Hi, my name's Andre Liem and I would like to welcome you to my website! If you are a developer looking to become a freelancer, or a freelance developer already, this website is for you. I will share with you resources and strategies for becoming better at freelancing by sharing stories from my own experiences. I am not an uber successful solopreneurs making millions in passive income, I am a developer with around 15 years of experience where the last 5 have been as a freelance consultant for startups, software firms, and traditional small to medium sized businesses. With this experience I have learned a lot about what to do, and what not do, and together I hope we can grow as developers to become better at our craft and earn a good living doing it!
Like a lot of developers, I started by hitting the books and learning from others. For me that was taking the traditional path of attending a University (UBC) and getting a degree in Computing Science.
From there I landed my first job at the University as a Web Developer where I worked under the portfolio of the research department building web applications from the ground up. This was a great experience where I was able to build "greenfield" projects, work with people not in my field and have the unusual luxury of having the time to build things right. After a few years I decided it was time to get some experience in the private field. I began working for a local agency in Vancouver called "Invoke Media" that was pumping out some awesome sites and experimenting with internal products. During this time I learned what it was like to work under tight deadlines, push code for big clients and hope nothing fails. This was an exciting period for my career where I was able to lead the development of a flagship product, work with talented folk and got to see firsthand what happens when a startaup/product (Hootsuite) hits real traction and growth.
Fast forward a few more years, I moved into a managerial role where I hardly coded and primarily managed a group developers and QA testers. Shortly after this me, my wife, had our first kid and decided to make the move to a smaller town across the sea to Vancouver Island. Because of the difference in cost of living (e.g. - houses here cost a fraction of what they do in Vancouver city) and lack of local tech opportunities, I was given the perfect chance to try freelancing and working for myself.
Freelancing wasn't something I could do from the start, I had built up a solid reputation & contacts while I was working in Vancouver, had a healthy financial cushion, and more than 10 years of full stack dev skills working with a full range of clients. If you are thinking of freelancing or are wondering how to, focus on these three things: growing your contacts & reputation, financial savings, and constantly improving your dev skills or whatever it is that makes you money.
I decided in early 2018 that I was going to find a way to engage more with the community but didn't know exactly what I could share that would be of value. I was already running a website & newsletter called the Vue JS Radar which is steadily growing, worked with several startups, tried my hand at building my own startup... But I also knew that aside from just coding, I had acquired a wealth of knowlege and experience as a freelance developer. So this site was given a rebirth to begin this journey with other developers, to become a better developer and freelancer. Ultimately the goal is freedom, you want to work when you want, for who you want and on the projects that interest you. This is something I work towards everyday and is a fine balance, it doesn't happen overnight, it's a constant battle of tweaks and ups and downs. My mission for this site is to help other developers become better developers, learn from others, and figure out if taking the leap to freelancing is something you can do. Or if you already are a solo developer running your own gig, then I hope to hear from you and learn about your ups and downs.