Expert Advice
How I became a dev: Daniel Perlman
Tim
|
January 5, 2023

Welcome Daniel! When did you start playing around with computers? 

 

I was always interested in games. I was also the person in the family that fixed the routers, I was at ease with technology from the beginning. 

And when I was 14, a friend of mine came to me and wanted to make a game. And I offered to help. Ultimately, we didn’t make it - but that’s when the wheels started spinning even faster when it came to understanding that coding was fun and could unlock a lot. 

Did you know early on you’d make this your career? 

For a long time it was more of a passion. I really liked games and I more set on becoming a game designer. And at 18, I actually had my first coding project in the gaming space, making an iOS based game for my mom.  

Was university ever in the cards for you? 

I was considering it for a long time. I was living in Stockholm at the time and some friends were attending the local tech university (one of the best out there) - but I felt like I already knew the stuff they were doing in their second years. 

So because I had already some regrets in attending secondary school (15-18 years old), I didn’t want to make the same mistake and waste any more time in education. 

What was your next step then? 

I'm a quick learner. But I didn’t have a set plan of “I want to become a front-end developer” or anything specific like that. I just wanted to get really good at coding in general.

I started attending meetups and networking events by myself in Stockholm - doing hackathons and such. I was also set on improving my communication skills - I felt like that was a weakness of mine. 

Eventually I met a guy who took a gamble on me on a 6 months project. I remember telling him I wouldn’t charge him a penny for my first month and if he liked my work, I could start getting paid. 

After that - I joined a web development agency in Stockholm and in just 1 year, I worked on 40-45 projects. All in different frameworks and stacks. Plus on top of that, I had to quickly learn to become savvy with clients and in-person presentations. 
That set me up really nicely for the long-term. 

And when did you get into Shopify? 

That was mainly via Storetasker honestly. 

I never really had an interest for a specific industry, but in trying to set up my own e-Commerce business in the interior design space, I quickly learned the ropes of Shopify. And once I stumbled upon Storetasker, that sealed the deal for me. 

What’s your experience been like on Storetasker? 

When I first joined it was tough - I overextended myself with work. Balancing smaller projects with longer term retainers is not as easy as it sounds. Identifying that I have X hours left to fill within a given month is not always straight-forward. 

But now I’m in a great rhythm on the platform. I have lots of great retainer clients and that’s kept me just the right amount of busy :) 

And now you’re in Thailand, right? Would you consider yourself to be a “digital nomad”? 

I've always been kind of a nomad. I grew up in Florida, Portugal and Sweden - so being all over the world doesn’t feel foreign to me. 

But my mindset’s changed a little bit on living in different locations, I’m hopping around less and finding more stable spots for extended periods of time.  

I might even secure a place in Spain for 8 months of the year and keep our current home in Thailand for those cold European winter months. 

Last question: What's the biggest learning you've had as a freelancer? 

One of the biggest learning experiences I’ve had comes from a burnout 3 years ago. 

That really reshaped my whole perspective on coding and work. 

I didn’t struggle to put in 70/hour weeks, cramming in hours. But it eventually caught up with me. To the point where I now see shorter days as more productive and sustainable. I’m on a 4 hour work day schedule now and it feels just right. 

Daniel! Thanks so much for sharing your story. A real pleasure to have you on the network :)  

7,93
15,86
23,8
31,73
39,66
47,6
55,53
63,46
71,4

Welcome Daniel! When did you start playing around with computers? 

 

I was always interested in games. I was also the person in the family that fixed the routers, I was at ease with technology from the beginning. 

And when I was 14, a friend of mine came to me and wanted to make a game. And I offered to help. Ultimately, we didn’t make it - but that’s when the wheels started spinning even faster when it came to understanding that coding was fun and could unlock a lot. 

Did you know early on you’d make this your career? 

For a long time it was more of a passion. I really liked games and I more set on becoming a game designer. And at 18, I actually had my first coding project in the gaming space, making an iOS based game for my mom.  

Was university ever in the cards for you? 

I was considering it for a long time. I was living in Stockholm at the time and some friends were attending the local tech university (one of the best out there) - but I felt like I already knew the stuff they were doing in their second years. 

So because I had already some regrets in attending secondary school (15-18 years old), I didn’t want to make the same mistake and waste any more time in education. 

What was your next step then? 

I'm a quick learner. But I didn’t have a set plan of “I want to become a front-end developer” or anything specific like that. I just wanted to get really good at coding in general.

I started attending meetups and networking events by myself in Stockholm - doing hackathons and such. I was also set on improving my communication skills - I felt like that was a weakness of mine. 

Eventually I met a guy who took a gamble on me on a 6 months project. I remember telling him I wouldn’t charge him a penny for my first month and if he liked my work, I could start getting paid. 

After that - I joined a web development agency in Stockholm and in just 1 year, I worked on 40-45 projects. All in different frameworks and stacks. Plus on top of that, I had to quickly learn to become savvy with clients and in-person presentations. 
That set me up really nicely for the long-term. 

And when did you get into Shopify? 

That was mainly via Storetasker honestly. 

I never really had an interest for a specific industry, but in trying to set up my own e-Commerce business in the interior design space, I quickly learned the ropes of Shopify. And once I stumbled upon Storetasker, that sealed the deal for me. 

What’s your experience been like on Storetasker? 

When I first joined it was tough - I overextended myself with work. Balancing smaller projects with longer term retainers is not as easy as it sounds. Identifying that I have X hours left to fill within a given month is not always straight-forward. 

But now I’m in a great rhythm on the platform. I have lots of great retainer clients and that’s kept me just the right amount of busy :) 

And now you’re in Thailand, right? Would you consider yourself to be a “digital nomad”? 

I've always been kind of a nomad. I grew up in Florida, Portugal and Sweden - so being all over the world doesn’t feel foreign to me. 

But my mindset’s changed a little bit on living in different locations, I’m hopping around less and finding more stable spots for extended periods of time.  

I might even secure a place in Spain for 8 months of the year and keep our current home in Thailand for those cold European winter months. 

Last question: What's the biggest learning you've had as a freelancer? 

One of the biggest learning experiences I’ve had comes from a burnout 3 years ago. 

That really reshaped my whole perspective on coding and work. 

I didn’t struggle to put in 70/hour weeks, cramming in hours. But it eventually caught up with me. To the point where I now see shorter days as more productive and sustainable. I’m on a 4 hour work day schedule now and it feels just right. 

Daniel! Thanks so much for sharing your story. A real pleasure to have you on the network :)  

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Dan Perlman
7,93
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31,73
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47,6
55,53
63,46
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