In late February of 2013 I found myself on a website called Codeable. A few minutes later I was emailing my credentials to try and get an invite to the live beta.
The idea was simple, but one which I had never heard of before: a freelancing job board connecting developers with clients, but without individual bidding for the client to choose from. Developers need to apply to have access to the clients and Codeable keeps everything running smoothly.
Shortly after applying I had an email interview and was invited in. Very quickly I realized this was the best thing since sliced bread. At that point in time everything was still in beta and the Codeable staff invited all contractors to lurk in an IRC channel to quickly iron out any bugs, answer questions, and chat. Within a few days I had completed my first task and within a few weeks my next dozen.
I was, and am still fulltime support for Kriesi themes, as well as a stay at home dad, so my freelancing through Codeable was squeezed in whenever I was able. As the weeks passed and my schedule became more consistent I found myself able to fit in extra time for a few tasks a week. I could pick and choose those jobs that I knew would be completed in my available time and it helped make life a bit more comfortable for me and my family.
I wonder if I can do that
As Codeable grew in popularity so did the number and type of tasks showing up. I don’t recall when exactly I started doing it but at some point in late spring I started looking at every single task that came in and asking myself “I wonder if I can do that”. I didn’t have the time to do everything of course but the opportunity to grow as a developer while making some extra income was just sitting there in my email.
Instead of playing games in the evening or watching TV I would try and find solutions and then pre-write the code to solve tasks that came in. I missed some, I solved others, I kept learning. It started to reflect on my “day job” as I was able to answer more difficult support questions, give out custom code for themes and send over bug fixes instead of just bug reports to Kriesi.
As my wife was winding up her school year we started making plans for the summer. I was excited about the work I was doing for clients on Codeable, what I was learning with WordPress and the sudden increase in income. I wanted to see just how much I could get done if I pushed myself. For the whole month of June my wife would be Super Mom and I would be Super Worker. Each day I did six hours of support in the morning and then the rest of the day with clients on Codeable. Every single task that showed up I would try and get. If I didn’t know how right away I would race to look into how I could do it. Once again there were some that I couldn’t quote or apply for but the majority of them I could and did. It was like being in exam time in school again except I was getting paid for it instead of paying out.
At the end of the month I averaged one task a day and made an extra $3,454.00 for June.
Room for One more
All of a sudden the year was coming to an end. I had completed over a hundred tasks with Codeable and was coming up on two hundred. Somewhere along the road I lost a gut feeling of fear I had developed ever since I became a father. Things would be okay and I had the ability to keep them that way.
With this new found stability we decided to shake it all up and daughter number two was born March 3rd 2014; just about a year exactly from when I completed my first task on Codeable.
By the Numbers (not actually numbers)
So what did I actually do?
- Lots of new widget areas
- Lots of css fixes and customization
- Internet Explorer fixes
- Responsive fixes, additions and complete responsive overhauls
- Migrated WordPress installs
- Lots of Quick Theme and WordPress setups
- Lots of WooCommerce integration
- A handful of completely custom themes
- Lots of phone consultations and training on using WordPress
- A handful of consultations and training on using WooCommerce
- Lots of custom functions, fixes, template files
- AWeber and Mailchimp forms
Some of my favorites:
- Built a custom theme for a national advertising agency and saw the site rolled out as a part of a national ad campaign
- Australians – I’ve never had a bad experience working with a client who had a .au site
- Helped an incredibly nice women set up a site for her to teach knitting using WooTheme’s Sensei plugin.