Coming from a freelancing experience to a full-time front-end-developer position with Pixafy was (and is) challenging and exciting. I could say the path is long, the hill is steep, but full of rewards.
One the most common challenges to a long time freelancer when making the jump to full-time employment is related to time: time management, schedule, deadlines… That is what I thought, and that is what I’ve been told. Hey, really? I remember having flexible working hours being a freelancer, but it was too flexible to be healthy. I also remember having deadlines and planning schedules. Those were not the challenge in my personal experience – time management is a necessary skill to survive as a successful professional. For developers who cannot optimize their time, chances are they will probably have to find something else to do anyway…
Time-management skills such as prioritizing tasks and assuming a proactive approach towards clients concerns are a primordial part of our routine as developers, and skills that I sharpened greatly once I started working here at Pixafy. Working in a structured day also helped me hone my organizational skills, to ensure I wasn’t taking longer on a task than I needed.
The greatest challenge is having the boundaries of your knowledge stretched everyday: developing and implementing someone else’s designs, facing large scale projects and daring technical requirements. As a freelancer, it is easy to stay within the limits of what is well known since you can pick your own projects. Working at a development company is a completely different environment. One has to be up for the challenge, whatever it may be – and so far, I am enjoying it every step of the way.
Working with great professionals is one the biggest rewards of the job. Yes, individuality goes a long way, but teamwork goes a lot faster. I confess I was a bit tired of being alone, re-inventing the wheel. Sharing and exchanging knowledge is a privilege. The more diverse the background of the professionals you work with, the more fun you will have.
Despite the difficulties of shifting gears, pleasant surprises await just around the corner. Of course, it will only be enjoyable as much as you love web development and if you are up for the challenge. If you plan to leave freelancing and do the crossover, prepare yourself. Be open, be flexible and be ready. The biggest reason for failure is not embracing change, but bracing for it instead.