This is a followup of a post I wrote a year ago about my status one year after starting FFC. As promised, here is the status.
When I wrote the post last year, I had time to work on projects for free; I was discovering VueJS and testing various JS backend frameworks as FeatherJS and Sails, working on personal projects mixing technologies. I worked for free for people I met on IRC or in meetings, and the school I which I was as a student asked me to… teach.
The school offer was about teaching web development to people in re-conversion; a three-month intensive course; 35h/week with total beginners. I don’t know if you ever tried to prepare courses for 13 students, and stand in front of them for 53h a week for three months, but it’s a really challenging experience. I asked a high level of dedication from them, and I gave my free time to them through Gitter channels (nights and weekends).
The goal was to go from “discovering HTML” to “build an application with a PHP framework”, using virtual machines, Git, CSS, etc…
It was really hard for them and for me, but it was a good time.
After this, I got a raise and they asked me to handle other classes, a few days per month. So I had free time again and it was october.
Working for free ?
I worked on the Frab project, a Ruby on rails conference management system for people I met in meetings. Ruby, and Ruby on rails were new to me, so I worked on translations, mainly.
I met people from the Happy Dev network and joined it. It’s a french network of freelancers, with a big Rocketchat instance to centralize and dispatch incoming jobs. I spent a lot of time speaking with people, and one day, a big VueJS project pointed its nose. Short deadline, given the functionalities, but really interesting to do. I jumped on the occasion.
I was trying to join the Coopaname and in december, I knew I could sign with them in january. The VueJS project was planned to end in march, so I WAS POTENTIALLY ABLE TO CHARGE MY FIRST JOB AS A FREELANCER !
In january, full rush on VueJS, but I got this call from someone I worked with “for free” the last year:
- We’re creating a company with all the people we work with, you want to join ?
Well… I signed with them for a part-time job (80%) and with the Coopaname (for 20%)
I’m not going to FreeCodeCamp anymore. I still have some Gitter channels in my favorites, and I pop in from time to time. It’s “@mtancoigne”, if you want to ask me something. I’ll be happy to speak with you.
I’m still working in the company which hired me. We develop electronic prototypes, helping our customers to define their needs, to the electronic cards and software development. I work mainly with Ruby, on specific applications.
I had a few contracts with the Coopaname but I don’t have enough time to work on prospecting.
I stopped teaching in April, but I still give free courses on saturdays to the most interested of my former students. Slowly, other people are joining, so the courses seems not to be that bad (the last ones were about VueJS)
I try to find time for my personal projects, and to bring the technologies I test in the company’s projects (as VueJS, and now Nativescript-vue)
I re-wrote ExperimentsLabs in Ruby on Rails, that helped me a lot to learn Ruby (and i’m still working on it)
And the most important part is: I don’t work for free anymore. I now have a kind of recognition for the work I do.
That was totally worth it
More seriously, i’ll stick with what I said last year: dedication is the key. Work, meet people. Speak and help others. Do things, even if they are small.
EDIT: Added a direct link to my gitter account