freelance web developer

 Freelance Web Developer



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A permanent staff position — an unappealing prospect for web-developer, Paulina Seroczynska.

Paulina Seroczynska, Web Developer: “We spend so much time at work. And I just think it’s important to be able to determine my life myself.

That freedom gives me and incredibly good feeling.”

She works when and where she wants.

Today she’s in Hamburg. She earns a minimum of €350 a day. She can’t imagine that the work will dry-up, and she hasn’t set-aside much money for later.

The 28-year old builds and develops websites . . . she’s part of the generation of digital natives.

Paulina Seroczynska, Web Developer: “My brother, who’s four years older, got a computer. I always wanted to use it; and I wasn’t allowed to.

So I was, of course, overjoyed when I got my own computer.

And I started doing the usual things, just chatting at first, and then I started building my own websites.”

Seroczynska chooses which jobs she accepts.

She often meets other web-designers in whatever office she’s working in.

As a freelancer, she has to take care of her health insurance and pension — and has to live with the risk that business might not go so well.

Still, she can’t imagine a different sort of life.

Paulina Seroczynska, Web Developer: “I’m not interested in the typical 9-to-5 job. That’s mostly because I probably have a problem with very steep hierarchies.

I prefer it when hierarchies are more horizontal; when you work better as a team.

I often have communication problems in agencies.

And what I have a big problem with is working for something that isn’t mine . . . and especially, having to support decisions that don’t come from me.”

Special web platforms allow companies to list jobs, and look for freelancers to do them.

One of the largest is Elance-oDesk, an American company which sees Germany as the largest growth market.

The company’s Germany manager says many businesses are especially keen to hire Germans.

Nicolas Dittberner, Elance-oDesk Operations Manager, Germany: “German web-developers and designers have an especially good reputation internationally, in terms of output . . . in terms of performance . . . in terms of quality.

That means they have an advantage over programmers from other countries.

So a lot of international employers look specifically for German or German-speaking freelancers.”

And that includes Paulina Seroczynska.

Right now, she’s working from Hamburg, for a robotics manufacturer in southern Germany — on a freelance contract, of course.

Paulina Seroczynska: “I don’t ever want to have a permanent position again. I hope that I can stick to that goal. That’s not the kind of thing that I want.”

Her goal is to go out into the world and get contracts with major employers.

So far, she has worked almost exclusively for German companies.

She doesn’t care where she lives and works — she’s interested in traveling.

Paulina Seroczynska: “I feel best where my work is, where I’m happy, where my friends are . . . and that’s not necessarily connected with a single place.”

So that place can be anywhere: Germany, America or Asia.

For Paulina’s work, all she needs is her laptop.

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1. Paulina would like to have a full-time, permanent job as an employee at a company. Is this correct or incorrect? Why does she like being a freelancer? Why does she enjoy freelancing?

2. What is her profession? How did she get started?

3. Does she do any assignment that is offered to her? Why do you think she picks and chooses which assignments to work on?

4. Paulina always works completely alone, by herself. True or false?

5. Is she keen on working with bosses, secretaries, managers, CEOs, directors and presidents? Does she like to take orders or follow orders and rules?

6. What is Elance-oDesk? The most sought after freelancers are Indians and Filipinos. Indian and Filipino freelancers are most in demand. Yes or no?

7. She has to live and work only in Hamburg; she only wants to stay in Germany. Is this right or wrong?

A. Do you or your friends do web-designing, computer graphics, web-development, web-writing or blogging?

B. Do you or your friends work freelance? Are you or your friends freelancers?

C. Which do or would you prefer: being an employee or a freelancer? Why?

D. What are the pros (advantages, pluses, benefits) of being a freelancer?

E. Are there any cons (disadvantages, minuses, drawbacks) of being a freelancer?

F. How do businesses and companies feel about freelancing and outsourcing? Are they positive or negative towards it, neither, both, or it depends?

G. Is freelancing becoming more common? Do you think that freelancing is the way of the future?

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