Recently I decided to give another try to freelancing.
The first platform that I will use to test if freelancing is an viable option or not is Freelancer.com. I came across it while searching on Google for freelancing possibilities. Since I am still rather new into Android world, I'm not thinking yet of changing my career so I thought that once I gain a bit more experience, I will try my newly acquired skills in real world. There is one thing to sit comfortably behind your desk and study a new programming language, working on some simple applications and another thing to be under the pressure of reaching a set of milestones agreed with a customer.
I was rather surprised when I tried to make an account on Freelancer.com, because they told me my email address was already in their database. Initially I thought I was a victim of a scam and someone else used my email address to create an account on my name. After requesting to reset the password by email, I realized it's in fact my old account on RentACoder. I already had some reputation based on a few small projects I did a few years ago so I decided to give it another try.
Rather then being another faceless figure on an website, I decided to invest some time into creating a sold profile, enumerating my achievements, education, diplomas and portfolio. To my surprise, the list of achievements was not as big as I expected. My portfolio for example contains only a small Android application that I created as part of my recent study. The website has an interesting experience and credit based system where you progress quite fast in the beginning by completing various tasks. This guided me on completing the profile and earned me some credits that I decided to use to take two free level 1 certifications. The exams taken were C Level 1 and Numeracy Level 1, which according to the commercials I saw on the website will increase my chance to win some projects.
Now that the profile is finalized comes the difficult part of winning projects.
Freelancer.com uses a system of bids to win projects. An freelancer, as myself, bids on various projects posted by other people. A project that is posted only for a day or so has usually 10 or more bids. Without a good rating and a strong network of former employees, winning a project will be quite a challenge. This was the reason I stopped using the website in the first place. After spending several days making bid after bid on smaller projects, to gain some reputation, I kept failing to win them. I got demotivated and gave up.
Let's hope I will find a way to overcome this major step and make Freelancer.com a way to put my newly acquired skills as Android developer to a good use.
For those interested, here is a link to my profile.