As the new era beggings, the need for change has become a must, we see this in every aspect of our lives, but mainly, in the IT industry.
Every day new technologies are coming to life, for developers, new and some times improved programming languages are coming in, upgrades of the old ones are seen every day and this pushes us to be more proactive and self tought so we can keep track of the changes and avoid being left behind.
These changes are also seen in the way we work, for me, as a developer, I spent 13 years working as an employee for different companies in my country (Venezuela), but that always left me incomplete, feeling that I was loosing my freedom, my life, I couln't do what I wanted, be creative, learn new things, enjoy life.
So I started thinking on what I could do to change this. I saw how outsourcing was evolving to become freelancing, companies were looking for more developers than studios that offer the same services, perhaps because it was cheaper, but I think that it was because of the freedom that came with hiring a freelance developer, designer, project manager,etc. The companies saw that these type of people were more creative and effecient at their jobs because they didn't govern their working schedule like most people do, going to the office, keeping up with office hours, etc, they work from the comfort of their homes or any where in the world at their own hours, they can even travel while working.
Seeing the type of freedom that being a freelancer was offering, I couldn't help my self but to dive in. As a developer, im always adapting, evolving. I started working with Qbasic back in '92 as a child, then went from there to a little bit of C++, jumped on the Java train and finally started with PHP and web tecnologies like HTML, CSS, SASS.
Now this evolution didnt come without a cost, I had to pushed my self harder and farder to learn new technologies, the ones that I was kept away from by being an employee. I had my plenty share of long nights studying, practicing, I actually started to love burning the night candle. This led me to a path of knowledge where I got to meet some incredible developers and learn from them.
So my journey as a digital nomad begins and with it, came doing some reasearch, finding websites for freelancers to find remote jobs. I came across oDesk, now UpWork, needles to say that there is no screening process and sometimes is overwhelming to find a good long term job, but I kept using it due to the fact that I needed to keep a constant flow of work and money, it's been two years now and I don't regreet the decision.
One day I got an interesting link on my facebook feed, Hacker paradise, a place for digital nomads like me, so I started looking around and saw that it was sponsored by Toptal, so I naturaly followed the link and inmediatly felt in love by the exclusivity of it and of course inspired by the talent of the already Toptal developers, being inspired by others forces you to evolve and that's what i'm always looking for.
At first, it was overwhelming going through Toptal's website, but then I started reading their blog, and boy, I've got to say that the articles are amazing, I recommend reading them, they will help you a lot. So after reading a few blog posts, I took a look at the screening process to try to understand why only 3% makes it throught it, I think not all of the freelancers out there will agree with me, but having this kind of screening process is the most appealling part of Toptal and that's because only the best of the best are in there, who doesn't want to be part of the Toptal Web programmers group, to have a little bit of an ego boost and be part of the best and work on awesome projects that will push your knowledge every day, short answer: ME.
As I start my screening process I have to say that you always have to tackle what is thrown at you and find you're own path, whether it comes with success or not, everything is a learning experience, take the good from the bad and enjoy the success, and although im taking my first step toward being part of an elite group of my piers, that got me very excited by the way, failure will not pull me down, in fact it will fuel my desire of becoming better and better every day..
I recommend my readers to give it a shot, go to Toptal's website and join the elite group of developers that are working on some amazing projects with some of the greates companies in the world. I also encourage you to go to Hacker Paradise website and travel the world while doing what you love.
"Be part of the revolution and continue evolving"