Interview with Josè M. de Abóngüez - Freelance Firmware / Full-Stack developer


Josè is an experienced software developer with 30 years of development experience under his belt (20 years working as a freelancer!). He was offered his first freelancer job while attending a computer show in New Jersey and hasn't stopped since then. Meet him on this inspiring interview!

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and what are you up to right now?

My name is Josè M de Abóngüez. I currently live in Puerto Rico and work as a freelancer developing Software, Firmware, Full-Stack and IoT Soliutions. I have been a freelancer developer for 20 years now.


What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer?

In 1998 I attended a computer show in New Jersey with the purpose of buying some parts to build my own computer for home use. At the time I was working for Bell Labs, developing software-based computer telephony modules. At the show I came across a group of developers who were using hobby car and plane peripherals to build programmable scaled robots and smart systems. Due to my experience with communications protocols and micro-controls I was offered my first freelancer job. Six months later, the second offer came in and I decided to spin-off as a freelancer.

At the time I had been working on the development of Artificial Intelligence algorithms, robotics and computer telephony software and firmware development for 9 years.


Find IT frelance projects    Browse the latest opportunities


Was it difficult for you to start freelancing? Could you share with our readers the most important lessons that you have learned on the way?

Deciding to become a freelancer was a difficult decision on its own. The most challenging part was to start with a limited-money capital. The risk of having only three months of surviving capital and the uncertainty of possible contracts had its own weight but the urge to do it outweighed all fears and uncertainties. I jumped in! If I had started with a product and a niche for my product, ensuring an income, it would have had been smoother. Maybe....

The most important lesson came when most companies began hiring developers in-house as full-timers since the development of products became highly competitive. I had to look for an additional income which lead me to become a professor.


“The uncertainty of possible contracts had its own weight but the urge to go freealncing out-weighted all fears and uncertainties”


What kind of services do your clients generally ask you to provide? Is there any particular project that you are especially proud of?

I provide services as an object-oriented software developer, a firmware developer for PIC32 micro-controls and protocols for the Internet of Things prototypes as well as research and development on Artificial Intelligence.

I am also a middleware Full-Stack developer. PHP, MySQL and JAVA.

I am mostly proud for the development of QX7 IDE, an integrated development environment to facilitate rapid prototyping and programming for PIC32 micro-controls, IoT and robotics projects and firmware development.


Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess or to delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy doing that much such as accounting, taxes, etc.?

I do work with other freelancers. It is not possible to do an entire project by oneself. Eight out of every ten projects require co-working with other freelancers: artists, human resources specialists, database developers, accountants and more.

I find resources for other freelancers on professional networks, such as LinkedIn and co-working groups. Also networking when we attend conferences and technology conventions.


“8 out of every 10 projects rquire co-working with other freelancers.”


Now tell us, how do you find new clients that are interested in your services?

I find new clients by exposing myself on professional social networks like LinkedIn, registering with specialized groups and getting certified by manufacturers like Microchip, Texas Instrument, LINUX, Microsoft. Also when participating in expos and conventions.

I have my own website where the freelancing services are offered as well as products developed. The most reliable source is the fact that I am part of a small group of freelancers where we share responsibilities; we recommend each other’s expertise and services and at the same time we are all FREELANCERS with the freedom to have our own projects.



How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?

Not many freelancers specialize in Artificial Intelligence, research and development, firmware and software development.

My years of experience and continuous involvement in technology projects, IoT and development makes me a Legacy-Tech to Current-Tech Developer and Integrator.

I am fully fluent in Spanish and English. Also partially fluent in Italian, French, Portuguese and Catalán. Willing to travel and work wherever needed.

My Unique Selling Position (USP) is my understanding of cross fields in technology. For example, I can design and develop a full solution for a network of smart systems (i.e. agricultural networks and A.I. systems) inter-operations and inter-communications of servers, mobile devices, apps, smart systems and robots. I also develop for LINUX and MS Windows.


What is a typical day like for you? How do you manage to balance work and life? Do you use any apps or software to help you organizing yourself?

A typical day for me starts with reviewing the day’s tasks and priorities. Coding, every day. A day without coding is not a fulfilled day. Ensuring no tasks are left pending.

Reporting the progress to my customers on a daily basis as agreed is a must-do. I always give myself time between projects for resting, enjoying a trip and learning new useful competencies (keep myself up-to-date). Also, the use of efficient tools for project tracking, records keeping and planning. Tools such as Project, Vitákora or a tool used by a client, like GIT.


“A day without coding is not a fulfilled day.”


What are a few of your favorite development tools and why?

  • Monodevelop for C# and .NET. All projects are ensured to be cross platform for LINUX. MS Windows, Android if properly designed and developed.
  • WAMP – Usefull for Full Stack projects since I do not have to be online at all times. I develop as localhost without risking bringing down my clients operations.
  • QX7 IDE 2018 – Develop the tool and use it for PIC 32 Firmware Prototyping and production development.
  • MPLABX – Libraries development and advanced product firmware development.
  • Notepad++ - PHP editor tool and Full-Stack development.
  • MS Visual Studio – Virtual Universes and cross-platform DLLs development.


How do you see the Artificial Intelligence market in a few years from now?

Artificial Intelligence will improve the world wide management of agriculture, harvesting, distribution, and usage-management-recycling of materials. It can also provide more efficient analyses and management of humanities needs.


Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

“Do not deviate from the dream you had. Stay on your path. It will converge to your reality in full.”
“Technology has made the world smaller. We can make living more efficient.”
“See the world as one place. Go where you are needed. Live with a purpose.”

I planted a tree. I wrote a song. I wrote a novel. Yet I am still looking forward to give more to humanity. Never stop feeding your intellect.


Where to find Josè?


Jose M Abonguez Freelance Full-stack developer


Josè M. de Abóngüez on freelancermap

Jose on LinkedIn


We want to hear more inspiring stories! Send us a message to be featured on our blog!

Create your freelance profile and land new projects without any fees!

 Sign up now

More articles

  • Freelancer Insides: Ugur Yorulmaz, Freelance Database Administrator

    Ugur Yorulmaz is a freelance Data Administrator and IT Consultant based out of Montenegro. He recently became a full-time freelancer and has come to speak to us today about what his job is like, the challenges he's faced, and advice he has for newer freelancers, or perhaps freelancers with less industry experience.
  • Tom Beavan - Freelance Web / UI Designer from the UK

    Tom Beavan is a freelance UI/Web Designer from the UK who specializes in WordPress design. He's built himself up as a freelancer enough to have 5-10 job prospects monthly! How did he do it? He's got some great advice for up-and-coming freelancers.
  • Freelancer Insides - Kumaresa Sereetharan, SAP specialist and ABAP programmer

    Kumaresa Sereetharan is an SAP specialist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With over 11 years in the business, he has honed his skills well enough that he gets jobs simply by word-of-mouth and has held on to clients for years at a time. But how did he get to that point?


  • No comments available

Comment this article