I have been running my own business or living the life of a solo developer for the last 15 years, in fact the majority of my working life has been spent in this capacity. I take pride in the fact that my work has been my signature and that often past customers would introduce me to new customers with the words this man will make it happen.
I actually started my working life in a corporate environment but I found out very quickly that the corporate life of politics, meetings about the meeting and the self preservation over the companies own progression is not really for me. The later is the one that really irks me the most, for a business to grow it needs people to take risk exposing themselves to failure for the opportunity to grow. When I ran my own business I would always promote the concept of getting it done efficiently and make sure all customers got value for the money they have spent.
One of the problems of being solo though is finding the time to market your skills to the right companies that are looking for them and having a global reach can be extremely hard to maintain when your head down in delivering code. Recently I stumbled over Toptal and they seem to scratch that itch and provide the connections that I am looking for on a global scale, Toptal is more than just a freelancing site instead its a growing a network comprised of the most thoroughly screened, talented freelance engineers in the world. In the past I was part of the Microsoft MVP community so I understand the importance and value of the networked community of highly skilled developers with the ability to share and be apart of something strong.
When I was a regular speaker at Microsoft events through out the world I would come across many extremely talented developers and I would often think about how this pool of developers could be harnessed. Many different concepts have come over the years but it appears that Toptal has been able to do just that. What seems impressive is that they have managed to do this not with just Microsoft technology but all brands of technology. No doubt if your company is looking for some development resources for a short term or a long term project then I would think Toptal would be well worth the look.
Toptal’s strength comes from its ability to screen it developers and even somebody with my history of project success and coding skill has no automatic entry and has to go through the same screening process as the many developers that has come before me. Initially I will looking to be part of the Toptal ASP.NET MVC developers group but hope to also prove my skills in the Angular and MEAN stack when the opportunity comes.
If you a developer then feel free to drop me a line and I would be happy to share my experience as I start this journey with Toptal over the coming months.