dare to be yourself

actress & coder

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freelancing, why my 4 hours of work equal to 8 hours of your full-time employee

Last October I quit my full-time job. I was so burned out I didn’t touch code for a month. Then came November and I knew that at some point I need to start earning money again, bills do have to be paid after all. For a moment I considered joining another company but the pure thought of it made me want to run for the hills. What other option did I have? Freelancing. I am not going to lie, last time I tried to freelance (two years ago) it was a pure disaster, but that was before I had confidence in myself as a developer.

My last job taught me two crucially important skills that made me undertake freelancing with confidence and excitement.

Firefighting, i.e. to be able to solve any problem with fast turnaround.

Managing projects, i.e. knowing what can go wrong and how badly things can go wrong if the project is not managed correctly.

I have been freelancing for three months now. I...

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working remotely - how to make it work for you and your company

It’s been almost three months since I have moved to LA and started working remotely. Being the first remote software engineer for Jibe made both me and my company a little worried about how this would work out. I have not been fired yet; so, I guess that’s already good, right? In all seriousness, I was actually complimented on making it work so well during one of my recent unofficial reviews. My coworker is about to start working remotely as well and he asked me for tips and tricks. While I do not claim any expertise in the field of remote work, I picked up a few good habits. So, here they are…

Know yourself

This is extremely important because it will either help you succeed or will get you fired. I do not ask you to go into the deep, dark passages of your subconscious (though self-analysis is a good thing), I ask you to look at yourself from distance and observe your behavior. For...

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maintenance for startups - the holy grail of opportunities

There is a preconceived notion about maintenance that it is a “janitor job”. I think this idea stems from big old prehistoric corporations, like Microsoft, Aol, Dell, where the chain of command is so big that it kills your desire to make a change to a broken process before you even get through the half of necessary approvals.

Young tech startups are different! As a developer you have more power than you think and building the next shiny feature should not be the only focus.

First let’s agree on one thing - no matter what type of product you sell, your code needs to be maintained. And I bet you that your code sucks and you know it.

Here is a typical startup story:

You write your first prototype, it’s shitty and breaks, but you get enough attention from VCs or whoever is going to put the money in your pocket and now you can get a few developers on the board and make your prototype a...

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stop coding and test what you’re building on real users!

A few months ago I started working on a project I wanted to build for a while. At first I had a simple concept in my head on how I wanted my app to work; so, I went ahead and dove into coding straight away. This probably was not the best way to start a project. In a few days I built the core functionality of the app. But then I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could build this feature as well? And that feature , oh and this and that….” Being like a child in a candy store I started building all these features and with every feature I would come up with another one and I would build that too and so on and so forth . At one point I realized that I am digging myself into a very deep hole, but it was too late and I was already neck deep in it. I give my self two days to tie loose ends and I promised myself I would release my app to beta testers.

I was ashamed of the product I was sending...

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how not to suffer from an impostor syndrome

It’s been almost a year since my career switch from banking to coding and boy what a ride it was, well still is. The first time I heard the term impostor syndrome was at Hackbright Academy, where I was learning computer science principles, web and software development. In a nut shell what it means is - when you are not confident in your abilities even though your work says otherwise, you doubt yourself and are constantly afraid of people finding out that in reality you know nothing, which in itself is not true. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, mentioned it in her book Lean In, where she says that women tend to underestimate themselves. And even though men do it less, I am pretty sure there are plenty of men who have problems with confidence as well. There is a great talk on TED by Amy Cuddy on how to boost your self-esteem but I want to share what I learned from going though a...

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a pragmatic guide to switching careers - or how I left a 4 year career in finance and became a software engineer in 5 months

(Disclaimer: I am not urging everyone to become a programmer; so, keep your pitchforks to yourself. I merely use my experience as an example of achieving a set goal)

step 1: figure out what you want by trying different things

Most of us are scared of drastic career changes. I didn’t let that fear stop me only because I was a miserable, self-loathing, unhappy human being. I knew I needed a way out but I didn’t know what is that I wanted to do. So, I started trying things. It went from feeble attempts in journalism where I interviewed startup founders, mentors and investors from Washington, DC area and posting those video interviews online to co-organizing co-working events around town with DC Nightowls. That’s when my sleeping hours declined to about 3-4 hours a day. Granted, it was not healthy but I was getting close to finding out what is that I like. By being in the heart of a...

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