My journey to a financial freedom. A story about how I turned from having a programming job in Slovakia into an instructor on Udemy. I talk about challenges I was facing along the way, how I became a Freelance Developer and how I made a course on Udemy.
After I graduated from University, I was working for different companies. I started in the city (Kosice, Slovakia) where I was studying Artificial Intelligence the last 5 years. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a very nice position at Siemens Healthineers (Branch of Siemens), where I was working as a Software Developer (C++, C#). I was assigned to a project called Ultrasound. We were maintaining and developing new imaging features for a medical ultrasound. It was a very interesting position and I was really satisfied that I was actually contributing and helping in something meaningful.
Nothing lasts forever, my passion slowly faded out. The Slovak mentality is quite different. Don’t get me wrong, Slovakian people are very nice, but I always knew I do not belong here. It was hard for me to listen to problems that doesn’t really matter, and I wanted to escape and see more of the world.
Sooo, I took a step forward. My plan was to start working as a Freelancer, to be fully independent. The big question was: How to become a Freelancer with limited experience?
If I am good in something, then it is my strong will. When I decide to do something, I will do it with full passion and I will invest all of mine time to do it.
I was always interested into Web Development, it seemed like fun to me to develop web applications or applications for smartphones. You can see the progress of your work immediately. You can find jobs all over the world and you can work from home. I gained my first experiences in programming in school, with my personal projects and at Siemens, but I didn’t know much about modern frameworks. So, I took online courses from Udemy. I was watching them more than 8 hours everyday, until I became familiar with React and Angular.
I started to apply for various job positions, but it is hard if you don’t have any previous experience in Web Development. But I found a job after 2 weeks!
It was a job as a Junior Frontend Developer in Barcelona. The job was amazing, because they also provided training. It was something like University, before starting to work on real projects. So, they hired me and around 20 more employees and trained us for at least 3 months. In the last month we were divided into groups and worked on projects until we presented them in front of the company on the last day.
But that would be too perfect… They didn’t keep all of us in their company, and unfortunately I was one of them, because I begged to differ, but there was no explanation provided by them.
Should you be angry or disappointed after something like this? I think that is a normal reaction, but you should always keep in mind that “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new Hello” – Paul Coelho. You can still find new challenges and opportunities. Nothing is as bad as it seems on the first sight. I was in a beautiful city, gained nice experiences and I was able to move on.
I started to look for jobs as a Web Developer and I focused on Angular. After one week, a couple of opportunities where offered to me, even with twice the salary I had in Barcelona. I decided to go for a job position in Berlin, so again it was time to pack my stuff and to take up the new challenge.
I arrived to Berlin in December 2016 before Christmas. Berlin was dark, grey and cold. I wasn’t lucky and I was living in a really terrible room in some dirty district of Berlin, next to a cinema for “adults”… It was really bad. Weak heating in cold winter time, I did not have a normal access to the toilet, bathroom and kitchen. I had to go outside of the apartment to a communal area and enter another apartment to get there (I moved out after 2 weeks). They did not event pay me back my deposit! That time I had to borrow money from my parents. If I would continue the story would not end…
A few days later, I had my first day at the office. The Job was very challenging and since I am always fully dedicated to my self improvement, I was spending crazy hours working during and also after work. I wanted be as good as the other developers and I wanted to dig deeper. I met very nice people but I was always struggling to find some friends. So I was mostly alone there.
After some time, I decided it is time to leave Berlin. The company was really surprised about my decision but to my luck we agreed that I can work for the company as a Freelance Developer. That was exactly what I wanted from the beginning and finally it became reality. I couldn’t believe it.
I started travelling, I went to see my family and friends in Slovakia and after that I bought flight tickets to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. I stayed in a very nice hostel for almost 3 months and was working every day as usual, but with an ocean view:D.
I mostly stayed in Spain. I went to Portugal, a couple of times to Berlin to see my colleagues. I lived with other Freelancers in Tarifa in a very nice shared house next to the ocean. I learned kitesurfing and I was climbing in the mountains regularly.
One day I got a phone call from the CTO of the company I was working for. The company was moving to a different country and they had to fire the whole development department in Berlin. You know Outsourcing… However, I had the plan to start something on my own for a very long time already. I really had a great experience in modern JS frameworks and I always enjoyed to explain some useful informations to others.
I decided to make a course on Udemy. I wanted to create something on my own to share it with others and most important I wanted to become independent. I was working on my small Mackbook pro 13′, I just bought microphone and I started programming and recording. I was recording my course in different places: in Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. I had my laptop and microphone all the time with me.
I started to prepare some material for the course. I created the first applications I wanted to show. At first, I was planning to cover even more frameworks. I decided to exclude Ember and Rails. I was working every day, even on weekends late until night. My life was all about recording. After 3 months of all the time I was spending on recording, I finally finished. It was an incredible feeling, but there was still a lot of work to do to put everything together, which took me another 2 weeks.
And on, 28th of June 2018, I released my course, I was pretty nervous about the reaction of others. Now it has been 3 weeks since release and feedback is very positive so far but I will see how the reactions gonna be regarding the course, in future.
There are still so many projects on my mind, but for now I want to invest time in my Udemy course, it requires a lot of attention. I want to integrate more features to the applications in order for my students to enjoy and to take the maximum out from this course.
My message to you is: Never give up your dreams, no matter how hard they seem to be to accomplish. If you put enough effort in to it, time and passion everything will be possible. Believe in yourself!
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