Last Updated: February 25, 2016
· 2upmedia

How to be a better developer, employee, and freelancer. Interview with local PHP Guru David Rogers.

Here I interview David Rogers, organizer of the Orlando PHP Meetup, speaker at several conferences, veteran freelancer, husband and father of two. He's managed software development teams and developed software for the past 10 years. His experience is vast working as both an employee and as a freelance business owner who's subcontracted and managed freelancers. This allows him to make informative observations of both situations.

We go over several questions about the current job market for developers, what makes a great junior and intermediate developer, what makes a great freelancer, pros and cons of freelancing, pros and cons of working with a recruiting agency, what makes a bad freelancer and employee, and much more.

Here's a couple nuggets of information:

Jorge: From what you've seen what makes you look at a junior developer and say, "This person has a lot of potential"?

David: So the biggest quality I've looked for in a junior developer, the most admirable quality that I look for in a junior developer is a willingness to learn. And that willingness to learn is demonstrated in their questioning ability. Do they actually come to me and ask questions? And do they come to me and ask questions that indicate that they've actually tried something on their own? [...]

Jorge: What are the pros and cons of freelancing?

David: [...] With great responsibility comes great freedom. You have the freedom to choose anything and everything. What tools you're going to use on a job, what jobs you're going to court. [...] Some people are just not well-equipped to be freelancers and that's OKAY. [...]

There's a great deal of information here for developers of all skills junior, intermediate, and even senior level developers. David even goes into what he believes are the different types of developers: Software Programmers, Software Engineers, and Software Developers. Hope you enjoy.

Here's the interview: [Length 56:19]

Some of the core questions in order (there could be a couple that I ask earlier):

  • [00:12] From what you've seen what makes you look at a junior developer and say, "This person has a lot potential"? Is it the same for intermediate developers? Senior level?

  • [08:32] Do you think that once you get to the senior level you that they get to a point that they don't want to change their habits?

  • [15:07] What do great developers do?

  • [19:52] What have you seen are the pros and cons of working with a recruiter?

  • [28:07] What are the pros and cons of freelancing?

  • [34:58] What makes a freelancer better than hiring a specific person in person?

  • [39:26] Talking about large corporations, we use Krispy Kreme as an example, have you seen where a company prefers to go with a freelancer vs hiring a company like an interactive agency?

  • [48:23] What makes you hire a specific freelancer?

  • [49:43] What disqualifies them automatically?

  • [53:06] What do great freelancers do?

  • [54:21] What do mediocre freelancers do?

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