How I became a dev: Daniel Perlman
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.