Journey of a Pakistani Freelancer

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Imagine how it feels to sit before a fresh stream of cool water somewhere in Azad Kashmir, with a laptop in lap – checking the last email from a client, about to release thousand bucks. Not to mention the barbecue which is all prepared to be served. The person with the laptop is a freelancer (sounds familiar?). Let me share my journey which ended in a freelancer career rather than an electrical engineer working abroad.

Electric wires, bulbs, motors, iron gun and circuits were the gadgets I loved until I got my hands dirty with a Computer, for the very first time, when I was a student of 10th grade. With no internet at home, Internet cafes were my last refuge. But instead of trying to hookup with a girl in a chatroom, I used to read and download web designing tutorials. All I wanted was a personal web site that I could show off to my friends. I remember taking downloaded web pages in a floppy disk back home where I would spend nights playing with HTML, and lately PHP. I did my intermediate in engineering and got enrolled in Electrical Engineering in UET Taxila. Besides the arduous studies, the only thing in my life was to delve deeper and deeper into the world of web site development and designing. So much zeal I had for programming that in our second semester I had already solved all the exercises of our Object Oriented Programming (C++) subject  even before the start of the semester. That year I realized that I had taken a wrong decision pursuing my bachelors in electrical engineering, when I should have gone for Software Engineering. However, I decided to continue my course.

The same year, on 16th July 2008, was to be proved as a harbinger of a new career – the day when I was told one could earn money online. I instantly registered at rentacoder.com, the web site I was told to begin with. It took me a week before I won a project from an employer in US, worth only $30. And it took me another couple of weeks to complete the project. The employer was satisfied and gave me an encouraging  feedback. This drove me to bid for more and more projects, winning and completing a few, until I reached the threshold $100 – the very first payment landed me in a shopping mall. Soon, I had established long lasting working relations with many employers from US and UK. Besides the constant stream of money, I kept on learning many new things in my domain which I would have never learnt otherwise. Once done with my engineering I decided to pursue my Masters from NUST – this time in Computer Science.

In 2014 alone, I managed to pull 1.8 million rupees from ATMs – by then the rentacoder was acquired by freelancer.com. With over 6 years of experience in web development, I decided to take a slight turn from my previous track. All this time, I was building web sites and web applications for people mostly business men – many started making thousands of dollars with their newly launched products. I pledged to do the same and started brainstorming for ideas. With all the expertise in hand, learnt during my freelancing career, I managed to put together some web applications and started selling them online, putting an end to bidding for online projects.

Today I have all the free time in the world. The only job left at my part is to make sure the applications are running normally and the earnings keep building up with every new sale. In case you are interested in where does my current profile at freelancer.com stand, here is the link: https://www.freelancer.com/u/lllaatishlll.html

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