Getting with the best
Today I submitted to the Toptal evaluation process to become a member of their Web Programmers Group. My hope is that I will soon be part of a high level professional network that gives me access to other developers around the world as well as high level clients.
What we, mostly, do right now
That is fine for paying the bills, but very seldom challenging work.
Aside from that though it is tough to find good clients, as in clients that I can create maximum value for, locally. Karlskrona is a small town and while I love living here and don't want to move to a big city like Stockholm or Gothenburg, it means slim pickings on the client side.
That is why we already work remotely with all of our clients. Remote work opens up a world of possibilities but it is still hard to find clients with needs that match our skills, especially for a senior developer like me.
The next step
Belonging to something like Toptal will help me find fun clients. Projects that have more technical challenges and projects of a different type, more lead developer/technical manager roles for example.
Hopefully it will also help me continue my growth as a developer. Not challenging yourself if a great way to stagnate and get stuck in old habits and tools. I need some new angles on old problems, different tech stacks, new arguments and discussions about what is a good solution to a problem. I need a change and this looks promising :)
Help to help
So I see Toptal as a way to get in contact with better clients, clients that offer me a challenge at the same time that I give them the greatest value.
Hopefully this will mean more job satisfaction and more good per unit of time done in the world! Someone else can install Wordpress on IIS for a while...
If you didn't know Toptal is a freelance developer exchange with a pretty high bar to entry. They reject some 97% of all applications so their stock of developers consist of the top 3% that have applied.
This also means that their clients know what they get, some of the best engineers in the software industry.
Image courtesy of Wayne Middleton under Creative commons