How do freelancers live: do not work with “all-knowing” clients and allow yourself to grow
They say that freelancing is chosen in order not to have to go to the office. And Vyacheslav told us that office for work is better than any beach. We release the
second interview about the guys with Freelance - how to automate escort services and to whom to delegate the routine.
Vyacheslav Balobanov - a developer with 10 years of freelancing experience, creates complex Internet projects, information systems, websites and applications.
1. Describe your best freelancing project - the one you are really proud of.
In fact, I am proud of every second project, because their level is quite high. And this is not only and not so much because of the quality of my work, but because of the level of clients and the scale of the projects themselves.
2. Describe your biggest failure during freelancing.
At the very beginning of my career, I worked on a project to create a program that converts textual dictionaries into an audio file.
The file was intended for listening and learning English words. At the entrance we transfer a text file with the data - English words and their translation - and at the output we get an mp3 file with the pronunciation of these words and translations.
While I was writing and debugging, of course, I changed the input parameters for all sorts of nonsense. As a result, the first version was sent to the client, and she issued a result in the form of a series of swear words to any dictionary.
The client said something like this: “the program does not meet the stated requirements.” For some time I was trying to figure out what was wrong. Then I launched the program and heard it myself. As a result, corrected, laughed and completed the project.
3. Describe your workplace - from laptop to chair, including software and applications.
Laptops Macbook Pro and Lenovo Z580, previously developed a lot under windows, now decided to switch to iOS, but unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely give up Windows.
Two monitors 24 ”AOC on the rack. Yellow play chair.
From the main software - Komodo Edit, Sublime Text, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, all existing browsers and a number of specialized pieces.
I love it when there are all sorts of anti-stress gizmos, spinners, small cars, etc., something to which you can switch the view from the monitor.
4. How to effectively manage tasks and time?
I decompose tasks into small subtasks, make a plan for the day, work according to my plan, and “reward” myself for completing each block of tasks.
Under the award can be a lot of things to understand, for example, a coffee break or reading social networks. Before starting the execution of the block of tasks, I determine for myself the reward for this block, after which I proceed to work on it.
It happens, of course, to procrastinate. I can not sit down for a project for a week, but only think about it, and then one day before the deadline I can issue a good decision and meet the deadlines. Previously, it bothered me and I tried not to allow such situations, but in the end I realized that this was also a working method and some complex tasks were solved only in this way.
I try to delegate or automate uninteresting and routine tasks. For example, I delegate layout to professionals, because I don’t really like to do it myself. I can delegate some simple tasks or stages to other developers, there are several employees in the pipeline, including remote ones, such as freelancers.
If we talk about specific tools, I use Bitrix24, Evernote, Google-documents, timing using the "Tomato" method.
I also often use Siri in the organization of the workflow; now she can do a lot of things. And this is not only about planning tasks, but also about the implementation of specific actions, for example, Siri reports to me daily on the financial statistics of a project.
5. Are there customers you would never work with?
I would definitely not work with clients who do not agree with my working conditions. Now I have a lot of good customers, it's easier for me to refuse to cooperate than to adapt to someone else's rules.
Perhaps I would not work with clients who know too much and talk about how you do your work. I don't like trying to control every step.
Freelance is creativity, you need to set a task and give freedom for its implementation. I don’t have any moral and ethical principles in choosing clients and projects, it’s important that the task be interesting from a technical point of view. Well, well paid, of course.
For example, once I had to automate escort services. It was a multi-component system consisting of several resources. Implemented processes from ordering and payment, to social functions and complex analytical reports.
6. If you had unlimited resources (time, money, power, people), what project would you do?
I would do the same, but at the same time I would try to improve the world, the projects would be different, for the most part socially significant. I would have researched and experimented a lot in technology - Big Data, Machine Learning and artificial intelligence in general. Perhaps something related to medicine, diagnosis.
I would try to work with interesting people and companies that are changing the world, for example, Apple, Google, Alibaba Group, Uber, Amazon. Of specific personalities, this is Matt Mullenweg (WordPress), Ilon Musk, of course, Johnny Ive and others.
7. What should I learn and where to become the best in your field?
Oh, it's very simple! It is enough to read any book on development or go through some basic programming courses ...
After that, you need to spend 10,000 hours on practical work on various projects. In the course of the practice, you may have to read something else, but you will know exactly what it is.
8. The biggest freelance myth?
Freelancers work at home in uncomfortable conditions, or vice versa in too comfortable conditions, sitting on the beach and drinking a cocktail.
In fact, everything is more trivial. Personally, I have a spacious bright office. I go there every day (well, almost). Of course, nothing prevents to take work and go to the beach, but in the office it will be much more convenient for me.
9. Tell about 3 favorite books - educational, popular science and art.
“Stream: Psychology of Optimal Experience” is my main educational literature lately, I learn to be happy and live in harmony with myself.
I don't read anything scientifically popular right now, for some reason it happened. I'll take the book "The Green King" to this point, it is quite scientific and very popular lately.
From art, the most favorite book - "Shantar".
10. If you could return to the past by the time you decided to switch to freelancing, what advice would you give yourself?
Don `t doubt.
Question from the previous freelancer: The main trouble for freelancers is problems with self-discipline. There is software, there are services (Todoist and others). Nothing works for me. And for you?
For me, the main motivator is money. You need to support your family, pay bills, buy something, and so on. Understanding this discipline better than any services.
Bonus: Ask a question to the next freelancer, whom we will interview.
Give some advice to your employer on how, in your opinion, to build relationships with freelancers correctly.