positive note, the book joined the ranks of many others that cause me a very beneficial frustration:

‘I can’t go more than 5 pages without picking up my laptop to make some notes or do some work!’

I would definitely recommend reading the $100 Startup if you want a quick fix of inspiration to get working on your world changing idea.

Don’t forget to check out the accompanying website for The $100 Startup for useful resources:

http://100startup.com/

Keep your eyes on the prize (assuming the prize is in a book)

 

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