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Published: Thu, 06 Feb 2014
I have been a PHP & Mysql Developer with experience of over 14 years. I have always been the guy who will think out of the book to solve the problems and was willing to walk an extra mile to deliver what makes sense. All the years I have been of the opinion program it yourself, rather than just searching google to find a related scripts and integrate it into the project on which you have been working.

What I mean by program it yourself?
Let's say we come up with a requirement to put up a slider in website. What most of the people will do is that they search google to find a prewritten slider code which is generally a generic one with all kind of option to customise it and is locked and encrypted and additionally very bandwidth intensive as it contain lot of features that we don't need to incorporate or activate. But we end up integrating that slider as we want to make things work quickly to get paid. And if there is further change requirement such as making it mobile responsive we will not be able to do that as we don't know the code or it's too vast to understand because it's generic one. So we start finding another slider which is mobile optimised as well and it goes on till we find one, but if you have programmed the slider your self it will be tiny, very lite on bandwidth and flexible for the reason being you know it all and can hence alter add or remove features to it. I have seen sliders which are over 1MB in size and when I programmed one myself it was only 20KB in size.

But this quality has been more of a liability when I was working on eLance.Com and upWork.com because, people just want the work done and are not educated enough to understand the implication of this. Even though I got few clients who have failed websites because of this practice as their website load time goes into 5-15 seconds with actual page size running from 2-5MB. I did fixed few of those sites by removing a legacy generic codes and writing a custom to the point source code (program it yourself).

One of my previous client from upwork.com whose ecommerce business I fixed for loading speed told me to try toptal.com as they have more people like me who believe in quality of the work done. So, I decided to try them out and to my surprise it's not just that I can go and make an account and start bidding. I have to tell them why I should be allowed to get in and was asked to share sample script that I feel is of exception quality. It took me couple of day to just get my profile uploaded to the toptal.com and now I have to bear up with their screening process which seems to tough. Once I am done with this, I will updated. But the difference I can see here is of day & night between other freelancing sites and toptal.com. People here actually care about quality and are willing put work hard to get the top talent and this seems to be the reason why clients here are willing to pay the top dollar. To a guy like me who was kind of struggling in upwork.com to find better paying clients should be a boom that too at a price which I couldn't even think of commanding at upwork.com.

My program it yourself approach have been working very well and is giving me customer who pay top dollars after coming to toptal.com.

I wanted to excuse myself from the regular jobs which as thinking programmer I never liked much but what option did I had before toptal.com? Answer is NONE. Hopefully that should only be the case before if I could make it to the toptal.com, I will only be doing jobs that required expert skill set and are from the client who care for the website to be efficient, scalable and fast.

Why I am interested in joining the Toptal Web programmers community.?
    There are many reasons why I would love to be in Toptal community.
  • The first reason is that you get to work with the best in industry. The client portfolio they have is unmatched or unheard about in the freelance industry.
  • The second reason is the you got the premium work to do, which suits your experience and skill.
  • The third reason is the you don't have to spend lot of time hunting for the jobs that matters to you.
  • Last but not least is the payment for your work, it's the best paying freelance website.

Finally, the answer to the question "Is freelancing the way forward?"
A big YES, if you could get into the toptal.com else better luck finding paying clients with upwork or freelancer.com