Nov. 23, 2022

How A Self Taught Developer Became A Freelance Developer (Digital Nomad)


I invited on a successful self-taught developer to share how he became not only a freelance developer, but a nomad as well. It’s rare to hear real success stories like this, especially ones that allow developers to achieve true financial freedom. Whether you want to work for a company or not, he shared tons of advice for all self-taught developers alike. Enjoy!

Amine Boukhari (guest):
Linktree - https://linktr.ee/AmineTech21

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Transcript

Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another web development podcast where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow. In this podcast episode, we're gonna share this young man's story about how he became a freelance developer, pays his bills with it, traveled to a different country. Um, he has a pretty elaborate story, so we're gonna dive into all of that. But essentially I'm gonna give you kind of. Success story, another story of a self-taught developer making it right. Um, so yeah. Uh, this is gonna be realistic. I'm not trying to paint some dream or fairytale. He's gonna share all the ups and downs of his journey. But, um, I mean, thanks so much for coming on. Yeah,

Amine Boukhari:

that's the great,

Don Hansen:

absolutely. So let's go and just jump into it and start with this, um, before you even started learning how to. , what were you doing before, and then like, what made you think that you wanna transition into becoming a developer?

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, so actually before starting development, I was, uh, I was in Canada. I was, uh, a student. I, I just finished, uh, high school and I didn't know what I had to do, what I wanted to do for the, for my future, and what made me choose actually what development. Actually the freedom, just the, the freedom at the, at first was like, you know, just you think about the future, you think about technology, think about, uh, when you're working as at a software develop developer, you just have this freedom to work anywhere and you like, it was like the condition, it was not really like the love of coding first. It was really like the condition, you know, the, the, like, the salary I had in my head. I, I thought like software developers were really good, well paid, so this was the, the condition, it was not really like the love of coding. After that, I, I, I learned how to love coding, but at the beginning it was just like the condition, the, the freedom gives me. Do

Don Hansen:

you That's, that's interesting. So a lot of people do, um, they consider it, of course, for the money and the freedom, um, and especially financial freedom. Yeah. Do you feel like, how important is it for you to actually enjoy coding to finally, you know, become a professional developer? , uh,

Amine Boukhari:

like, you mean like, um, uh, how, how I enjoy, how I enjoy, uh, coding,

Don Hansen:

for example. Do you think someone, or do you think like the average person that's transitioning, um, into software engineering for the money, do you think if they didn't really have much enjoyment out of it, they would become a develop.

Amine Boukhari:

Personally, I think, uh, they're not gonna be able, uh, when I was for, I don't know, maybe there's some people, but for a personal, like, uh, what I think is you cannot be a software developer if you don't, if you don't like it because, uh, especially at the beginning, it's really tough. Uh, if you're self thought, obviously, like there is really need to, to enjoy it because, Uh, at first I started, I thought it was gonna be like really quick, you know, uh, like, like a lot of developer, they start, you know, trying to sell them this big dream, like three months you're gonna make it. So I thought was gonna be quick. So even if I don't like it, no problem. It's gonna be, I'm gonna learn it. Make some money. But then when you start after three months, you not don't get anything, six months, not get anything. Uh, you have to, to enjoy it. You have to like to really be passionate. You want to learn even, uh, mean what, what really made me love it, uh, of course this coding is, is actually really nice. I really like, uh, learn how to, to love, uh, solving problems, which was really nice. You know, like debugging, being angry and then you find the solution, you're so happy. So that, that make me enjoy it. But. The, the thing was, uh, I really like the fact that I can build a business for me. Like that's what, that was one of the, the thing that made me love it. I can, uh, do something for my own. So, so I think you cannot be a software developer if you don't enjoy it because it's really, it's really hard when you, when you start, especially if you're a self.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. A lot of self-taught developers struggle. Um, . I mean, the whole point of doing this video is to kind of give a, a, you know, a little bit, uh, more of a realistic situation of how you can become one. Yeah. But I mean, a lot of self-taught developers struggle, and I would even argue like most that starts, they end up giving up because it's too hard. And like there's a variety of reasons why they do that. Yeah. But, um, and your opinion, like even thinking about your journey, like what were some of the hard points, um, of learning how to code and becoming a developer and how do you overcome.

Amine Boukhari:

Actually, I think the, the, like the hardest thing at the beginning for me, it was really like just understanding what I need to do to become a software, uh, developer because, . Um, obviously you see some videos, you know, on the internet, like, uh, learn html, css, JavaScript, and then get your first job. But for me it was, it wasn't that, uh, at all. Like for, for, for me to get my, my first job actually, I was really happy because, uh, I know some people that take like some one years, two years to get their first job. I was really happy to get my first job as uh, uh, after nine months and obviously before that I was freelancing like some, some small. Uh, freelance project, not nothing really, really big. So I was really, uh, like, uh, blessed with that. I had some friends in Canada. They needed some website. So, uh, for me, which was really difficult, uh, uh, at the beginning is, um, It's just the knowing what you, what you need to do to get your job. You think Hdms is JavaScript and you start making a resume. You start applying and after you learn, oh, but JavaScript is maybe not enough. I need to learn a framework. Then, you know, you learn, react, then you learn react. But oh, but they need, they all ask me type script. So then I, I learn type script. Some let me testing. So then I learned it's, it's like really, like learning what you need to, to, to learn actually was really difficult for me. Like, you know, I, I didn't have a mentor to, to show me the, the routes, so that was really difficult for me, actually.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, it's really hard to figure out what you need to learn. I mean, you can look at 10 different companies and they're gonna ask for 10 different things. Yeah. And it's frustrating. And it's like if you don't know a professional software engineer, you're just, it's kind of just like looking at a different language sometimes. Like how do you figure that out, you know?

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah. And actually that was really difficult because, Um, how, how had this mindset is, was it, was I go to an interview, what they, what they, they ask me or applying, uh, how, like the job job, uh, applying on LinkedIn, for example. You see what the, the requirements. Then if I see TypeScript, I was in my head, okay, I need to learn TypeScript. So I was stopping, uh, applying. I was stopping, like working even for freelance. I was like stopping for, to learn. And that was a big mistake actually. When I, I, I see it, I see back. I should have just continue applying and the learning at the side, continue freelancing, building my, my network. But yes. So I was like, you know, learning and then I was stopping everything and then applying, and then learned that, oh, I need testing. So I stop, I learn testing, I stop. I, so I, I learned these on patterns, so this was a, a problem for me. But yeah, finally find the, the way, the way out. But yeah, the way is really difficult, really difficult. When you don't have a mentor. You see so much video, then you see, oh, maybe I have to, I'm hoping from php. And then you see, oh, but JavaScript environment is see some people telling, telling you that's better JavaScript. And then you see, oh, but front end is better. And then you see some people advising you back. And so you're hoping it's really difficult, like as a, as a self thought is just finding, finding good route for you and just sticking. And knowing what you need to learn next, next, and that's, that's the, the hardest, hardest, uh, part actually for me. Yeah,

Don Hansen:

I, I mean, And that's a problem. It's like, you know, tons of content critters are selling courses. There are tons of coding bootcamps that are selling very long curriculums that teach you the full stack. And I feel like so many developers like you, you kind of, I, I liked how you would constantly reassess what you needed to know based on like what your goals were and even trying to lay that first job. Um, and I'm sure like freelancing probably challenged what you should learn, but like, it's super confusing for people because they feel like they need to learn. The full stack. Right? What the hell does that mean? And that they just try to learn everything possible to stick it on their resume as a skill. But the problem is they're so, like, they're spread thin. Like what the hell can they actually do? And like, did they dive into anything? Are they, you know, super interested in front end or accessibility or like, are they really interested into like the business logic of the backend? Like, like you said, diving into something and like just sticking with it, I think could be very helpful.

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, of course. And actually even like when you go to startups or, uh, uh, of course now I'm, I'm the, most of my, my income is from, uh, freelancing. But what I, I remember like when I was learning, I thought I need to learn back and front end. And then even my first like, uh, position I got was a full stock position, uh, in a small startup in. And, but I only did front end. I don't even know why they asked me full stack. You, I was only doing front end. So, yeah. So I think you should, you should, yeah. This was a full stack question. I was all, uh, only doing some front end, front end, uh, job. But yeah, that's sometimes because of the, the HR don't really know what they need to ask, so I, I mean, just stick to something you like. Example, for myself right now, I'm really lo loving. I'm really loving front end and you get the front end position. And then maybe even if in the startup you can change later, for example, enter startup and then later maybe they want to do a mobile app, you say, oh, okay, maybe I can learn, try to, to learn. And so just start the front end or back end. What you like, mobile, enter the the industry and then later you can learn something else. If you want to help something, something else. Yeah. I think you just, you should stick to something cuz you're gonna lose lost so much, so much time for. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I mean, true. Um, and a lot of people kind of have that set. A lot of people don't give them enough, themselves, enough time to be able to lay in that first position anyways, so, yeah. Um, so, okay. Take me, I guess take me through, uh, your journey of like trying to find material. Like how did you learn to code? Did you have any specific courses you learned? Did you watch YouTube videos?

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, actually I was, uh, like the typical, uh, developer learning from YouTube and I was. And like, I think a lot of developers are stuck in Tutorial Health. So I was really stuck. I was really, really stuck. And at, at a moment I thought I was outside Tutorial Health and even if I had some friend telling me some advice how to go out from Tutorial Health and I give them advice, but I was still material tutorial health. I was without knowing it actually, because I was, I remember I was, uh, learning from. And then I would learn, like, let's, for example, I started the React and then I, I, uh, I follow a video to the project and then, uh, I follow like two, three video, uh, project videos so I can put them in my portfolio. And, but I wasn't really understanding, like, I remember I was doing, uh, an e-commerce website, like following a YouTuber on, on YouTube of a e-commerce website, and he was using Redux. But after the whole application, I, I, I was still like, I was just copying the code. I didn't really understand like how state really worked if React, but I've, but I did a commercial website following a YouTuber. That's a real problem. I, for me right now. Uh, I don't, I don't like, uh, try to say that the courses are, are bad or of course you should learn when you, when you begin courses, but for. When I stopped, I stopped looking at courses and really start, start to code myself. I remember the most I learned when I, when I, uh, when I, when I, I remember I was really happy, uh, when I start coding, it was for my first job. He told me, you know, the, there was no like algorithm interview. It was like a, a home project told me to make her home project. So there, there was no video. So I can type, you know, they asked me to like, um, sort of product management was really, really small. And I, I didn't have, I even tried, I, I tried to go to YouTube, product management, react. I didn't find any video, so I said, okay, I need to do it myself. So then I started, I really learned how does state work, how you connect, uh, the front end to a back end by myself. And so it's really like doing a real project by yourself. That's the way you can. And just for courses and, uh, uh, I know like a lot of people have opinions, but for me, I'm, I'm pretty against like courses and just follow the courses. Maybe you can learn some concept here and there. But for me right now, I'm, I really think that person will, will learn by doing some code, even if you learn the basics of react, learn what you need. For example, you want to do a small lending page. So you will learn the, the front and then you want to add a newsletter, see how you can do this newsletter, add this contact form, and then you will, uh, build your knowledge, uh, with something that use use in a project. And I think that's the best way to learn for, for myself.

Don Hansen:

I like that. Well, I feel like, um, the advice that you're given, like it really resonates with me. Like I'm, I'm someone that didn't really understand how to code and understand how state works and react until I built something, I had to build something I like. Yeah. I still remember looking at courses like 2, 3, 4 courses. I don't know how many courses deep I was and like, I still, like, I see. Saying to build, but I don't really understand how it's working. And like when I try to visualize everything, it, it's just like, it was just this abstraction that I could not grasp until I got my hands dirty with the code. Like, and that's where I think people get lost in tutorial. Hell, they expect an a z solution. They go to a course, they finish the course, and they code. And then what al almost always happens is, okay, now I'm gonna try to code. I don't remember anything, shit. Yeah. You know, and then they have to like go back. Um, yeah. But where, you know, if they just learn some fundamentals, then get their hands dirty a little bit and then, oh, I'm stuck. Okay. Let's learn something to get unstuck and then keep moving forward with that pattern.

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah. Just build your, your knowledge. Don't try to take everything at the same time. Just learn the basics. Maybe there's no problem. If you want to start, like let's say for example, you want to learn, react, and you say you, you see like a crash course or just how to set up your, your app, maybe. Of course you see like the basics. Maybe there's no problem for you to, to, to see like a course and follow it, but really start, start, just start your first, your first app, and then you, you, you start your react up and, oh, how, how? What's the variables in React? Oh, this, like, there is a state in React and then how use it. I, I, I use a counter. Uh, I'm like, you know, the basic, uh, counter actually, you learn a lot from the, doing a counter up by yourself video because you learn, uh, state how you can put like, um, how you use, uh, function in the, and uh, let's say for example, event, like, I don't know, on click or on change. How you target the, the input. Just make your, start an app by yourself. There's no problem. If you look at the crash course before, then you start, you, you have an idea of an app. You can take ideas in, in Google, there's so much, uh, app idea. You can start and just, yeah, get you the hand ready. That's the best way you will learn. You'll never know if you don't, if you don't get your hand, uh, dirty and just build your knowledge by doing your, your.

Don Hansen:

I like it. I mean, that's honestly your advice is the advice I often hear. Of successful self-taught developers, like if you want to be successful and you are really struggling, like most people that give up are people that just go from course to course to course. And the success stories, it's, I hear a very common pattern. It's, I did project work, I did a lot of project work, and when I got stuck, I learned when I needed to learn. Like that pattern alone. It, it's just like, it's one of the most common things I hear from successful self-talk developers. . Amine Boukhari: Yeah, of course. That that's the best way. And even, uh, if I, if I see, like, obviously I'm, I'm really happy of what I'm right now, but like, if I see, when I, when I was beginning, I remember I learned, for example, PHP because I thought it was, uh, that's what, that was the way to learn, uh, to, to have a job for me, especially in Algeria before, after I, uh, I went to Algeria. So after that, I learned, uh, after I see that PHP is not really good for it to have a remote job because I was looking for a remote job. And, you know, in foreign countries because the salary is better. So then I learn, oh, but they usually learn me stock. So I learn mer stock, I learn how to use, uh, backend, but at the end I was, I, I only did front end development in my life. Like I did really small backend, but I learned everything from the backend. You know, like how to set up your database, how you can. How, how you can like do a real, real full stack application, but I, I never use it. So just get your hand, do application that you like for and you gonna learn. You, you're gonna learn by doing it. Fail, uh, Google. Google is your best friend, like we say. And yeah, that's, that's, that's the way and. I think there is no, there's no other way to, to, to learn. And I was talking to, to health. I think if I was still in Canada and it was really easy because in Canada it's really easy to get jobs. So I would, I think I would probably just, uh, uh, forget web development and just do an, uh, normal job. And I would have probably gave up. But because I was in Algeria and there was no way to come back, I remember the flight with Covid, it was closed, the flights, I couldn't go back to Canada. So I was stuck in Algeria and I need. I, I was obliged to get a job as a software developer, so that what make me, uh, advance and when I, I got this first, uh, this first, uh, home, home project. That's, that's how I, I I, I, I learned the most, get my hand dirty. And that's the way, that's, so that's a interesting. Uh, I mean, that's an interesting fire under your butt, a motivation. What, when you realize like, you know, you wanted to go back to Canada, flights were closed, you're like, oh, this, this isn't good. I have to figure this out. Like, yeah, yeah. What was, what was that experience like? Like what were you thinking at the time? It

Amine Boukhari:

was, it was, I remember it was really stressful. Uh, it was really stressful because, uh, you know, like with, especially with Covid, actually only just Covid was stressful. Then you stuck in Algeria, uh, and you need to find a job because at the, at the time I remember, like I knew you can be a self taught developer, but I had still in the mind that you need to go back to Canada and like finish your studies. Get a C degree. I remember at that time, like, I knew I can do it, but I thought I, well, that's too difficult to get, to get it, uh, alone, but I was obliged to do it alone when I was in, that was made me like, uh, continue and uh, and do it. And especially when I told like all my family, all my family that they told me like, what are you, um, what are you gonna do like when you in Algeria? Because I remember before I, I went to Algeria, my family told me like, uh, go and come back for. For like one month, but then after one month, I, I, I said, okay, I'm gonna do like the, the web development route, like the self star route. So I said, okay, give me three. Three months. And, uh, if it works, I stay, if it doesn't work, I come back. But after three months, the, the, the, the, the flight block, so then I, I was still there. So then I was there and if I don't get the job, they're gonna tell me, oh, you see, because you wanted to try to stay in Alger and you didn't get a job. And, uh, what you told you've done that is not true. So, you know, there was a lot of motivat. Uh, from this point of view, yeah, this is a real motivation. I think if I was in Canada, I would have probably quit and just do a regular job because it was really difficult.

Don Hansen:

Wow. And you made it work. Um, you know what I wanna dive into, like, first of all, I'm seriously kudos to you for pushing forward with that. You know, some people would panic, some people would really struggle, and you, you made it work. Sometimes it's what happens when you do get put into a situation where you have to make it work. It's amazing what people can achieve there. But, um, talk more about like how you built up your freelance business, because I think some people had these aspirations that they wouldn't have worked from. For themselves and like I love it. Right? I love that people have an entre entrepreneurship spirit. They want that financial freedom. Reality is, it just takes, I, I think like a minority of personalities would actually enjoy that, but then even a minority of that would actually be successful. The entrepreneurship route. So you actually. Built up your freelance business. Like you are an exceptional person to be able to do that. You're successful with that. Um, talk about like how you built up that business and, uh, that freelance business and what it was like.

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, so actually like, um, uh, again, like I said, I had a lot of, of help when I, I'm not gonna say like, oh, I was real alone and everything was really hard. Like when I started, I. Um, I, I told one of my friend, uh, that I'm gonna start, uh, to learn web development. So, uh, my friend was like, uh, you know, preneur has like a small business in Canada. So he told me, build me a website. So I was really happy that I had like a first client when I, I started like, uh, web development. So that's, I know a lot of person don't have. This, uh, this opportunity, this chance. So, yeah, so like I said, I had this, uh, this guy, he, he needed, uh, one website first and then he needed another, the website for something else. So I had like two contracts when I, when I begin. That was really, really a blessing, like I said. But. Uh, a part of that that's not from him. I got the, the most, uh, clients because I know usually people, they say, you're gonna get your first client that's reference you and gonna build it from, from there. But actually, that, that wasn't the case for me to really sustain, like, to have a, a family and hear it. I didn't get it from, from this, uh, friend. It was helpful, but that's not how I, I really build my, my, my business like this feelings. So how I, so first of all, You have to build your, your network. It's really important. Like we say, you have to build your network. I started with LinkedIn, probably you, you have some of my, of my content there, so I try to, to to post on LinkedIn and then when you get some followers, try to contact companies. But for me, it didn't work this, this way. Like the, the way people say how I did it, actually, it was a friend from Canada. What I say is, you should team up with other design. Other developers, other, especially if they're friends from your, from yours, if you're close to them. For example, I had a friend, this is, we're doing a business right now with my, with my friend. This is, uh, we are really happy, like, uh, how it's, how it, the business is, is going. Uh, so, uh, this friend was a designer, uh, in Canada and he was really good to get contract. And for me, I was. But to get contract, uh, I didn't have this net, this good network. Uh, I didn't have this good network, especially in Algeria. Like the contract you get is are really low paid. So I wasn't good for getting contract, but I team up with him and another guy, another, uh, developer, like more like web flow workers. So, uh, so, so this guy was really good to get contract and he doesn't, he didn't do development. So we team up, we teamed up with the other guys who were. And this was really like the, the, the, the unlock. So I team up with someone that was good to get contract. It wasn't good to get to, to in development. I was good to development, didn't, I wasn't good in getting contract. He has a good network. I didn't have the good network. So I team up with him. Obviously you make maybe less money because you, because you have to separate the, the, like the, the prices, like you have to separate with, with him and the, and the other guy. You get, you get contract. But if I stay alone, maybe I'm not gonna get contracts and I don't have this network. So for me it was teaming up, teaming up with someone from Canada, especially. I was knowing him, it was my friend. Uh, so it was my friend before I started, uh, web development. But team up with someone. Yeah, even if you don't have any contact, try to get close to people, especially needing, uh, I know there is a lot of fake in li fake people, fake people in LinkedIn, but there is some true people you can try to contact with the, connect with them. I find some amazing people on need. Like try to go on your, on your, on your network, try to talk with people, set meetings and really try to get close to them and then you can team up, try to find someone who's good at contract or designer. He's not good at developing new team up. You make an agency. That's the way I did it actually.

Don Hansen:

I can see why you were successful. That, that's really smart. A lot of people that get advice on, they should team up with someone. Um, and some people kind of, I don't know if it's an ego, but they're just like, I don't wanna split the money. Or some people don't. Take that initiative to reach out to people that compliment their skills, um, or supplement what they, well, essentially don't have. Like I love the idea of pairing up with a designer in, in Chicago. I don't think the meetup exists anymore, but there was a meetup that would pair product managers. With developers and that's fantastic because product managers can bring like a lot of direction. Like if, if you can just code out based on requirements that are dished out by a product manager, like that's how a lot of junior developers start and they have that network. And you mentioned you paired some with someone that had that network and you might not have gotten the contract positions.

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, that, that's totally true. Especially because he's, he's located in Canada, so you know, the contract, let's say for example, for, uh, I remember like the, the, my first friend, like I said, for an eCommerce website, I think I did the, I was paid for the website, like $200. You know, that's Penn's for an e-commerce website. That is nothing. But I accepted, because that was my first contract. I said I take anything like at this time, so, But then with, with my, with my friend, like for example, uh, the last contract contract we had is like, it was, uh, an eCommerce website. We're actually building it right now, and it's, uh, 2000 for just one, one page, one page eCommerce website. And I couldn't do it alone. I think if I, if I, if I was alone, I would still maybe get like some 400, 500 contract. Uh, client in al. So it, the pay is not, is not good obviously, cause the salary is not good there. So, yeah. So it's when you think it's like, oh, but I'm gonna pair up with someone, I'm gonna have to split. But this has made me more money than if I, if I stayed alone. So this is something you have to, to, to beat in your, in your head. You have to, I don't know how to say, like, you have to convince yourself it's gonna be more, uh, useful for you than painful.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, it's a mindset you have to instill in yourself. It's really good advice. Um, okay. That's interesting. Um, I, I'm really excited that you made this freelance, um, this venture work for you. You had mentioned, um, I just wanna clarify before we started talking, before we start, uh, we're recording and you had mentioned, um, are you currently, cuz you had mentioned the startup right? And part of your process are, Are you joining a new startup or were you just mentioning like you had a startup previously that

Amine Boukhari:

you joined? No, no. Uh, actually, uh, like I said, like my, the primary like, uh, earning I have is from my startup with my friends. But how I think as a, as a, as like, um, entrepreneur or freelancer is that I'm. I can do what I want. That's, that's the main goal. If I want to, like, for example, I have this agency with my friends. Uh, I, I work with them, but I, I'm seeing that I have a lot of time, you know, because usually the contract. We always try to give a lot of time for the contract, so usually I don't have like that much hope and it suffices me for me and my family and the, the bills. So I see. Okay. I, I have sometimes what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna join, join a startup, is gonna make me more money if I, if I want to save to, I don't know, buy a house or anything you want to, to do. And at the same time, I'm gonna, uh, I'm gonna go with, uh, a senior because, you know, I'm, uh, I'm, I have like one, one year, almost one year and a half experience, no development. I don't have this much, this much experience. So what I, what I did, because we do contract, but most of our contractors, like, uh, you know, web flow, WordPress, I learned we are. So I want to to code. So, Uh, I joined this, uh, startup, uh, called Voca. Right now it's like print 3d, uh, 3D like startup. And, uh, I'm gonna get so much experience. It's this week actually, I joined it, so I'm gonna get so much experience from seniors there, and they ask me, I, I even went to the interview. They, they needed a mobile develop. I told them, like, I don't really know mobile, but I'm really motivated to learn. I'm really motivated to learn and they really like, like my character, my character, my personality, how I'm motivated. And so they need me for, uh, for this mobile app. And they, I took this chance, I don't know, mobile and the startup accept me for mobile and they're gonna be a senior gonna help me to, to, to do it. So this is a chance for me. I'm gonna take. Get some experience and even later I can use it in my, in my own agency taking more complex, complex, uh, website. Because right now we don't have like that much experience to get really big contracts. You know, like some six month contract or like some $50,000 contract. I don't know, like some big application. We don't have this experience right now, so this is, this is a chance for me. I'm, I'm a free. I have this freedom I'm gonna take, I'm, I'm doing my agency at the, at the primary and at the site now I have, I have this, uh, this startup and it's, uh, now it's the first week, so I'm gonna see how it, how it goes. But, uh, from the first week I see, I see the team. I think it's gonna be, it's gonna be great. And I'm, I think I'm gonna take so much experience cuz I saw the senior, theres. You're really good. So I'm gonna take this experience and later even use it in my own agency, it's gonna be useful for me and my future. So yeah, freelancer is a free guy. That's, that's, that's the whole, the main point.

Don Hansen:

I like it. Well, and that's also in my experience, um, I think people are gonna have a better time when, and you, you went the different route and you made it work, which is great, but I think people are gonna have a better time when they join a company on a, uh, experience team, learn good conventions and level up quickly than go to freelancing. I think most people are gonna be successful more often than not that way. Um, but like, you're right, like going onto a team with senior developers, Can help you grow. Yeah. Like it, it is a fantastic opportunity and like, like you said, I mean, freelancing, it, it, it, it's almost like a state of mind. It, it's a state of mind of, of financial freedom and that's always gonna be your long term goal. And, you know, you know, just using companies to like. You spend a year there, spend two years there, whatever, to like really level up. And you could take that into, especially like if you get into the startup world where like

Amine Boukhari:

that's actually, that's why I doing them.

Don Hansen:

That's, that's, that's a good idea because you get exposure to different departments, product design, ux, and you get like some of the business needs and like, uh, issues that you have to overcome. You learn all that and you can take that into your business as well. I think that was a great.

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, that's actually a startup and that's why I joined them because it's even in a startup, you're like so much free because I needed this freedom so I can work at any time, you know, if I have this agency, I have maybe some, some meetings with clients or, so I needed this like freedom too. So I joined the startup and even like for me working with the startup, it's so much. Uh, I, I enjoy it, like, uh, so much better than like, than a big company. I don't really think I'm gonna love working with a big company. I like working with a small team. You learn so much from from each other. You're really close to your. To your, uh, to your teammates. And even when you're a startup, you like you're part of the company when you're a big company. I think because I never work in a big company, but I think when you're a big company, like you work on really small, uh, section of the company, you're not really involved, involved in the whole. Company. Maybe I'm, I'm wrong, but that's what I, I think, but in a startup, like you're part of the whole company, sometimes they, they even ask you what you think about sometimes related to marketing, you know, sometimes you even, uh, talk with them. You learn about marketing, you learn, learn how you can work like, uh, a business. So that's really a good experience when you, you go in, in a startup. For me that's, I think, uh, one of the, the. Uh, company, you can start your, your journey a startup, even if it's pay less, because of course they don't have the same, uh, they cannot pay you like this, uh, like a big company. But you, you get so much more than than, uh, just the, the pay You learn so much. Uh, for me, I, I, I think so.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. I agree. I agree. I think you're. I think you're on a, a great journey of learning to code I and like I like that you're humble enough to actually want to learn from more senior engineers. I think that's gonna like really help you in the long run. Um, okay. I mean, like, this is a pretty cool journey to hear about. Seriously. Um, I like, I think we got the, the full breadth of it. Uh, before we wrap this up and I'll let you shout stuff out at the end of course cause I wanna hear about it. But, um, would. Provide like any like final closing advice for aspiring developers that are kind of struggling right now?

Amine Boukhari:

Uh, final advice, uh, obviously feel free to think about it like, like, like we said before, like get your hand dirty. But for me it's really get, get, get, like focus on something. Focus on something. For me, that's, that's the best thing because I lost so much time. Get focused on something, but. Uh, not only in into code, try to build at the same time your network, try to, uh, even for, for a job. Actually. That's, that's, that's for me, that's just an advice for people. Like if they want to, to get a job. Actually when you're on Indian, just don't, or India, or mostly in LinkedIn, because in India you cannot do it. Don't just apply to job. Don't just don't just apply to job. Think outside. So what you're gonna do, don't, uh, don't just, uh, post it for a job and. Get to the company, uh, contact some, some employee, and even them, they're gonna see how you're motivated, how you're, they say, oh wow, this guy takes time to. Reach out to everyone of the team and he really want to get the job. And that's how I get the, got the job at the startup actually. So I contact everyone in the company. I said, uh, I'm really motivated to join. I need, I need this interview and all, and that, that's, that's how I got the job. So think outside, outside the box. Don't do like every other developer do. Get your hand dirty and then start, start, start to apply. Start your network. Start to try. To get money. Don't just learn, learn, get a basic, you have your hand ready, you got the basics. And then start, apply, uh, thing out outside the box how you can apply, how you can, uh, how you can reach out to, to companies. And that's, that's, that's the way I think for me, it, uh, it works in the well.

Don Hansen:

That's a good advice. For all the people that keep popping into my live streams telling me that all developers should just like spam out 500, uh, you know, to what's made of 500 companies on Indeed. And just click, apply, apply, apply, and move on. Like there's a reason why you're not getting that job eventually, like, I think, I mean, your strategy. Um, and thinking outside the box, like it, it's a really good strategy that more aspiring developers should take seriously, especially during these times. Recession has hit a lot of countries, right? And so you have to think like your advice, most people won't even take. And so like my advice is, um, If you take a means of ice right now, you're gonna be the minority of developers. You are going to stand out. All these other developers are just spamming their resume. They're putting some project based tutorial on their portfolio. If they even have a portfolio, if they even have a GitHub, like there are actually so many ways that you can stand out. Um, Taking that initiative on LinkedIn whenever you're applying for a company is it's good advice. Thank you. Yeah,

Amine Boukhari:

of course. And just before you just like, uh, even to give the example when you're on LinkedIn, try to not be like, I'm a web developer, try to have like a personal brand, even build a personal brand, for example. Uh, just to give example, this data that I joined, do you really like the fact. I take the risk to to went to another country. Like where? Present time Indonesia. So they like the fact that, oh wow, this young guy is 19 years old. He took this risk to go to Indonesia. He's a risk taker. He's of course he's more, more, he looks so much motivated. So just build also a personal brand. Like, I don't know, maybe you have something, something else to show and yeah, stand out. Stand out. That's, that's the word.

Don Hansen:

I like that. That's great advice. Seriously, I mean, I appreciate you sharing your story with us. Thank

Amine Boukhari:

you for your time. I'm really happy to be here.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, before we forget, um, if people wanted to reach out to you and like anything else you wanna shout out, what do you wanna share with us?

Amine Boukhari:

Yeah, so actually if, uh, if people want to, to, to contact me, I think the, where I'm. Actually, uh, like activist on, it's on. So they can just contact Mein, uh, if they need like, some advice because I, I know there is a lot of people, like, uh, usually they contact me, like, how do you get to, to be like a nomad? How did you, uh, Like, how did you leave, leave your country to go another country as a web developer? So if they need some advice, because I know a lot of people contact me for, for it. Uh, so yes, they can contact me on LinkedIn. I'm probably gonna, I'm, I'm trying to, to post on, on code. I'm trying to be like a, like a content creator. I might also start a YouTube channel. I really want to start, uh, YouTube channel too. So yeah, it's only if they want to contact me to reach out to me. It's, uh, it's on

Don Hansen:

sounds. Okay for right now. I appreciate that. Um, yeah, and if you ever do get into YouTube, um, you know, as a thank you for doing this podcast, feel free to reach out to me. I'll happy to hop on Zoom and share some advice. Thank

Amine Boukhari:

you very much. Thank you. Absolutely. Thank for your time, Lenny. I hope everyone who beats everything we, I love be, see everything. Just see everything.