I've been working for different companies for a bit more than a decade, using differente languages, technologies and working with different teams, large and small; through this I’ve learned a lot of cool things, met some awesome people and much more. My primary focus was building web applications; small, large and distributed ones organized into the micro-services. Each job I had gave me an opportunity to learn something new, which is very important in the software engineering world. I can't complain about any of those positions or companies I've worked for; they were all great experiences.
The last full-time job I had was at eGym GmbH. I worked there for 3 years using mostly Java and Golang for building backend micro-services. There were many things I worked with so I could learn and improve my skills. The project itself was very interesting too: building “smart” fitness machines (physical machines, the real ones which you usually use to work out at the gym) that are connected to the cloud and provide useful data to the users and trainers via tablets and mobile apps. It was a standard 9am - 6pm job in a nice office in downtown Berlin with all the benefits of full-time employment. Then I decided to quit and started working for myself. Although my decision came as a surprise to some people, it was not one I made in haste.
I offcially started working for myself October 1st, 2019. I had no clients, no projects, no job offers and I was pretty unknown in the scene. True, I had a twitter account but I only ever used it to follow people in the programming world. I had almost no followers. So, why did I decide to quit my job to work for myself when I had no clients or recognizable base within the industry to start with? I needed a change. Switching one job for another wasn’t enough of a change for me. Going to the office everyday from 9am to 6pm, having daily meetings, planning schedules, talking in the break room and more meetings, was not the difference I was looking for. Even though there are a lot of benefits to having a full-time job, I wanted to find something more exciting, something I've never done before that would really motivate me in a way a standard job can’t.
I know very well my strengths and weaknesses, and two of my biggest strengths are my ability to manage time and following through. I’m really motivated by setting my own goals and accomplishing them. My plans are usually scheduled down to the minute. Working for myself gives me the opportunity to use my time as effectively as possible in order to maximize my potential and provide high quality work. And it's not only about time management; there are many more things that working for myself can do to boost my productivity and increase my happiness, such as having the opportunity to learn new technologies! Companies usually have a predefined package of tech they work with that rarely changes. As a freelance I can explore different tools for different tasks and in general have more freedom about decision making. I have a chance to choose co-workers and also have a greater degree of influence over the final product. This gives me the chance to learn a thousand different things about businesses which might not even be related to programming, as well as the opportunity to meet new and exciting people.
I found that freelancing and building my own side-projects could give me what I was looking for. Also remote part-time jobs with enticing projects I'd like to work with, like digital currencies, fintech, cloud platforms etc., might be more interesting and motivating for me then a standard day-to-day office job. I don’t know what's going to happen in the future but I know that it's time to change course in my professional career. I am at the beginning of my journey and very excited about how it's going to look and what will come up.