A Canadian in Paris may have fallen short of many of your blog needs and expectations these days and I'm here to give you a couple of reasons for that.
- I have been very busy.
- I haven't been in Paris.
- I haven't been in Paris (worth mentioning twice).
My relationship with that company was a great one. We took particular advantage of the time zone difference with my being in Paris. At the end of the day, the company and/or their clients would discuss what they needed done and would inform me in an email. The next day, I'd complete most of the work long before they were awake and... as they say in France, Voila!
They could review my work the rest of their business day and prepare me a new list for the following morning. My clients and I would have a couple of hours where we could chat/skype/hangout before I would knock off for the evening and embark on the outrageous adventures I've been blogging about these past years.
Why did it end?A storm of events plagued my principal contracting company. They had a failed product launch (engineering project, not software and not mine), a resulting lawsuit, a death (major partner) and myriad other streaks of ill fate. The company seemed cursed and eventually closed up shop.
I was left without a client. I was in a country where I was not legally allowed to look for work and as such, had done no prospecting. All of my contacts were on the other side of the world.
What did I do?As many of you know, I looked at this work stoppage as an opportunity. I started to work full time on my opus, my Oi! - Operational Intelligence application. To support myself, I took some small contract work in Canada, at least what I could find, and resumed work on Oi! during the breaks.
A sample Oi! screenshot
I never did find another company that would enable me to work remotely, however, thus my former Parisian lifestyle has eluded my recapture. I have been offered various contracting positions, but all requiring my presence at their offices. Such a position would obviously preclude returning to Paris and might likely all but prevent me from finishing my near finished opus application.
Can the awesomeness be restored?I seriously don't know my friends, but I have a lead. I was talking to my friend/business associate/fellow dreamer in Washington D.C. informed me about a company called TopTal. She said they do what I need, that is to hire people to work remotely. It seems that I do what they need... work very efficiently from a home office. At the end of the phone call, she said, "TopTal... don't just go 'Yeah yeah', take a serious look."
TopTal?I took a serious look: https://www.toptal.com
Shortly after that I applied to join the Toptal Software Freelancers Network. As near as I can determine, they offer the same kind of arrangement that I'd previously enjoyed with the added benefit that they have many more clients... and larger clients than I was able to work with at my previous engagement.
From what I can see, the gravity of my friend's recommendation was just. TopTal:
- Hires IT contractors
- Employs most of their contractors remotely
- Pays very well (as much as twice a normal salary)
- Only hire world class talent (you know, like me)
When do I start with them?I can't say for sure, my friends. They say they have a thorough screening process and I'm not sure how long their HR people will fuss over me. Like any contracting company, if there's an immediate need for my particular skillset, things will get pushed through a little more quickly than if they don't.
Could I fail the screening? With accolades praising my software from around the world? Yes. They could pass me over. Anything can happen. Let us all hope, at the very least, my friends, that they find me interesting. So far, however, this is looking to be a very good recommendation.
Versailles this summer?We'll see, my friends. I won't keep it a secret. We'll see.
A dashing Chevalier and his Princesses at Versailles, June 2015
Your friend and humble narrator,