I’ve worked as a software engineer for the last 15 years, and the projects I’ve been involved in have ranged from quick ad-hoc BI-projects up to 2 mln dollar projects for government and stock-listed organisations. Most of the applications that I’ve worked on are still in use today, by companies, organizations and individuals (one – at Volvo plant!). Whenever I’ve worked in a team with other engineers, I’ve always been one of the people that have worked the hardest, and who were responsible for making sure that the tool actually worked. That led me to help and collaborate with other people (who had other responsibilities on the same project), so I got to learn various technologies and methodologies. My favourite language is T-SQL, and I’ve worked with technologies and frameworks such as SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Splunk, Tableau, etc. I also have a lot of experience with dashboard design, visualisation, cloud technologies, and relational and non-relational database systems. I posses certificates in TOGAF and ITILv3 methodologies and reading at the moment Six Sigma. Recently, I have been involved with a lot of freelance work on different kinds of projects. I’ve researched a lot of sites that enable freelancers to find work (such as oDesk and Elance), and I’ve worked on a couple of projects there. Needless to say, it’s very difficult to find an interesting project at those sites, because most of the work that is posted there is for short-term easy-to-do tasks that aren’t paid well. However, I’ve been lucky enough to catch an occasional good project there, and I believe that I’ve done well on all of them. I really like freelance work, because of three things: no need to travel to work, you can get a decent pay if you’re doing your job correctly, and you get to work on different projects so you learn a lot of new things. While I’ve been researching other freelancing platforms, I came across TopTal.com and I immediately fell in love with it. Let me explain why I ended up liking it so much:
- It’s the place where the best freelancers are – TopTal receives thousands of applications every month, but only about 3% of applicants get in. According to their website and various blog posts on the web, TopTal has developed a tough screening process to identify and accept the best engineers. Oh, and did I mention that the engineers who are accepted at TopTal work for clients such as Airbnb and ZenDesk?
- Great blog posts – This is how I learned about TopTal in the first place. They have excellent posts on their Engineering Blog, written by freelance software engineers who work at TopTal. I’ve learned a lot from their blog, and I highly recommend that you try it for yourself.
- Long term work – The only reason I don’t like freelance platforms such as Elance is that it’s hard to find long-term projects for a competitive salary there. Most of the projects are low-paying short-term projects, and you have to be on their site every day, so you can catch (on time) and apply quickly for the occasional good project that is posted there. That is boring, and very time consuming. TopTal promises to provide opportunities for you, so you don’t have to waste an entire day just searching for a good project.
Anyway, I’ve just began the interview process at TopTal.com (to become a part of the SQL community and Toptal Software Programmers Group), and I really like to get in and become one of the freelancers who work there. If you’re a software engineer looking for work, I recommend that you do the same.