Recently, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Karen Gill. She’s a freelance WordPress developer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and we’ve been colleagues on Codeable since August of 2017.
Before joining Codeable, I met Karen at WordCamp Seattle during my Six-Figure Freelancing session.
I’d like to think that session inspired her as she’s become a six-figure freelancer on Codeable as well.
If you’re not familiar with Codeable, they’re an outsourcing platform that caters exclusively to WordPress development projects. Their mission is simple; to connect the world’s best freelance WordPress developers with the best clients, and to deliver quality without question.
Joining the creme-de-la-creme of WordPress developers on Codeable is no easy task.
In fact, only 2% of WordPress developers who apply to Codeable get in.
Karen made the cut.
Officially joining the Codeable team as a certified expert WordPress developer back in August of 2017, she’s been delivering quality without question ever since.
To date, she’s received perfect, 5-star ratings from 100+ clients and that’s definitely not something that happened by accident.
But hey, don’t just take my word for it…
1. For anyone who isn’t already familiar with Codeable, could you describe Codeable to them?
I jokingly like to tell people that Codeable is like a dating service that matches developers with clients without the awkward dinner conversation.
But in all seriousness, Codeable is a ‘hub’ shall we say, of pre-vetted WordPress developers that have to go through a 5-step process before being accepted onto the platform – only 2% of all applicants make it through, so you know we know our stuff.
As a client you would post your project details on the platform and then wait for an expert (that’d be me), to connect with you. You can expect a few different developers to engage with you and ask some questions about your project to help narrow down the scope of work that needs to be done. After a bit of back and forth the experts should start to post summaries of the work they will provide for you to complete your project, and follow this up with a cost estimate and ETA for delivery. You will see one price (an average of all the estimates) for your project, and a list of developers that have applied to complete it for you. It is then up to you whom you choose to work with, which can be based on location, experience, how well they communicated with you, or really any qualifying characteristics you are looking for in a developer.
Once a developer has been hired, you would pay for the project up front and Codeable hangs onto the money while the project is being completed. Once completed to your satisfaction you would mark the project as done, and the developer would then receive the funds. This process protects both parties involved and eliminates those horror stories you may have heard of developers and/or clients disappearing mid-job.
The entire process that Codeable has created sets itself apart from other similar outsourcing websites on the web today. It ensures a mutual respect for both the client and the developer with the common goal to get the project completed on time, within budget and to industry standards.
2. How has Codeable impacted your career as a freelance WordPress developer? Is working for Codeable any different than your previous jobs as a developer and if so, how?
Codeable has had a tremendous impact on my career trajectory.
Before Codeable I was stuck at your typical 9 to 5 desk job, with a boss that cared more about making money than they did in producing a quality product for the client or their employees well being. I’m sure far too many people are familiar with the feeling of being just another cog in a machine – and after finding my health deteriorating and many sleepless nights dreading having to wake up to go to work, I finally said ‘enough is enough’ and quit.
Funnily enough I had applied to Codeable a few months prior to that but hadn’t heard back so thought nothing more of it. *Cue the divine intervention music* – three weeks after I quit I got an email from Codeable saying they wanted to interview me. Long story short… here I am!
After only a short while working with Codeable (and for myself) my health returned to normal; I sleep like a baby; I more than doubled my expected yearly income; I make my own schedule; I have been solely working off referrals for the last 6 months; and best of all, I can once again take pride in helping the client find the best solution for their problem and not the one that will make some faceless company the most amount of money.
I could go on and on about the differences of working for someone vs. working for yourself, but I think the biggest takeaway is your own freedom. You really find out what your made of when you are faced with doing it alone. I’ve regained so much confidence in myself and my own abilities and realized so much untapped potential since quitting my job it’s insane. I’ve also gotten the joy back that I lost in doing what I do for a living, and you really can’t put a price on that.
3. Do you have a favorite memory, or favorite client, from Codeable? If so, could you tell us more about what set that experience apart from all the rest.
My favourite client would have to be my first one. They live in Norway, so the time difference is quite significant. I remember staying up until 3am some mornings just so we could talk and figure out what the next steps of the project were. They eventually had to fold their business but we kept in touch. I wrote a letter of recommendation for them when they were applying for a new job, and they wrote me my first raving testimonial on Codeable. I even got an invite to stay at their home if I ever find myself in Norway.
I think it’s really a testament to the type of people Codeable accepts onto the platform and the kind of genuine clients that they attract.
4. What are your favorite types of projects to work on via Codeable? If you could pick your perfect project, what (or who) would it be?
My favourite projects on Codeable are the ones that help clients solve the most agonizing issues and biggest pain points in their business – as corny as that sounds. Seriously though, it’s not about the size of the project for me. It could be a very small fix-it task, but if it helps a client solve a big problem or nagging issue they’ve been having and makes their life easier, those are the ones I remember and the ones that make me feel the most fulfilled in the job that I’m doing.
If I could pick my perfect project however, it would be a website build that already has the design mocked up for it. I love getting a design, putting my headphones on and diving into the code. It’s like the equivalent of riding the perfect wave… which I actually know nothing about because the last time I tried to surf I face planted every, single, time.
5. For anyone who is considering joining Codeable, what advice would you have to share with them to convince them to join?
I’ve actually written a few articles about Codeable and as a result had a number of people ask me about what it’s like to work at Codeable and the process to get onto the platform. I’m sure my advice has changed from person to person, but after almost 2 years at Codeable and hearing different stories from the people applying I think my biggest piece of advice would be this:
Don’t apply to Codeable unless you’re serious about being a freelancer.
This isn’t meant to discourage anyone, but rather to give you pause to think about why you’re really applying before you hit the submit button.
I’ve talked to a few people now that were shocked they didn’t get in when they essentially put in minimal effort during the application phase. You really need to treat the application like you would any project you complete for a client. You wouldn’t ship a client website off without browser testing, so why would you submit one to Codeable as part of your application?
Those are unfortunately the types of things that people overlook and I think it all comes down to how bad you want it.
Codeable can be an amazing place to find success as a freelancer, but the reason we’re so amazing is because we all put forth the effort and genuinely love what we do. I always tell myself if I’m having any doubts… “If you don’t believe in yourself, how are your clients supposed to have faith in you?” I think that rings true for when you’re applying to Codeable. If you don’t want it, it’s going to show and you will be sorely disappointed when you aren’t accepted. Now that may be just the fire you need to come back and apply again, who knows!?
All I can say is, is that if you actually take the time and effort during the process, you won’t regret your decision to apply to Codeable.
6. Some people think we’re robots, but developers are human too… When you’re not writing code for your clients, what do you like to do with your free time?
Playing Dodgeball… yes you heard me correctly!
That sport you were forced to play in gym class I now play voluntarily at least 3 times a week, however with a much more sophisticated rule set, foam balls and a huge sense of community around the sport.
After recently placing first in the province with my team, we will be going to the 2020 Canadian National Dodgeball Championships in April. I am looking forwarding to trying out for Team Canada and a shot at gold in the 2020 WDBF World Championship in Glasgow, Scotland later this year.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your time on Codeable so far?
I think the one thing that I haven’t mentioned is that Codeable isn’t a job, it’s a family.
Unlike other job platforms out there where you’re fighting against your fellow developers to ‘get the win’, Codeable isn’t a race to the bottom. There is an entire community behind Codeable made up of experts that help each other on tasks, lift you up instead of tear you down, meet up in real life at WordPress events and even become genuine friends.
There really is nothing else like it out there and I feel truly blessed that I get to be apart of it.