Welcome to my PinkLetter. A short, weekly, technology-agnostic, and pink newsletter where we cultivate timeless skills in web development.
I tried to freelance on Upwork. It sucked.
Don’t get me wrong, we all know how the platform works: 90% is either spam or exploitation. Still, I was curious so I signed up.
Well, I actually registered months ago and ended up not doing anything with it. This was a mistake because the platform boosts your visibility at first (I think) and you better use it to build authority: you need a lot of five stars to be in the 10%.
So I’m there with my profile that attracts zero work and I decide to take a simple task from the shitty 90% to get my first five stars.
After several hours of bidding on projects, I find a client who wants to implement a carousel in vanilla JS. Easy, peasy, right?
I ended up working for five hours moving pixels around, making the code overly complicated and creating a shitty UX. Exactly like they wanted it. But I kept going, even with a fixed fee, because I wanted those freaking stars.
At the eighth review, I couldn’t anymore so I told them to end the contract, keep the code and please not give me one star. As of now, I still don’t know what the client will do.
This gig reminded me of how privileged I am: I don’t have to be on Upwork. it was an experiment and I can find clients elsewhere as a freelancer. But this experience taught me a couple of things.
Sometimes you need to put your ego aside. My hourly fee is definitely higher than a few bucks and I should do a better job at keeping money and self-worth separated.
Also, there are people who don’t have any alternatives to using platforms like Upwork and become star slaves.
I’ll remember this next time I’ll have to rate somebody.
It’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “I’ll never be able to make this look good, I’m not an artist!” but it turns out there are a ton of tricks you can use to level up your work that don’t require a background in graphic design.
Riccardo: That subheading: “Improving your designs with tactics instead of talent”
There are services out there that will analyse the HTTP response headers of other sites but I also wanted to add a rating system to the results. The HTTP response headers that this site analyses provide huge levels of protection and it’s important that sites deploy them. Hopefully, by providing an easy mechanism to assess them, and further information on how to deploy missing headers, we can drive up the usage of security based headers across the web.
Riccardo: I got a D for odone.io :(
Freelancing Full-Time by Tommaso Manca
Making a living doing what you love is hard. On this website, you’ll find resources to help you figure out how to make it happen in a way that suits you and actually makes the world better.
Riccardo: I met Tommaso at a meetup last week: super cool dude!