Avi Aryan

Full Stack Developer. Budding Entrepreneur. Mentor @ Udacity. Read this interview to learn #1 tip about freelancing that will help you increase your rates dramatically.

September 5, 2018

Full Stack Developer. Budding Entrepreneur. Mentor @ Udacity

⚡️ Quickfire Round

Where is your current homebase?

I currently live in Gurugram with my startup friends. I have my parents living in Delhi and I switch back and forth every now and then.

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely?

I haven’t travelled much after starting my career as a freelancer via Toptal. It is partly because of some personal reasons. I have only taken one trip. It was to South-East Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, & Bali. I have a talk coming up in Siberia in November, so I will probably spend some time there.

Took my parents out to South East Asia - their first international trip.

Highest education qualification?

Graduation - B. Tech in Computer Science from IIIT Vadodara, Gandhinagar


Freelance Software Engineering for now, and entrepreneurship

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working on a scale of 1-5 where 1-negative and 5-very positive

I will rate it 5, definitely.

How much do you earn per annum?

In my opinion, making income public has no upsides but it can have some downsides. So as a rule, I don’t tell my income to anyone, except my parents.

Years of total experience?

4 years

Years of freelance/remote experience?

2 years if we don’t count the remote internships. I haven’t done a office job yet. Tried it for a few days, didn’t like it. I think there are 2 reasons for that.

  • I clearly work better when no one is around me.
  • I can’t work for long hours on a stretch, at least not regularly for 5 days. Sure, we can take breaks in office, but it’s just not the same as taking a break at home.

When I think about the ability to work freelance/remotely, I feel ______?

Ok-ish. Hehe, I have been working like this for so long that I won’t have it otherwise. The only exception is when I am working on something special or with exceptional people, like if Google HQ hires me.

What was your key motivation for becoming a freelancer/remote worker?

I am not a big fan of daily commute. I even tweeted about it.

🔥 Fireside Chat

How did you land your first remote/freelance gig?

My first remote gig was as a web developer. There my task was to create a website for a local education firm. They were in the same city as I, so I asked the founder if I could work from my home as I would be open to any physical meetings if needed. Another reason why remote was feasible in that gig was because it was more like a freelance job, that is, there is a client who wants something done and you do the task. So that reason helped too, and I was easily able to convince the boss to allow me to work remotely.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely?

Not much. But I found that working in the same place helps to get into that “work” mode. Like, when you are working from home, it’s very tempting to work from your bed or couch or even on the floor. It’s cool I know, but I think the overall efficiency reduces when you work from anywhere. You are easily distracted (comparatively). So having a desk and a chair from where you work from helps.

What advice would you give to someone who is out there looking for a remote job or freelance work?

If you are just starting out, apply rigorously. You will get rejected or ignored by a lot of clients/companies and that’s okay. Securing that first freelance job is most important so do your best by applying to a lot of prospects.

Secondly, create a blog and a portfolio. This might not be that important as the first step, but it helps especially in the long run. With a blog, you get an Internet presence, a persona that you are something and not just any other Internet coder. I tweeted something similar here.

What is the biggest benefit of working remotely?

Avoiding daily commute. This becomes so much more valuable when you live in a city like Delhi. The pollution and the traffic jams suck.

By the way, by daily commmute, I don’t mean just any kind of it. It could be that your office is walking or cycling distance away from your place and you live in a clean city (like Gandhinagar), in which case I am fine with daily trips.

Do you see any cons of working remotely and how do you try to overcome them?

One of the biggest downsides of working remotely is the lack of motivation. When you are in a team, the members tend to motivate and challenge each other. This helps you work even when you don’t feel like it. You might have a team even when you freelance, but there are times when you are working on a large project and you don’t have much of a team. Staying motivated becomes hard then.

I try to fix this by goal-setting, i.e. dividing what I need to do in multiple tasks and then completing them one-by-one. This works quite well in my opinion, if you are not lazy with creating tasks.

Where can people find you on the internet (if they have more questions)?

I am active on Twitter.

Apart from this, I write frequently on Dev Letters. You can follow the blog for my regular posts. I also hold some Q/A sessions there, so you can directly ask your questions to me.

Abhishek Bose

Abhishek Bose

Creator of RemoteIndian community

Community for remote workers in India 👨‍💻🇮🇳👩‍💻 that enables Indian professionals to help each other navigate, balance and grow in a remote career.

  • Credits
  • ❤️  This site has been heavily inspired by Roadmap.sh
  • 🤗  The information present in the guides is courtesy our slack community
  • 🙌  Last but not the least, Thank you patrons for your support!