I have been a technology professional for about 20-years now. I have worked on building desktop applications, web applications, and massively scalable Cloud Native applications. Between starting my own companies and working for other companies, it has been a journey filled with many exciting moments and some very dull ones too. That sounds really cliché considering we all have the same moments in our professional careers. However, I want to highlight the journey we typically face in our working lives and my personal desire to try a new path.
There are three main avenues we can pursue when we enter the workforce. The first is that of a typical worker in a corporation. We start somewhere in a company and over the years we work our way up the ladder. Some of us may reach the very top in the C-Suite while the rest may find satisfaction in the area of the business they have mastered. There is nothing wrong with aiming for the top or aiming for the middle or just staying where you are in the corporate hierarchy. The important question always should be that of satisfaction and value. Are you happy where you are and is it meeting your needs?
The second avenue is that of a budding entrepreneur who is not ready to make the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. This process typically starts on a corporate ladder. At some point, we reach a wrung of that ladder and decide to try our hand at starting a company or even freelancing privately. Starting small is easy. Take our free time and earn a little money by contracting or build a small business. This is a great way to make the transition to being your own boss without jumping head first into it all.
The third avenue is to go straight for entrepreneurship. Build a small business, start a consulting firm, or go create the next great product. There is nothing like the freedom to set your own schedule. There is also nothing like the stress of setting up your own schedule. However, like anything else in life, we learn to adapt, discipline ourselves, and create time when we really need to so we can succeed in our chosen way of life. Taking risks can be scary and this path, while rewarding, has a lot of pitfalls to watch out for. And as the old adage goes, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Recently, I have been contemplating the path of a freelance engineer. It is an appealing path and there are plenty of places online where one can pursue this path. However, I have decided to try my hand at TopTal. I discovered this company while researching others in this arena. Their claim of having an acceptance rate of less than 3% is intimidating. Like most of us, interviewing is not an exercise that is enjoyable to me. However, like a bad dating service, searching through projects in a freelance network where engineers and projects are not properly matched is not desirable either. I look forward to my personal journey through their Web Developers Network. Let's see what experiential nugget I can mine from this exploration.
A software engineer, product nerd, educator, and martial artist with a knack for solving business problems.