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Crayon Shin Chan
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Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suck?

Wed Mar 30, 2016 8:35 pm

I'm starting out as a freelance software developer, and I'm finding many things quite intimidating.

For example, I go on Upwork to look for jobs and I find that I have to pass on most of the jobs because I can't guarantee that it'll take X hours and Y dollars. Of course, given enough time I know I could eventually do it, but I just KNOW that some wrinkle will pop up that will cost me some hours to solve, and then by the time I've solved it the client is a bit grumpy.

1. How far outside of my expertise domain should I go? If it says Python Web Scraping, and I know Python quite well, but not web scraping, should I go for it? If it's about Linux administration, and I'm really good at that, but with Samba and LDAP, which I have no idea about, should I apply?
2. There's a job about crosscompiling a bitcoin client. I have done that before but I didn't remember what I had to do, it was such a long time ago. Is it safe to apply?
3. https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~01192350928c118c96/ can anybody really do all this before 99USD becomes too much? Or am I just not calibrated/skilled enough?
4. https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~0173ce1f2ed97e20e1/ is this job post for real?

In general I get the feeling that people are unwilling to pay for a freelancer to learn the ropes around new tools, which I understand, but so many jobs don't fit my expertise domain perfectly. And I've written C for Arduino, Wordpress plugins, delved into the inner workings of Piwik, written stuff in Qt3 and C++ etc. but I feel that somehow there's still so few jobs out there that I'm confident I can do, so is there something wrong with me?
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:30 pm

I think it depends on your standards and your character/attitude in general. Also I much prefer to commit to do stuff only if it's something I know with very high level of certainty I can do, all steps involved, and in good standards.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:41 pm

The biggest difference I've found in going freelance is that you don't have a single app or single group of apps to work on anymore. Unless you're part of an agency that has some longer term contracts, then it's not going to be like having a salaried office job where you can accumulate information over time about the projects you've got your hands on. Unless you're very specific about the jobs you take there's always going to be something new, and you're always going to be on the leading edge of the learning curve.

That can be kind of intimidating to feel like you're always flailing without any real sense of security, but that can happen in an office job as well. That's why we as geeks developed the ability to absorb information the way we do, because nobody else wants to do it. :P
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:30 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
I'm starting out as a freelance software developer, and I'm finding many things quite intimidating.
In general I get the feeling that people are unwilling to pay for a freelancer to learn the ropes around new tools, which I understand, but so many jobs don't fit my expertise domain perfectly. And I've written C for Arduino, Wordpress plugins, delved into the inner workings of Piwik, written stuff in Qt3 and C++ etc. but I feel that somehow there's still so few jobs out there that I'm confident I can do, so is there something wrong with me?


Wow. What a depressing post. Scraps of work thrown to the lowest bidder in some marketplace. I've been working for myself the last 15 years. The only way it works for me is that I have clients I have worked with for many years so I get some continuity in income and what I do. So go do some networking and build yourself up from your first job. I have got jobs from joining user groups, doing presentations about my pet projects or some topic etc. At least, early on in my career. It helps to have a financial buffer or to live at home for a while.

As it is, I only have to work about 4 months a year and about half of the income from that is funding my stock portfolio. Consulting rates are great. Working from home is great. Having no debt to service is great. I spend about 6 months of the year (like at the moment) working on my own projects or research building up my software capital which I can then use to generate income. Two months solid beach/surf time in summer. But it's a road less travelled and very scary at times. Good luck.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:17 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
In general I get the feeling that people are unwilling to pay for a freelancer to learn the ropes around new tools, which I understand, but so many jobs don't fit my expertise domain perfectly. And I've written C for Arduino, Wordpress plugins, delved into the inner workings of Piwik, written stuff in Qt3 and C++ etc. but I feel that somehow there's still so few jobs out there that I'm confident I can do, so is there something wrong with me?


Yes. Its called unrealistic expectations. Both from you and from folks posting on upwork.

I would never even consider something like upwork if I were going freelance. To be successful as a freelancer, you need one of two things at least. 1) Great to excellent skills in a highly desired and relatively niche area, or 2) a very good network of business contacts. Having both is even better. Until you get to the point Pancake is, where you have a stable of clients that effectively have you on retainer, expect to spend more time drumming up business than working on projects. Oh, and you have to cover the business side of things too, stuff like liability insurance. If you really want to go the upwork route, then you need to start by picking jobs you know you can do (even if not for the price offered). You also need to look at the common, but unfilled jobs and spend your own time learning the skills you need to do them.

On the other side of the equation is upwork. Remember, most people have no idea what it actually costs to do something and look purely at how long they think it should take to set a value. The fact that you can do it in 1 hour because you have spent the last 15 years of your career perfecting the skills that let you do it quickly doesn't enter into their thinking. To them is just "easy for you to do". Or, they are just clueless like that "all my files are gone" for $100. Good luck with that.

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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:10 am

Yup freelancing sucks.

The biggest part of this is you need to develop an actual clientele. You can't go for scraps you need to have a group of companies and personal clients who use you on a consistent basis. You need a group of people for word of mouth advertising and that also use you for their own needs. They know you do good work and are willing to pay a decent price for it. You gotta be a jack of all trades. Not just writing programs and scripts but for anything else they need as well. This is a business! You need to be able to do any work that comes your way and pays.

I do freelance computer tech work for a flat fee of $100+parts and I rebuild and resell laptops and computers to people in my county. The county is a lot of farmers and laborers with some students and college kids. I always do a good job and I am slowly building a name for myself where I'll get an IM from someone who knows someone that I fixed their computer for and their machine is out of warranty and staples wants $150 just to diagnose the issue or some other outrageous price way out of their price range.

I'm not in it to make living, I have a full time job for that. It does pay for minor things like a night on the town, or a new video card etc.
I work on one or two computers a month.

Maybe switching to contract work would be better for you? Freelance in between contracts, nights, and weekends? Just be sure everyone understands that you also do outside work for other people.
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:14 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
I'm starting out as a freelance software developer, and I'm finding many things quite intimidating.
...
I feel that somehow there's still so few jobs out there that I'm confident I can do, so is there something wrong with me?

This is a pretty big topic. IMHO, though, you are making a misstep on this path. Which is OK, freelance especially will be like that.
Forgive me if I'm misclassifying you but, from what I understand from your previous posts, you're relatively new professionally, you have no mentor, you have no connections, you don't really have a niche or specialization, you have no resume or reputation, and you're trying to compete in a total buyers' market forum where there's simply going to be a race to the bottom on value, quality, and payoff for both parties.

If you don't mind getting a "real" job first and transitioning into freelance, that is probably a resourceful way to go. You can fix all those problems above while getting paid. You could specifically look for companies that allow work-from-home, or do consulting, or put you on contract but treat you as an employee.

If you really can't or won't do that, you need to change your approach in another way that addresses each of those, and you'll have to compromise on the "getting paid" portion of it. Maybe freelance could look like joining the crap shoot of iOS & Android apps and skip the client jobs. I know a "free spirit" type who just does that. They make a couple thousand per month, which isn't great but it's enough for them to live so they're happy.

From your other posts, you sound like you have a lot going for you - intelligence, motivation, flexibility, others. Don't be discouraged. But do take your struggles as feedback for change.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:19 am

I work as a freelance developer and some general advice is that places like Upwork/oDesk are not good places to find contracts. They represent least-effort on all fronts: most buyers have no contacts of their own, they just blindly put offers on there, and most sellers/contractors throw their resumes in there hoping for something to happen.

In those places you are also competing with probably millions (at lest many thousands) of "third-world" workers i.e. programmers living in India, China, etc with extremely low living costs, no insurance etc, that can afford to work for $5/h. To land contracts you will be more or less forced to bid $5-$10/hour, or ridiculously low fixed-fees just to start building a reputation (and hope that the buyers will actually give you a good grade once you are done). People also pad their histories with fake references giving good endorsements.

I dont live in the US so I dont think I can give much advice about building your personal network of clients except that nowadays everyone is on LinkedIn. If you build an informative profile of yourself there and try to connect to a few HR people at larger companies, or some salespeople at it-contracting firms, you may have a start.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:40 am

1. Depends on how confident you are in your abilities to figure it out, and/or how much time you're willing to put in "off the clock" to pick up a new skill if necessary.

2. Essentially the same answer as #1.

3. Vague project description + low fixed budget = run away! You'll spend several hours just figuring out the details of what they really want, before you can start writing code with any confidence that you won't need to throw it all out and start over. The client has wildly unrealistic expectations regarding what they can reasonably get for under $100.

4. WTF?!?? Also, the "About the Client" info says "$2.44/hr Avg Hourly Rate Paid". Enough said.

I've done a fair amount of freelancing over the years. But I didn't start doing it until I'd already been working as a developer for a while, and didn't rely on freelancing and contract work as my sole source of income until much later, after I'd built up a network of contacts in the local tech industry. Most of my freelance work was found through people I already knew from prior jobs. (Disclaimer: I no longer do it full-time, I have a salaried position with a large corporation.)

Redocbew wrote:
That can be kind of intimidating to feel like you're always flailing without any real sense of security, but that can happen in an office job as well. That's why we as geeks developed the ability to absorb information the way we do, because nobody else wants to do it. :P

The only real job security is in keeping your skills current and watching which way the wind is blowing so you can stay one step ahead of the train wreck. Unfortunately this means you need to pay attention to office politics; I detest it, but ignore it at your peril. If you take the attitude of "I'm just going to keep my head down and my mouth shut, and do my job" you'll eventually get blindsided or thrown under the bus for something that wasn't your fault.

Even if you like your job, the situation can change overnight and turn into a giant ball of suck. Have a "Plan B" if possible. (The financial meltdown and economic downturn meant I had no viable Plan B unless I was willing to take a substantial pay cut; this resulted in my being stuck for a couple of years at a job that I really came to detest, following a corporate buyout. It has only been in the past couple of months that my take-home pay has finally returned to the previous level.)
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:19 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
I'm starting out as a freelance software developer, and I'm finding many things quite intimidating.

For example, I go on Upwork to look for jobs and I find that I have to pass on most of the jobs because I can't guarantee that it'll take X hours and Y dollars. Of course, given enough time I know I could eventually do it, but I just KNOW that some wrinkle will pop up that will cost me some hours to solve, and then by the time I've solved it the client is a bit grumpy.


As a few others have said, what you're describing is not and ideal scenario... Upwork is where people go when they really don't want to think about the process of hiring a developer; which means that in many cases the jobs you find will be for people who have no idea what is involved with development and are setting themselves (and you) up for failure.

1. How far outside of my expertise domain should I go? If it says Python Web Scraping, and I know Python quite well, but not web scraping, should I go for it? If it's about Linux administration, and I'm really good at that, but with Samba and LDAP, which I have no idea about, should I apply?


It's not fair to the client to present yourself as having skills that you don't really have. And you risk making a name for yourself as someone who doesn't know his business. At the very least, tell them upfront what concerns you have - if they're expecting Samba expertise and you don't have that, say so. Express an eagerness to learn it, but be clear about what you know.

2. There's a job about crosscompiling a bitcoin client. I have done that before but I didn't remember what I had to do, it was such a long time ago. Is it safe to apply?
3. https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~01192350928c118c96/ can anybody really do all this before 99USD becomes too much? Or am I just not calibrated/skilled enough?
4. https://www.upwork.com/jobs/_~0173ce1f2ed97e20e1/ is this job post for real?


Only you can know what jobs you're capable of doing. Sorry if that's vague and unhelpful but that's how it is.

In general I get the feeling that people are unwilling to pay for a freelancer to learn the ropes around new tools, which I understand, but so many jobs don't fit my expertise domain perfectly. And I've written C for Arduino, Wordpress plugins, delved into the inner workings of Piwik, written stuff in Qt3 and C++ etc. but I feel that somehow there's still so few jobs out there that I'm confident I can do, so is there something wrong with me?


Put yourself in their shoes. If you're hiring someone for a specific period of time to do a specific job, do you want that person spending a significant part of the time learning what it is you need them to do?

I don't think there is anything wrong with you; but part of being a freelancer is being able to sell your skills and experience. If you don't feel like you're there yet (and it sounds like you don't) then you might need to advance a little before freelancing. Either with some additional education or some work experience in a formal job environment.

To be clear, this isn't me saying you aren't ready or capable; the fact that you're asking these question is frankly a point in your favor. There are a lot of people out there who jump into jobs without asking these questions, misrepresent themselves, and do no good for their clients or themselves. So good for you.

But the fact that you're asking these questions also means that you have some doubts; and the best way forward (in my opinion) is to address those doubts.
 
Crayon Shin Chan
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:38 am

Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies folks. I see some people trying to be nice, but yeah, as dmjifn said, I'm not new to programming but definitely new to working as one, I don't have a mentor, I don't have many connections and I don't really have a specialization (unless you consider Python a specialization).

How'd I end up here? Had a job, didn't make the trial period (because I didn't write stuff exactly the way the boss wanted it), I heard the freelancing life was good and enabled the lifestyle I always wanted, so I figured I'd try it out. Guess I'll go back to looking for another one... but I'll definitely try doing some projects on the side, even if I'm beat after work. I don't intend to work in an office forever.
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:47 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:
Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies folks. I see some people trying to be nice, but yeah, as dmjifn said, I'm not new to programming but definitely new to working as one, I don't have a mentor, I don't have many connections and I don't really have a specialization (unless you consider Python a specialization).

How'd I end up here? Had a job, didn't make the trial period (because I didn't write stuff exactly the way the boss wanted it), I heard the freelancing life was good and enabled the lifestyle I always wanted, so I figured I'd try it out. Guess I'll go back to looking for another one... but I'll definitely try doing some projects on the side, even if I'm beat after work. I don't intend to work in an office forever.


An office job can be boring and repetitive, and you'll often run into people who insist on things being done their way for no other reason than it's their way... but there is also a lot you can learn from being in an office job. There is more to being a programmer than programming - you've got to be able to gather requirements, work with people, work with timelines, etc, etc.

And to be honest, those other non-programming things are often what make the difference between being successful and not. I've known quite a few really, really excellent coders in my career who've basically gone nowhere because that was all they could do.

Get good at working on projects, and at working with people - and continue to build your skill set. You'll do great.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:02 pm

There's definitely something to be said for a steady paycheck, and not having to look for new work every few months. But here I am, nearly 35 years into my career, and still saying to myself "maybe *this* will be what I can do until I'm ready to retire" each time there's a change. :lol:

There's no "perfect" job; great ones can turn to crap, or vice-versa (though the latter case seems to be pretty rare). As cphite notes (and as I alluded to in my previous post as well), there's more to having a successful career as a developer than just knowing how to code...
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:15 pm

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:

How'd I end up here? Had a job, didn't make the trial period (because I didn't write stuff exactly the way the boss wanted it)


OMG you forgot to comment your work and use multiple nested goto loops didn't you! Shame on you! :D
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:22 pm

Aranarth wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:

How'd I end up here? Had a job, didn't make the trial period (because I didn't write stuff exactly the way the boss wanted it)


OMG you forgot to comment your work and use multiple nested goto loops didn't you! Shame on you! :D


Oops I meant used fuzzy logic, didn't comment your work, and used infinite nested goto loops!
I wish to see things not as they are but as they should be.

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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:23 pm

Aranarth wrote:
Aranarth wrote:
Crayon Shin Chan wrote:

How'd I end up here? Had a job, didn't make the trial period (because I didn't write stuff exactly the way the boss wanted it)


OMG you forgot to comment your work and use multiple nested goto loops didn't you! Shame on you! :D


Oops I meant used fuzzy logic, didn't comment your work, and used infinite nested goto loops!


Goto: Shame on you!
I wish to see things not as they are but as they should be.

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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:23 pm

my wife is freelance software developer and about 99% (who am I kidding, 100%) of her clients are people she worked for before while she had a steady job at a staffing agency for software developers. Working at an agency like that will put you in many different firms and bring you in touch with many people, some of who will seek you out for new jobs whether you're still working at that agency or not. I couldn't tell you how to find new clients beyond that other than word of mouth
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:09 pm

I can speak from experience, having been a freelancer for ~7 years now.


1) Do not sell yourself cheap.

In the wise words of the Joker, "if you're good at something, never do it for free." Offering a lower price because that's what the customer can afford or you want a foot in the door is fine. Working for an amount that's not even worth getting out of bed isn't. Also, you may as well forget about most offers on those freelance job sites. Unless you live in a country with extremely low living costs, $5 an hour won't really cut it.

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2) Contacts, acquaintances, heard-about, etc.

You'd think that the age of electronic communications would make word-of-mouth advertising less important. Much the opposite, in fact, it's only gotten more relevant. I got into Combat Studios because I posted in a contact form saying I could whip up a web page that fed off a couple databases. I then got into The Tech Report because of my previous work at Combat Studios and Digitalmente (my own company, still a partner but don't work there). Scott saw some of my work at those two places and gave me an initial task, which I completed. Here I am now.

Scott led me to David Kanter / RealWorldTech. Another person reached out to me because of the work I did with RWT. Someone else saw my work at TR and wants me to freelance for their future project. My previous work with Digitalmente recently led to one of its former customers offering me a full-time salaried job. Get the picture?

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3) Don't be afraid to reach out to people with confidence. You are more competent than you think.

"I'll fix your wagon fer ya." Everyone loves to hear these words. If you see a work opportunity for yourself, don't be afraid to reach out to the person in question. You'd be surprised at how often the reaction is "omg please we need someone to fix this!" I've worked for TR since 2010, but I've repeatedly kicked myself in the nuts for not contacting Scott sooner. I always thought that TR was something really difficult I couldn't handle, and it turns out that after all I didn't suck as bad as I thought I did. Who's the idiot? That's right, ME.

Another point: if there's a popular expression that's absolutely true, it's "the cobbler's son goes barefoot." You think that the other companies (big ones in particular) do everything really professionally and correctly. Hah. You wish. You tend to think that every other guy is a knowledgeable scientist that lives in an ivory tower. More often than not, he's really just as lost as you.

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4) Multiply your estimates

Whatever your estimate is, even if it's an easy job, multiply by 1.5x. If it looks a little tricky but you know you can pull it off, 2x. If lots of learning is required, 3x. Multiply further if you're inexperienced in the field in question.

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5) Be extremely careful about accepting rush jobs

If it's a regular customer, consider rush jobs carefully. Else, pass. It's often a disaster waiting to happen. Exceptions: if the person is very clearly aware that it's a rush job and/or is paying lots.

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6) Be self-sufficient and self-managed as much as possible

Get a habit of taking notes, maintaining lists of tasks, presenting progress to customers. Be professional. Show yourself as someone that gets **** done. Personally, I'm sometimes a little too organized/straight, but I can attest that that trait has made me more than a little profit, as people like knowing their stuff is in good hands.

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7) Most people care about goals and little about processes. Everyone's priorities are different

When you're discussing work to be done with people, speak mostly of the effect of that work and what it'll do for the person. Only go into the weeds if necessary. And perhaps even more importantly, different people have different priorities depending on their jobs.

Very recent example: i'm fixing a certain website, making it faster, etc. Lots of work. One of my bosses at that gig was "okay, I understand it needs to be done, it's true that the site is slow." But when I fixed a simple/stupid problem pertaining RSS feeds and newsletters, she was totally ecstatic. Why was this? She's in the marketing area. Learn to read people. At a personal level, stereotyping people is ugly and bad. At a professional level, it's fine and often a necessity.

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8) You're the professional, you know better

If you're discussing work with a client and think that X is a bad idea, don't be afraid to say it, with varying degrees of care. Keep in mind that you are the professional, so you should know all about this stuff, and it's also your responsibility to speak out when "that great idea" = "future trouble." You are the professional, you're supposed to know better.

This works both ways: if you think that something should be done, consider putting your foot down. Keep in mind point 7 above, though, and explain your reasoning in terms of goals.

On a directly related topic: particularly in the computing area, learning to manage customers' expectations is a key attribute. The vast majority of people aren't technically inclined nor do they have any intention to be. It's up to you to put things clearly and concisely.

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9) Resumés matter way less than you'd expect

See point 3 above. Once you're being offered work by referral, very few people will give a flying **** about your qualifications, height, color of hair, and underwear color. You'll be looked at and judged by your ability to get **** done and little else.

I realize many may not be as lucky as I was, but guess how many resumés I presented to this day? ZERO. Some of my clients don't even know my face or voice. All they care is that they have someone they can rely on. Heck, very recently, when I sent a client a quick summary of my work experience and qualifications, flat out said "we don't care much about those, at this point we just need someone with a clue."
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just brew it!
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:20 pm

morphine wrote:
I realize many may not be as lucky as I was, but guess how many resumés I presented to this day? ZERO. Some of my clients don't even know my face or voice. All they care is that they have someone they can rely on. Heck, very recently, when I sent a client a quick summary of my work experience and qualifications, flat out said "we don't care much about those, at this point we just need someone with a clue."

Heh.

Yeah, to the OP: You'd probably be shocked how many "professionals" really *don't* have a clue. Incompetent developers can do incredible amounts of damage, and put a project so far in the hole that it is impossible to ever dig out.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:36 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Yeah, to the OP: You'd probably be shocked how many "professionals" really *don't* have a clue. Incompetent developers can do incredible amounts of damage, and put a project so far in the hole that it is impossible to ever dig out.

Hey! I resemble that remark! :p

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Goto: Shame on you!

New genre: "forum posts as performance art" - nicely done. :lol:
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ztrand
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 2:07 am

take Morphine's list to heart, it is excellent. Most of all this point:

Another point: if there's a popular expression that's absolutely true, it's "the cobbler's son goes barefoot." You think that the other companies (big ones in particular) do everything really professionally and correctly. Hah. You wish. You tend to think that every other guy is a knowledgeable scientist that lives in an ivory tower. More often than not, he's really just as lost as you.


When I was very young (school age) I thought "the type of assignments we do here are kids stuff, but in High School it will be different, they have standards there"

Then I started High School and thought "well this wasnt very strict either, people cheat and cram for exams etc. At least at University it will be different, there they do serious world-class research"

At university I realised that no, people were still doing as much shoddy work and cutting corners as before. I thought well what more is there? Maybe at large multinational corporations they are super-professional?

Then I started working, sometimes at large multinationals, and realised that NO, cheating and cutting corners and people bumbling around barely knowing what they are doing, is just as common there.


The lesson is that the type of ultra-competent professional you imagine works everywhere, is incredibly rare if they exist at all. *Everyone* has a long period in their life where they suffer from "impostor syndrome", many people never get over it. Just embrace the fact that most people you meet professionally are just as insecure about their abilities as you are. It goes away in time when you get enough experience to realise that you actually know what you are doing, and that sometimes even the best make mistakes.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:08 am

ztrand wrote:
Then I started working, sometimes at large multinationals, and realised that NO, cheating and cutting corners and people bumbling around barely knowing what they are doing, is just as common there.


Wouldn't you assume this isn't true in companies such as, say, Intel? At least in the higher than entry-level positions.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:19 am

The larger the company, the more room for the bumbling fools to hide.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:47 am

notfred wrote:
The larger the company, the more room for the bumbling fools to hide.

Indeed.

Half of the people out there have below average skills. At a small company, someone who isn't pulling their own weight will really stick out and won't last long unless they are a relative/friend of someone higher up the food chain.

At a large company it's easy to get lost in the crowd. This is good for the slackers and clueless, but not so good for the highly motivated people who know what they're doing.

Large companies also tend to be more willing to shuffle an under-performing employee around to find another job they're good (or at least less bad...) at. This is partly a practical matter (at a small company there may not *be* another suitable opening available), partly big company office politics (firing someone is an implicit admission that you screwed up when you hired them in the first place), and partly legal (there may be concerns about a potential discrimination lawsuit).
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:21 am

Based on the OP's questions (judging by the variety of topics and level) posted in this forum, I respectfully suggest gaining some depth on specific skills/topics/technologies (things you like and/or are in demand) rather than more breadth. Jack of all trades, master of none, can be both an asset (a single project may utilize many skills), but can be a detriment (you can't perform those skills at a high enough level to complete said project within the time restraints). Also, affects confidence which is why you're posting this topic...
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:55 am

just brew it! wrote:
notfred wrote:
The larger the company, the more room for the bumbling fools to hide.
Indeed.

Just give gov't employment a whirl. You quickly find that that is the dumping ground for those who washed out of the private sector due to incompetence.
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meerkt
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:48 am

If a company has the clout to attract good people, isn't it in the company's best interest to keep the best and "upgrade" the rest?
Surely people can evaluate the ones one or two steps above/below them in the hierarchy.
 
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:56 am

meerkt wrote:
If a company has the clout to attract good people, isn't it in the company's best interest to keep the best and "upgrade" the rest?
Surely people can evaluate the ones one or two steps above/below them in the hierarchy.

As long as there are more skilled jobs than there are highly qualified people, the under-performers will be working *somewhere*. It is impossible for everyone to be above average!
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:54 am

PixelArmy wrote:
Based on the OP's questions (judging by the variety of topics and level) posted in this forum, I respectfully suggest gaining some depth on specific skills/topics/technologies (things you like and/or are in demand) rather than more breadth. Jack of all trades, master of none, can be both an asset (a single project may utilize many skills), but can be a detriment (you can't perform those skills at a high enough level to complete said project within the time restraints). Also, affects confidence which is why you're posting this topic...

To complement this thought (which is an excellent point), almost everything you know, no matter how useless it may sound, will pay off sooner or later.

To the OP: I played and still play way too many games. That eventually bore fruit with TR's game news coverage and reviews. Hanging around TR led me to be able to recommend hardware to customers. Heck, what little writing skill I got from high school which went unused for years is paying off now.

If you're dealing with small companies in particular, you'll find that you have to wear multiple hats at the same time. Being able to do that is a major asset. However, as PixelArmy said, don't try to go and learn everything. Try to focus on skills that complement each other easily.
There is a fixed amount of intelligence on the planet, and the population keeps growing :(
 
ztrand
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Re: Is freelancing supposed to be this hard or do I just suc

Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:30 pm

Wouldn't you assume this isn't true in companies such as, say, Intel? At least in the higher than entry-level positions.


I was a bit harsh maybe :)

I dont mean everyone is a fool, just that incompetence exists everywhere. And pretty much everyone goes through a period where they feel way out of their depth. It is normal. There are certainly competent people in lots of places.

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