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Nailing the fundamentals of your freelance discipline with Developer Koysor Abdul

Nailing The Fundamentals In Your Freelance Discipline | Freelance Developer
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
July 4, 2022
Reading time
6
minutes

Having never worked within a traditional ‘9-5’ role, Developer Koysor Abdul is no stranger to working remotely or finding the motivation to perfect his skills within development. Signing up to YunoJuno over 4 years ago, Koysor has remained busy as a freelancer whilst focusing on his own personal development. We spoke to Koysor about running his freelance business, the best advice he’s been told so far and how he finds motivation after all these years working within the development industry.

We first asked Koysor to share some of the more recent features of a project or ongoing relationship that he felt went really well. His first response was a rather unexpected one;

One of my main tasks for a recent project is for my client to require less of my services going forward. A client’s website often plays a huge role in their marketing strategy, so they need to move quickly, easily, and not face blockers when updating their site. They shouldn’t need to reach out to a developer for minor updates and content updates.
Example work: Client: Channeled

Having built a trusted relationship with his client, Koysor’s professional advice was to help train his client so they had more autonomy with their website and wouldn't need to rely on his services moving forward;

I use Notion and Loom for notes and video run-throughs when handing over a site. This would run through the CMS structure, how to use the CMS, how to upload new content, and a few other things. This can be shared by the team on the client-side and also help onboard new team members who may be tasked with updating the site. This has been done for all recent projects.

Another feature Koysor is personally passionate about is keeping meetings to a minimum, having as he calls it an asynchronous working approach;

I’m not a fan of meetings in general. And even less so now when we have amazing tools that allow us to communicate really well in various ways. I also have clients in different time zones (Australia +12 hours) which means scheduling is pretty difficult.  We usually have an intro call, a handoff call, and then maybe a call during a project if we need to clear up something that is better understood talking through although this is happening less recently.

As a developer, Koysor also finds having a structured naming convention in place with clients is a key feature of working successfully and efficiently;

I exclusively build on Webflow which is a great visual development platform. A major part of my job is handing over a site to clients that can then be managed by them and also updated pretty easily. Building the site with a clean and consistent structure is really important in fulfilling that need. There is a great community of builders in the Webflow space and one agency, in particular, has been building tools to help other Webflow devs excel on the platform. In the last year, they released a naming convention called Client First which has had a major impact on the way we name classes and structure a site. The main purpose is to use clearly defined classes and labels for your build, no abbreviations, or shorthand, and you should easily understand the purpose of an element from its name.
Example work: Client: Thursday

This collaborative approach also sets up websites for any future developers to work and collaborate on which is another important way of working for Koysor in particular. Having the confidence to layout your own ways of working takes time and experience, but as Koysor shares, when you’re working in harmony with clients and even other freelancers, it’s worth it. We then asked Koysor if he’d ever experienced any resistance from clients on hearing how he prefers to work – without meetings and within his own preferred coding structure, to which he shared;

No, they actually love the idea of getting documentation to help them manage and understand the build structure. Some clients may prefer more meetings which I’m happy to do if they insist. Showing them the benefits of each feature is key and so there is minimal resistance in adopting these practices in my experience.

Working within such a fast-paced and sometimes competitive industry such as development can often mean freelance developers are often too busy to learn additional skills or enhance their skills. Koysor admits he hasn’t had time to focus on his own skills lately;

I’m incredibly busy at the moment and lately, I’ve slowed down a little with learning new things due to a lack of time. I didn’t follow my own advice! Not all the hours in your week should be billable work. Keeping one day free for admin, business development, learning new skills, and doing courses are vital. This is something I’m definitely planning to change in the near future and would advice to new freelancers.

We then asked Koysor what advice he’d give to new freelancers who might be considering going into freelancing;

My advice to new freelancers would be to stay away from social media and the endless scrolling. Stay away from news sites. Take regular breaks and try to have lunch away from the desk if possible. When working from home, I take a walk to the local coffee shop in the morning even though I have a coffee machine at home. It’s more for the walk and getting that sunlight. I also try to take a late afternoon walk. Outline your day and task the evening before or the start of the week if you can so you’re in auto-mode when you start the day.
Example work: Client: Visible

As well as giving great advice to new freelancers, we asked Koysor to share the best advice he’d personally been given during his freelance career;

The best advice I’ve received is to always nail the fundamentals in your discipline and then build from there. In design, if you focus on spacing, typography, and colour, you’re setting a solid foundation for yourself. In development, understanding the box model, how browsers render code, and generally what the best practices are in most cases already puts you in a great position to excel from.

In order to ‘nail’ the fundamentals of any freelance skillset, you need to be open to consistently learning whilst working and as Koysor shares, there needs to be a certain level of dedication to courses;

There are plenty of courses online and all depends on what you’d want to do as a developer. I focus only on the Webflow platform and it’s helped me niche down a little in my offerings. Niching is not always the best answer but is something to consider. My main advice would be to build, make mistakes, learn, and repeat. Stack Overflow is a great resource for most developers. It’s been invaluable for me and I still find myself on there most days trying to get help with a solution.
Example work: Client: Homestead

Finally, we asked Koysor how it felt when he learned he had been nominated for the 2021 Freelancer Awards;

Being nominated as a finalist for the 2021 Freelancer awards was a surprise for me. I was so busy in 2021 that I didn’t really find the time to reflect or think about how I was doing. I also became a father in 2021 which defined my year and also kept me extra busy. Being nominated for the award towards the end of the year was amazing as it really capped off a great year in so many ways. I now look back at 2021 and feel proud.

If you’re looking for a confident and efficient developer to work on your next project, why not book Koysor here.

Designer and developer devoted to crafting beautiful web experiences focused on simplicity and purpose. Having worked with clients on web projects from ideation to launch, I have valuable experience in the design and development process.
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