How I became a Shopify Developer: Rosa Romero
Welcome Rosa! What was your first exposure with coding & development?
I was 21, so that’s 8 years ago now. At the time, I was working in digital marketing, and the agency I was working with needed someone to support on a website build, and that was the first time I interacted with HTML. That’s when I realized that I had an interest in coding.
Around that time, I remember a friend showing me how to inspect a site and make changes locally - and that’s when I became hooked. After that, I started looking for online courses and resources and learning on my own.
And 4 years later, things accelerated even more when I moved to California. I was working for the same agency, but this time I was much more focused on helping out with web development. That’s when I really experimented with different languages and platforms.
How did you start transitioning into freelance?
Well I started working on developing my portfolio, and started talking more openly about my passion for web development - and the projects started to come. I was honest in saying I didn’t have much experience, but lots of people wanted help and that gave me real freelance experience.
My first breakthrough projects ended up being with some of the executives at the agency who had left and connected me with some businesses in San Diego, building out Wordpress sites for them. I must admit: at the beginning it was still a struggle, but it was the best way to learn. So I took it slow and steady - knowing that over time, I’d improve. And it’s worked out because I still work with these 3 businesses to this day.
Why did you start venturing away from Wordpress, and more into Shopify? And when did you go all in on freelance?
Being in the US helped me notice the opportunity with Shopify. Back home in Spain and across Europe, eCom businesses were still using Prestashop for the most part - but I saw how quickly Shopify was gaining in popularity in the U.S - and that’s when I realized that there might be a great opportunity to corner the European market with Shopify expertise. So it was at that time that I started to focus more on Shopify. And I also enjoyed learning something new.
So that’s right around the time when I decided I would move back to Spain and start working full-time on freelance projects. I wasn’t too afraid of making the jump because the agency I worked for wasn’t giving me what I was hoping for, and I already had paying freelance clients. So I had a strong base before making the jump.
Deep down - I knew it was the right decision and I would make it work.
When did you stumble into Storetasker? And what’s that experience been like?
I was looking online for platforms to get exposure to more projects - and that’s how I found Storetasker. I remember that first moment: I was amazed. I loved the design and upon reading all the information - I knew this was the perfect fit.
I really liked that there’s not a “hunger games” type of mentality where freelancers compete against each other. It was much more professional, you guys had a simple process where I could get matched with the projects I was interested in. So that’s when I decided I was gonna do it.
So I just submitted my application with no hopes, but Richard emailed me to say I was accepted! I was super happy because it also opened up a community for me to interact with and learn from - so I knew it would be good for my career.
That’s so good to hear. The entire team always praises you - we’re so happy to have you on the network :) Can you tell me about one project you enjoyed working on?
A recent one would be Clara. I loved it because it was quite a large and in-depth project. We setup the website from scratch, and they’ve got a beautiful design aesthetic + the team is incredibly nice and they’ve got a focus on sustainability. So they really tick all the boxes for me and what I’m looking for.
In terms of resources, what do you read or listen to to keep up with Shopify?
Well I like the Shopify dev newsletter, as well as their blog. And then I also really enjoy 1-800-D2C, a website to help me find great brands using different apps and technologies. Beyond that - I follow and connect with a bunch of designers who share really useful information.
It’s funny you mention that - I’ve also noticed how powerful the design scene is in Spain. So much talent! Let’s wrap up with this: What advice do you have for young devs?
You have one life and if coding is something you really want to do: Do it. The worst scenario is that you go back to work for a company. But honestly, if you believe in yourself and you’re willing to work hard: It will work out for you.
There’s just so much work available for devs today - it’s limitless. We’re not in competition with each other, instead it’s a strong community, willing to share information with each other. So just jump in and work hard and you will succeed. And say yes to every project! Don’t be picky in the beginning, you need to increase your repetitions and then at one point: The tipping point hits.
The tipping point is when you start receiving more inbound than you can handle, and that’s the best place to be, because you can start being picky about what you’re working on.
Thank you Rosa! So glad to work with you. Thanks for sharing your experience.