The Galilea3 blog is a place where freelancers can exchange experience, tips and lifehacks to simply learn from each other. It also serves as a good opportunity to meet successful freelancers who can help you to run your own business. We publish interviews with freelancers from different parts of the globe regularly. Join us on this home-desk surfing experience and get to know how other freelancers roll.
Our next interviewee is Przemysław Kisicki from Poland who’s the creator of codenger.com, an online platform, which enables employers to check programming skills of candidates.
How about starting with a brief introduction?
Hi! My name is Przemyslaw. I was an independent contractor for both small and large ICT and Financial Services companies in Ireland and Poland.
How long have you been working as a freelancer?
In Ireland I worked as a freelancer for 3 years before I decided to work on my own startup in Poland - Codenger.com. The main reason to make the change was the lack of free time. If I did not decide to create a startup I would continue to work as a freelancer.
What is your area of expertise? Any specialization?
I have Master’s degree in Computer Science. I have commercial experience in software development (C++, Java, Python, Perl, PHP, etc) and network administration.
Did you always consider yourself as an expert or did you become one later in your journey as a freelancer?
I considered myself an expert before I started my journey as a freelancer. I had couple years of commercial experience and a lot of personal experience because programming has been my hobby since I was 9.
If you could go a few years back, what would you do differently?
I would start working as a freelancer much earlier.
How did you get into freelancing? Did any friends or relatives influence you or didn't you just stumble into it?
When I was working in Ireland, one work agent asked me if I would be interested in contracting for one company. I spoke with few colleagues who worked as freelancers before and they convinced me to give it a try.
Did people from your closest environment, who are not freelancers themselves, encourage you to follow this path? Or did they say you should get a real job?
Few people said it is a bit too risky but I decided to try.
What do your friends, who have a 9-to-5 job, think about freelancing?
They are worried about their financial stability and they would like to avoid any risk related with freelancing but actually in a long term freelancing can give you more benefits.
Did you ever have a so-called "normal" job? Why did you decide to become a freelancer?
Yes, I was a full-time employee for many years before. All software developers were made redundant in company I worked for, so I started looking for a new job. One work agent proposed me this type of employment and I agreed.
How long did it take you to start earning enough as a freelancer to cover all your needs?
What can you tell us about your income? Is it steady? If so, what are tips for earning a steady income as a freelancer?
It is ever-growing. The more experience you have the higher rates you can expect. Always negotiate better rates.
When you started freelancing, how did you overcome the fear of losing income stability?
I decided to give it a try because if something had not worked as I expected, I would have found another full-time job. It is pretty easy to find a job in IT both in Ireland and in Poland.
How do you find work and are you always sure where your next project will come from?
In the past almost every week work agents contacted me with a new offer. Before I finished one contract I secured another one.
Have you ever used any marketplace for freelancers? What would you say are the advantage of using such marketplaces?
I have not tried it yet but over time I will need more people for my startup. I will use marketplace too because it is more cost-wise than using work agencies.
What would you say is the most difficult part of being your own boss?
The most difficult was the first step. I did not know what to expect as a freelancer. Over time you feel more confident.
What tools do you use in your day to day work?
Gmail, Google Hangouts, Skype, Viber, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, ClickMeeting and many others (IT-specific).
How do you communicate with your clients? How do they make sure you are doing your work?
Most of the time I work in their offices. In IT corporates usually you need to closely work with your colleagues (other freelancers and full-time employees). At home I use either mobile phone or voice messengers like Google Hangouts or Skype.
What is the biggest problem that you face as freelancer?
Late payment. Full-time employees get their money at the end of a month. I usually got it after 30-40 days. In the best case it was 16 days but I had to negotiate it.
What do you think is the future of freelancing? Will more people start working that way?
I think it is a growing trend. In Ireland many people work as freelancers. In Central Europe it is less popular but it changes.
If you were asked to convince someone to become a freelancer, what would you say?
Give it a try! If you will not try you will not know if it is for you.
What do you think is the single most important thing that someone starting as a freelancer should know? Something that you wish someone had told you.
Be prepared for late payments!
We always end with the most difficult question. What do you think about Galilea3?
Galilea3 is on a good track. Hope you will become a major player soon. Fingers crossed!
If you have a business, startup, etc. write a short summary of what you do.
We help companies and agencies to test the programming skills of candidates (software engineers). It saves our customers a lot of money and time. Try it for free