Tony Wolski

Great freelance advice from Roberto Cortez at Devoxx UK 2015


What if I fail

Reading through my Feedly feed this morning I found this post by Oleg Shelajev which contained a link to all of the Devoxx UK 2015 talks hosted on Parleys. Awesome sauce.

The Devoxx UK conference was a couple of months ago so I’d forgotten all about it (no, sadly I didn’t go), but it was great to be made aware of the valuable resources. I get two very contrasting feelings when browsing libraries of conference talks like this. The first is over excitement at all the great content and new things that I’m going to learn by watching them all. This is always and immediately followed by the thought:

How the f*%$ am I going to find time to consume all of this?!

I never manage to find time to watch everything I really want to, but I give it a good crack.

One talk which caught my eye immediately was Roberto Cortez’s Five Ways to Not Suck at Being a Java Freelancer (video below). Having recently taken a leap of faith from a safe, permanent job into the unknown of freelancing/consulting, I found his talk really relevant, and full of great advice for those wanting to follow the same path.

Watch on

A lot of Cortez's advice I've already managed to figure out, but in such a short talk (16:03) there's some valuable tips to take on board, especially for those just starting out in the freelance/consultancy game.

I particularly liked Roberto’s final message, which echoes the same thoughts that I had when I decided to take the plunge… What is the worst thing that can happen.

“We are very lucky at the work that we have. When I was younger I was never had the idea I was going to follow the tech world. And now, sometimes I have discussions with a couple of friends that we were very lucky because we actually followed a profession that we don’t have a shortage of jobs. Actually there’s more demand than supply, so what’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you quit your job and start working as a freelancer. Probably in a couple of months if it doesn’t work, you can join another corporate and start working again. So I don’t think that it’s going to be a problem for you to get a job again if freelance work doesn’t work… So that’s why I usually say, what’s the worst thing that can happen to you.”

Bang on Roberto.

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