I’m the most annoying person on Appc’s QA forum, my name is Dan and this is how I can be found:
Today I will try to talk about my experience as a freelancer that uses Titanium for all his mobile projects.
This is the Appcelerator Community. I’d like to tell you about what drives me to spend so much time on the QA. I love the open source movement and I think that helping other people will make us better and we’ll finally achieve world peace.
WRONG! This is wrong, but not as in lying but as in not telling the whole truth, just like marketing does 😀
Let’s take a client. Kevin (Whinnery) looks like he knows some stuff about Appcelerator and he wants a cross-platform application. Somehow he finds my website.
A freelancer’s life is usually governed by NDAs. Everybody wants an NDA as if their project will be the next Angry Birds. When you reach a certain level and people start to know you, you begin to have better and more complex / interesting / nicer projects. But we all know how this usually happens.
The X (big) company hires a Marketing company to take care of their image, website and of course mobile apps. But they need programmers for this, so they hire a programming company. Well the story is that the programming company is nothing more than a few guys in-house and the rest of the team is made by us, the freelancers. And as you suspected they will want an NDA, because they also have one from the Marketing company or they don’t want the world to know that somebody else did their job.
I can tell you that I have worked for 2 companies so big that everybody in this room heard about. But of course I cannot tell you who they are. You might believe me or not but Kevin, the client, surely won’t – he needs something to see and not just simple words.
So coming back to my portfolio what does the client see?
Some certification – everybody has one – a boring FunyABC app for kids, MotorSport – an auto magazine for a German publication, some books and of course the biggest hit: the divorce calculator.
Nothing fancy, nothing outstanding. But because I’m pretty in the picture he gives me a chance and asks me for an interview.
What can I come up with?
I come up with this: I’m number 2 in the Top Experts
And this: I’m an Enterprise user of the framework with access to professional support, free modules and… free beer of course 😀
And I start to explain to the client that I’m a Titan, that I was chosen “Titan of the month” back in September, that I wrote some tutorials and, starting tomorrow, that I was invited to speak to an event organized by Appcelerator itself.
At this point there are very few clients that will discard me as a candidate for their project. If he’s not looking for cheap work or unless some other Titan manages to impress him better – like Aaron or Matt or any other guy spending his time on the QA forum – I’m all set.
How do you reach this level?
- Spend some quality time on QA, giving answers to questions, but good answers.
- Write articles and tutorials, people are searching for good Titanium tutorials.
Appcelerator as company is a little different because they are really helping the community, despite what some people complain on the forum. For example, most of the Titans have Pro accounts – for free – and the most active guys on QA are actually Appcelerator employees.
As you see, 1 hour ‘wasted’ on QA every day starts to bring something back.
Also reading other people’s answers makes you a better programmer, you learn for free just by reading their posts. And we have the whole stuff about clients impressed by this, as I just told you.
So bottom line – as a freelancer, build your business around the community. That one hour a day spent helping other people will have the best ROI you ever saw.
The Meetup in pictures
Meeting the Appcelerator guys
Dan Tamas speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012
Javier Rayon speaking at Appcelerator Meetup Barcelona 2012