1) Hello Nipuna, thanks for taking part in our Freelancer Insides series. It’s nice to have you here! First of all, can you tell us bit about yourself and what are you up to these days?
I am a Sinhalese from Sri Lanka, a very beautiful small island in the Indian Ocean. I am working as a full time freelancer, which I have been doing for more than 6 years now. I am crazy about technology; I constantly try to improve my knowledge on every technological area that I encounter. As a hobby I like playing with dead electronic circuits and I like fixing them, so you can see I live for technology.
I'm always working on different projects at the same time. Right know I have some free time because of summer but I'll be starting a new project soon.
2) How did you realize you were passionate about software development and that you wanted to start your career in this field?
Ever since my childhood I loved technology. I always played and experimented with everything technological I could find. When I was about 16 years old my father bought me a desktop computer. That's the moment I fell in love with software development.
3) What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer? How long have you been freelancing?
I always wanted to find a way to earn money online. When I was around 18 years old I found a freelancing opportunity. So I started my freelancing career while I was still studying. From the day I finished school I’ve been working as a full time freelancer.
4) Was it difficult to start freelancing? Did you face any problems? What was the most challenging part?
In the beginning finding clients was a challenge. I had to use all of my bids on freelance websites to win a single project and that was all I could get for a whole month because I had no bids left.
Back then I mainly did data entry projects. Once I learned programming I wanted to move into web development. My situation, however, only improved when I met a good Danish client who offered me to create his Magento based shopping cart website to sell games. I had the knowledge, was confident and took the job right away. I finished within 2 days, it took that long because my client wanted some more changes to be done. He was very happy with my work because before he hired me a company failed to build the website to his satisfaction.
After this it got a lot easier for me to receive more projects and I came a long way since then.
I still thank that client of mine for the opportunity he gave me.
5) You describe yourself as a self-taught developer but you also hold a degree in Information Technology by the University of Colombo. How was the learning process?
I taught myself everything I know related to technology. My degree is also an external degree so even that I completed by self studying. Even before I got my first computer I read a lot of technical books about Electronics, IT etc.. Therefore, I was able to learn quite a bit already without even using a computer. The knowledge I acquired through those books helped me a lot.
Some programming languages I learned while doing projects. When I was working with the Magento eCommerce platform for example I had to do edit a lot of themes. By doing so I gained HTML and CSS knowledge without referring to any book or website. Then to complete my knowledge I did HTML and CSS tutorials on w3schools.com. I always like to learn new things especially technology related so whenever I see something I do Google research , read related books or do experiments.
6) What kind of services have your clients asked you to provide?
Mostly web development and programming, the rest I'll list below.
- Magento / WordPress / Joomla (CMS and eCommerce) support.
- Theme customization
- PSD to HTML
- Responsive changes of websites
- Bug fixes
- Technical support
Beside that I am now mostly working on custom development. Not just websites or web apps if I am given the chance I code any kind of program.
I work on Database administration / Server management / Server configuration / Linux system administration and almost anything related to servers too.
I like to hear from my clients what they need and then I see what I can do for them.
7) Now tell us, how do you find new clients that are interested in your services? What about freelancermap.com? Can you tell us a little bit more about your experience with our IT-network?
I find most of my clients by bidding on projects on freelance websites. I do have my own website to showcase my work, which you can see here. I think freelancermap.com is a great platform where I can grow my career.
8) How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?
I communicate clearly and I’m always available, whenever my clients need me. Also clients can contact me fast as I’m online for around 14 hours each day on many different services. My best quality is that I never lie. I tell the truth no matter what happens. I don't lie just to win more projects. Honesty is what I respect the most.
9) How do you plan your day, do you work a typical “9-5”? Do you use any great apps or tools that help you organize yourself or are helpful for your work?
Actually no. I work anytime that I feel comfortable working. I don't use any tools or services, just my memory. I always remember what the deadlines are or when to complete a task and I work accordingly. I never miss deadlines. I count on my memory.
10) Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
Yes, my advice is to always be honest, don't ever lie. You'll see a big change if you follow this rule. That's the best trick I know.
Where to find Nipuna:
Link to freelancermap.com profile: Nipuna Dananjaya Kumara
Link to website: http://www.nipunak.com
Pic: © Nipuna Dananjaya Kumara
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