I’ve been working it IT since year 2000, first as a 3d artist, then as a web designer (4 years), then I moved to programming and full freelancing (10+ years). The freelancing lifestyle has been challenging at times but the most positive thing is that it has pushed me to cultivate a strong motivation of always learning and acquiring new skills.
This drive has inspired me to learn new programming languages and paradigms (from Ruby/Rails to React/Redux. And currently learning Clojure and improving my functional programming skills), but most importantly, a few years ago, it has made me question and evaluate my social & soft skills.
As a freelancer, I found out how essential these are to connect with high quality clients, but also for enjoyable and healthy professional relationships across projects. So, in 2007, I started a long process of developing these soft skills. This was the trigger that made me start, amongst others: theater improvisation courses, dancing classes, as well as a full NLP (Neuro Linguistc Programming) Master Practitioner Training.
This has led me to one of the most learning-intensive experiences I’ve ever had: contracting during 1 year as a coach and facilitator for the amazing Belgian company Oniryx, where I’ve been helping the teams and project leaders to transition from a traditional top-down hierarchy to a self-management, holacracy culture.
Once my mission was done, I decided to move to Berlin, for its vibrant life and IT culture. I have to say that, as a freelancer, this has been a fantastic decision and is currently one of the best places to live and look for projects.
Still, it’s always a good idea to expand one’s number channels, so I’ve recently putting more attention in ways to improve and streamline the process of finding new “quality clients”.
I’ve heard very good things about Toptal, from my friend Gustavo who has been working with them for more than one year already and has been very satified with them and with the clients they connected him to.
So I decided to give it a go and have sent them today my application. I hope to hear from them soon and hopefully become part of the Toptal React.js freelancers group.