April 12, 2019 — As the world becomes more interconnected, there are multple opportunities for freelance developers. You may be thinking that striking out on your own is easy. The truth is that there are a number of factors to be aware of, and the modern freelance developer needs to be prepared in order to succeed.
Starting 2016 I left the world of employment to become a full time freelancer. I was fortunate in I had another source of income, but as a husband and father of two, with all the usual bills to pay, I was not prepared for the effect working for myself would have on my mental state, my health or my family.
Towards the end of 2016 I joined Codeable, a freelancing platform for WordPress. Where Codeable was different from all other platforms was that it held quality and customer service/communication as the most important factors of freelance development. Since joining Codeable I was able to turn my work situation around such that I now earn 3x as much as I did when I left employment and I am in the favourable position of being able to turn work away.
While Codeable had a big part in bringing me leads to quality work, it was the lessons I’ve learned since joining Codeable about being a successfull freelancer that are the focus of this topic. Being a part of the Codeable community means I have learned so much from other experienced freelancers about things like work/life balance, how to communicate with clients pre hire, how to prevent scope creep and how to manage time and projects on my own.
My talk will be split into two parts, The first will be around the 1st year of my time as a freelancer, scrounging for whatever work came my way because I wasnt in a position to say no, essentially all the things I was doing wrong. The second will be around my second year, when I learned from Codeable, and other Codeable developers, and how these lessons lead me to where I am today.
March 27, 2019 — Have you ever launched a website only to return to find some annoying SEO has come after you and destroyed it? Has some obnoxious marketer bugged you for lots of little changes- outside the client’s scope and budget? I’m sorry. That might have been my fault. Let’s work together to help our clients. I’ll share my secrets on setting up a WordPress site for SEO success. While this won’t guarantee SEO results, but it will set up your clients for optimal Google love.
March 27, 2019 — Do you design and develop websites or apps? Are you really proud that you have mastered two distinct disciplines? Or do you feel a bit insecure that neither your design or development skills match those of a ‘specialist’?
If you’re anything like me, you sometimes feel a bit of both and wonder how to pitch yourself for potential work or where your skills fit as part of a wider team.
I’m going to argue that we should not undervalue our skills, I’ll share some ideas about ways of working and make a plea to the wider web world to take us more seriously.
January 11, 2019 — Have you ever launched a website only to return to find some annoying SEO has come after you and destroyed it? Has some obnoxious marketer bugged you for lots of little changes- outside the client’s scope and budget?
I’m sorry. That might have been my fault.
Let’s work together to help our clients. I’ll share my secrets on setting up a WordPress site for SEO success. While this won’t guarantee SEO results, but it will set up your clients for optimal Google love.
January 6, 2019 — In the WordPress Community, we talk about community frequently. We know how to build community with WordPress, but what about with our own clients? Retaining clients and parting ways with clients requires grace. This type of relationship maintenance is an important thing to learn for introverts and applies to new businesses to veterans. It’s an art and a science — soft skills for the win! In this talk, I’ll discuss how I went from an employee to a business owner — with half of the clients I need in the first four months — because of soft skills. We’ll talk about relationship building tips for organic and sustainable growth — online and off.
December 31, 2018 — Agile methodology and frameworks like Scrum were created for iterative processes like software development, and in recent years have been getting adopted more and more by digital agencies of all shapes and sizes.
And yet, this methodology created for development, and therefore _for developers_, meets with a lot of resistance. Why?
Whatever the applied method, project management is often viewed as an imposition, a constraint – a heavy process that slows you down, interminable meetings that interrupt your day. Does this ring true?
Scrum is in fact an empowering tool for developers and development teams. In this presentation, I will walk you through the basics of Agile and Scrum, debunk some common myths, and share some of my experiences with the practical application of Scrum, including working with remote teams.
December 29, 2018 — Whether you are working as a freelancer, or as part of a team, chances are that communicating with customers falls somewhere in your job description. As a website developer, you love the part of your job where you get to develop – but you also need to develop communication and project management skills to help you stay on top of projects, interact with your customers, and make sure that projects don’t spiral out of control or take more money or time than you budgeted.
In this talk, we will discuss the basics of project management. You’ll learn techniques for getting a project started on the right foot – things like making sure that your customer contracts are crystal clear, and setting up clear timelines and project milestones. You’ll also learn how to handle scope creep, and how to deal with projects that have fallen off course.
We will highlight a few (free!) project management tools that you can use to help keep things running smoothly. We’ll go through some developer/client relationship scenarios that come up frequently in our industry, and brainstorm ways to get through difficult experiences.
December 6, 2018 — Let’s explore the benefits of thinking in re-usable blocks. Atomic design, Modular Development, and D.R.Y. methodology improves productivity, enhances UI and empowers authors. We will explore multiple methods to achieve modularity in our WP themes. Leveraging the WordPress templating system and Advanced Custom Fields or Using blocks in the form of Gutenberg.
December 6, 2018 — Gutenberg is great for bloggers who want better publishing tools, but what about developers who need to craft customized CMS experiences for their clients? If you use a lot of custom fields and are horrified at the idea of giving clients any design control, this session is for you. We’ll talk about:
when to use Gutenberg, and when not to;
what should be a block, and what should stay a custom field;
how to limit a client’s color and text options;
the magic of block templates and block locking;
and how your theme development will change.
Now is the chance to create new site building best practices and drive the evolution of block editing. Let’s get excited for what’s possible!
February 27, 2018 — If you’re doing things right your website will be viewed all around the world. But what does that mean for you as a wordpress user and publisher? Internationalization is a buzz word among developers. We’ll talk briefly about internationalization, localization, and their various implications. In this workshop session, we will focus on talking about the basics of copyright and intellectual property, internet commerce, and best practices for website user and privacy policies when your website is being viewed around the world – we will address legal considerations for US, EU, UK, Australian, and Canadian based website visitors. This will not be legal advice, but rather offer general information.