Many of you will have heard this quote before but for those who haven’t, it’s a quote from Confucius, a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. That being said, the origin of this particular quote is not the topic of this post, but more the meaning and how I feel that more people could benefit from paying attention to this.
It’s quite likely that many of us in the tech industry already live by this whether or not it’s intentional or not. Like me, I imagine many of you do what you do because you enjoy it, I didn’t chose to be a PHP developer for monetary gain or anything other than the fact that I enjoy it, which means that there is a burning passion within me for what I do.
For those of you that read my tweets and/or articles, you’ll be familiar with a recent post I wrote about the state of UK freelancing and how we don’t have a home on the web that we can call our own, a home that enables us to find projects and compete with other freelancers in a fair and unbiased way, other freelancers mind you, that are from the UK, so we’re not undercut by those who live in parts of the world where the price of living is lower, and in some cases, considerably lower. If you aren’t, you can read it here.
I’ve spoke to a fair few people about my idea, which includes a very brief Twitter conversation (about 4 tweets), with the UK country manager for Freelancer, who said the following:
As many of you will know, I recently turned certain events around and decided that rather than seeking employment, I would go it alone in the big bad freelance world and see what I can make of it.
Now, there are a wealth of tools online to help freelancers out there, such as Elance, Freelancer, Guru and Odesk, but there only seems to be one that really targets the UK market, and that is PeoplePerHour. PeoplePerHour is a great idea, and one that has proved to work for freelancers all over the country, but it’s not quite what I am looking for, seeing as I am a developer and my work rarely entails a visual element that can be accurately portrayed to a potential client.
This particular issue is one that we have all faced at one time or another, a higher up wants a project completed and they want it now, regardless. As a freelancer you have quite a bit of control over this situation, as the higher up is your client, and you dictate to them the amount of time it’ll take for you to finish their project. Typically, I work out my estimate, then double that.
As an employee however, you have little or no say over things like this. I know this first hand, as this is something that I have encountered quite recently.