Tag Archives: Reflecting

Reflecting on 1 year in business

It doesn’t feel like it’s been a year since Taking the Freelance Plunge was published but time flies.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, the experience has been positive. I can’t remember being happier and less stressed, professionally or personally, despite the occasional “where’s my next client coming from” setbacks. My only regret wish is that I had started sooner. A few years ago, my employer had kindly arranged a career coach to interview me to figure out what I’d like to do. While speaking to her, I said “start my own business” and it just felt right. I didn’t get into freelancing until a few years later though. Oh well.
Want tips on getting started yourself? Check out Tips Getting Started in Freelancing. Also, feel free to Contact Me privately and I’ll give ya feedback.
Want tips starting your own Salesforce Blog? Check out Bob Buzzard’s Starting Your Salesforce Blog by the one and only Bob Buzzard.

What’s New

Awesome Client Still

Still have an awesome client. They are great to work with, the work is interesting and varied, and I’ll keep working with them as long as they’ll have me. I hope I get to be onsite again soon.

If I ever felt like being a full-timer again, I’d seriously consider these guys too.

Part-Time Work Halted

For a while, I was doing part-time as needed work for a client but they haven’t needed my services for a while. It’s a bummer because they had some very interesting and challenging technical work and are also great to work with. That’s ok though because the work I can’t take on, I usually forward to them along with potential job candidates because if full-time appeals to me again, I’d seriously consider working for them.

More Lightning

I’m now feeling comfortable with Lightning aka over the hump. It still feels like a beta to me because of the amount of developer plumbing needed to make simple things work but that’s ok. Also, I’m starting to like Javascript again but I’ll save that rant for possibly another blog post.

Contributing to Open Source

I’ve always contributed to open source projects occasionally. My focus lately has been contributing to Boostr for Salesforce, which is a Chrome Extension that enhances the Salesforce experience in various ways. “View Offending Process Builder or Flow” Link in Lightning and Field History Tracking Counter Configurability are two features I’ve implemented that are now released. It feels good to know that I’m contributing to the Salesforce world and helping others out. Getting some recognition and thanks is icing on the cake.

What’s Next

Aspiring To Becoming a Salesforce MVP

Recently, I started seriously researching what it takes to become a Salesforce MVP. I even reached out to two of them that I know and they gave me some really good feedback. Essentially, they said to contribute to the community and be very active in it too through whatever means you like such as blogging, social media, user groups, open source, or some combination.

This is a long-term goal and may take years but I think I’ll eventually get there. To help accomplish this, my plan is

  • Increase blogging frequency
  • More active in the community with social media, other blogs, user groups, etc.
  • More open source projects

Through these activites, I’ll be also accomplishing the “Keep Expanding the Network” that I’ve been writing about for a while.

If you have other tips on becoming an MVP, please let me know.

Also, if you feel like nominating me, please do so at Salesforce MVP Nominations which are open through August 7th.

More Open Source Contributions

I’ve been having a blast contributing to Boostr and am going to focus on some other projects too. Stay tuned…

How’s your business or professional goals going for 2017 and how will you reach them? What’s your experience with freelancing been like?

Related Posts

Reflecting on 10 Months in Business

While it’s technically a week shy of 10 months, close enough.

What’s New

Awesome New Client!!!

This contract started in April and it’s been great. The people are smart, friendly, know what they want, and are easy to get along with. I was onsite for a week and provided training and other services. Also, the work is interesting and I have the opportunity to do more Lightning development.

Turned down additional work.

The prospect from March reached out to me recently asking if I’m available for an urgent project they have but unfortunately I’m not. Instead, I referred them to some colleagues who will provide what they need. We kept the door open for future engagements.

More Lightning Development.

I’m currently implementing my first official Lightning component that’s like a Kanban board where one can drag-n-drop various items from one column to another.

Overall, the UI looks better but currently I still prefer developing, from a developer’s perspective, in Visualforce because performance is better, the amount of coding required is less than Lightning since more code is needed for basic plumbing and wiring, and the overall infrastructure is better.

There are also little things, such as Locker Service, that drive me nuts in the name of security. For example, I can’t add a custom attribute to a Lightning base component or even add an onclick event attribute to one.

Another little thing is always having to remember to add the v. prefix in {! v. } bindings to access attributes. I wish specifying the attribute alone was enough like it was in Visualforce and the framework could figure out where the binding originates.

Slackforce

Matt Addy and I started a Salesforce Slack team named Slackforce where Salesforce professionals can hangout and have real time communication with others. See Introducing Slackforce for more detail and on how to join.

One nice, somewhat unexpected, benefit of Slackforce is that it has helped fill the “Missing Professional Camaraderie” void by helping connect to many great professionals I’ve worked with in the past and present.

Changed Student Loan Payment Option

When I started the business, I changed my student repayment option to the graduated, extended 25 year plan so that my monthly payment would be the lowest possible because my revenue expectations were projected but unknown at the time.

With business doing well and my confidence in it steady, I’ve switched my student loan payment back to the graduated plan so that I can still pay the loans off within the original 10 year timeframe, which is in 4 1/2 years.

What’s Next

More Lightning

This recurring theme will most likely stay for a while since more and more people are showing interest in it. Additional blog posts are coming too.

Learning Other Salesforce Technologies

With Salesforce, there’s always something more to learn. Besides Lightning, I want to learn more about:

Platform Events – This native messaging bus could be very interesting for integrations and other pub-sub type architectures.

DX – I am now in the pilot but have to still try it. It’s on the backlog.

Einstein – Another thing on my learning backlog.

Keep Expanding the Network

Slackforce has helped with the networking goal but I want to keep expanding so I’ll do this by getting more involved in the community by attending conferences, meetups, open source projects, and other activities.

No Upcoming Product

I’ve given some serious thought about doing a Salesforce product but have decided against it for now because I’m not that passionate about the product idea I have. If I’m going to build something, I’m going to be passionate about it.

How’s your business or professional goals going for 2017 and how will you reach them? What’s your experience with Lightning been like?

Related Posts

Reflecting on 7 months in Business

7 months in business. 7 months… wow. It feels odd typing that since it feels like it’s been only a few months.

One unexpected thing about writing these reflective posts is they are really enjoyable because:

  • I review the good, the bad, and the ugly and take corrective action as needed.
  • It keeps me accountable to my Goals and Priorities.
  • Acts as a historical log so I can go back and review things.

What’s New

  • Project Workload Rollercoaster. January and February were really busy but now I have more availability for other projects. If you need some Salesforce work done, Contact Me. I completed a quick start Salescloud implementation and completed my primary, full-time 6 month project too. There’s other work but it’s part-time.
  • New prospect. After coming upon this blog, this vendor reached out to me about doing some contract work. We’re in early discussions but I am excited about working with them because they share the same values as me like putting your customers and employees first and giving back to the community. They also have very talented people and a diverse set of projects. There are other prospects of course so here’s to seeing what may be.
  • Turned down renewing my primary contract. For a variety of reasons, it was time to move on despite the client wanting to keep me on. The project is in better shape than I found it and they’re in good hands so I have no doubt they’ll succeed.
  • AutoRabit. It’s a cloud based Salesforce continuous integration and deployment SAAS solution and it’s great for a turn-key solution. It does deployments from various sources such as a source org, from version control, and even from past deployments. It also does version control management where you can specify the changes to commit from your org into a specific branch. These changes can then be collected into a “release” and promoted to various downstream orgs as needed. It also does data migration, UI testing, and static code analysis. Overall, it’s a great solution. Check it out if you haven’t heard of it. It’s better than rolling your own solution using a CI server such as Jenkins or Teamcity with the ANT Migration Toolkit if you can afford it.
  • More Job Offers. It’s reassuring to know that people want to hire you. Each one is attractive but I have to decline for the same reasons mentioned back in Reflecting on 4 months in Business. The most recent offer from this week was very tempting though because I really like working with these guys and the company culture and camaraderie is amazing. If I ever hire others, their culture is what I aspire to make mine like.

What’s Next

  • More Lightning. The basics are behind me and now I am going to do some more involved customizations that require components talking to each other and involve a custom community using the Napili template. There’s definitely more interest in Lightning in the community and I still believe 2017 will be the year it becomes mainstream.
  • Learn other Salesforce technologies such as DX and Einstein.
  • Expand the Network. Of the 4 items to complete from my 4 months in Business post, 2 are completed and the Lightning one is well underway. This one hasn’t started yet but will soon.
  • Lightning Product? I have this idea for a Lightning Product but am reluctant to invest in it. It is high-risk, high-reward. After helping bring a product to the AppExchange, I know what it takes to build one but selling, marketing, and supporting it are very different.

Last but not least, thank you new prospect for helping me realize I didn’t have an easier way to contact me through this website. That was resolved by adding the Contact page and the link to it in the main navigation.

How are your professional aspirations going?