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Leo Gopal
Leo Gopal

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I 10x'd All My Goals & Achieved Them (from invisible WP dev, to my remote working dream job), Ask Me Anything!

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aboutandre profile image

My goal for 2020 is to work remotely and travel with my family.
What is you experience working remotely?
How do you get your clients?
Or are you employed?
Why did you want to start working remotely?


leogopal profile image
Leo Gopal

Hey @aboutandre ! Great questions.

...and with the Direction our professions are going now, getting distributed work, or remote jobs, are far more easier than it's ever been.

But, the ease of it is equally on your capability to demonstrate (somehow), you have either the experience or discipline of working from home (or at least, location-independent).

While I still had a desk job, back in May, I believed that this would be a dream and only a certain elite who were lucky enough to be noticed, ever got to be fully remote and well-paid for doing it, and that those that did manage to get there - I believed the trade-off's would not be worth it.)

I believed that those who managed to make it to being location independent, that (a) it would be super high stress, (b) super isolating [and with someone who has General Anxiety and is Manic Depressive, that it would definitely be terrible for me.] and (c) that of those that made it this far... not many remained with it for long because (d) the stress, loneliness, and pay uncertainty would filter most of them out - and that I would be part of that statistic.

Now, I am not saying it is/was easy.

I will answer the question of my journey in Gaetan Fox' question, but here are some tips.

1) I have won many hats when working freelance (even whilst having a day job) from being a Development Team Lead for Hire, to being the Web Strategist and Developer as well as building some side passion projects - what this shows is that working out of the normalcy of Office life is not a foreign discipline for you. Most of the developers that apply and fail the vetting process, off which I am now one of the evaluators in this process (I was once a regular developer on the platform, which took me ages to get it - more on that later), almost 90% fail not in the live coding test we do, but they fail in their experience managing themselves, their time, and who have bad written (any language) - as in they cannot communicate in a simple, non-technical way, what is happening in what they were asked to do.


  • Discipline.
  • Experience.
  • Communication
  • and working well with others.

Nail those four, and you will be sought after rather than something you try hard to achieve.
The role I have now, I didn't even apply for, I was noticed on the platform, and I should interest in being part of the core team of the platform, I did a few culture fitness checks, and client/expert communication tests of various scenarios and here I am.

The job is a lot more stress-free, I no longer experience traffic, I do sometimes work in co-working spaces to engage with other fine folk or coffee shops, but ultimately - I am happy, I have more free time, and I am earning 4x what I did in January and the whole of last year.

The first few months if you are transitioning to remote work, is quite tough, I would recommend getting into a stable routine and discipline before you plan to travel and work with the family - working from hiome with the family is already a feat sometimes.

Getting clients, at the start it was a combination of going to Meet Ups in my area that were for any Online Creators. Here you will make friends with other develoipers who you should network with and get referrals from... You may also meet a lot of online business owners who you could assist and have them become clients... and whilst you building up this profile, and when you portfolio of work has really good management of the project, quality of work, and punctual delivery, you can then apply for part-time jobs at companies who are desirous of the skillsets you have. And then there are 3 possible routes you can take from here:
1) Run a successful self created freelance career of your own clients (Its a lot of work here, as you have to find them, win them over, and maintain them, whilst probably also working on other clients work).
2) Get hired more full-time for a studio/agency/product company wanting your skills, or
3) Join the Gig economy like Toptal, Upwork, Fiverr, or - and they would be the platform like uber for development really...

I took the third option after doing the first two for a little bit... and then I got a surprise fourth option of joining the team of one of the companies in number three.

I hope that was helpful and answered most of your questions.

As far as why I wanted to work remotely?
Well, I hate traffic.
Fuel/Gas is expensive (and bad for the environment)
And I love working with people far smarter or better at something than I am so that I could emulate them and be good at that too... and after a while in many office jobs, I realised that the only next logical step is to be part of somethinig where the people are the super good at stuff and smarter in the world, not just my city and that would open up such profound learning and diversity to experience.
And, being flexible like this does really help with my Anxiety and Manic Depression.

aboutandre profile image

Thanks for the great answer!

So you started working as a freelancer and now are employed in a company that has remote workers. Finding such companies are (IMHO) easier than catering to multiple remote clients.

I've been freelancing since March this year and it has not been difficult finding clients. However all of them require for me to be present at the office because they are not well setup for having devs working remotely.

A company needs to be set from the ground up to have remote workers

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leogopal profile image
Leo Gopal

You bring up a huge point which I did not mention.

As part of my consulting with various Companies, I additionally (as an extra 'add-on' that adds value but which I also gain from giving them) is training in:

1) How to work and communicate (and understands) efficiently designers and developers.
2) How to find the best outsourced talent and how to onboard them.
3) How and why to work with remote workers (hint: they get the best in the world not the best in the vicinity.)

And found that help me help them and help myself as well as give myself an additional subject of authority.

leogopal profile image
Leo Gopal

@gaetanroka , well, I think I covered a lot of it in my above response.
But the main thing is perseverance, never being afraid to ask, being disciplined with yourself, your time, and the companies time, and being consistent - all while showing expertise in your craft - being a good developer is no longer the only yardstick distributed agencies/companies look for these days. I once had to let someone who was an absolute genius SysOps guy, simply because he was not a team player and a bad communicator - and we found that his genius was not enough to compensate for the lack of the rest.