Live in Puerto Rico and work Remotely (or a guide to Remote Work).

This is going to be a fairly long post but I want to be had detailed has I can in order for this to be helpful.

After a reddit conversation I promised to write down basically the info I know in particular about working remotely in Puerto Rico. Not this does not involve creating a new business but offering a service.

Good professions to do remotely from the island:

  1. Programming – It starts around 50k  and it can go up for has much has low 6 figures while doing 9-5 to remote work. Progressing here will depend on the problems that you can solve and if you are in a desirable area of work. This change with time. Right now if you are getting into this I would recommend the mean stack, python or unity.
  2. DevOps / Db Admin – about the same has programming with that said it tends to start about 10k lower.
  3. Copywriting – Freelancing copywriting can make from 20k – 50k. Getting up in this field requires a bit of luck since you need to be able to attach your name to some lines that became famous.
  4. Translations – If you are able to translate and are good in both languages there are always opportunities here. Full time translation makes about 30k using the normal websites(list is below).
  5. Grant Writing – All nonprofits need you at the lowest tier you work for a fee of grants that you get. At the top end you get a salary  assigned to you from the non profit. Is normal to get between 30k –50k.
  6. Stock Photography / Videography – 30k to 40k if done full time going above this will require you to specialize. The equipment needed is pretty decently cheap and if bought used it goes down even more. http://www.all-things-photography.com/stock-photography-equipment/
    One important thing here is that this will take time when you start you won’t make that much but has you go building a portfolio it starts adding up. They tend to have a long tail. I recommend dreams time to start.
  7. Creating courses for online / Bookwriting – There are many places where you can sell classes right now If you have an unique skill and you can market yourself this is a good gig. It all depends on your ability to create and online following.
  8. 3d modeling – Freelance 3d modelers get hired pretty often and can get paid between 30-50k anything higher than that is similar to the copywriter needs some projects with fame.
  9. Photography Retouching / Video editing – Freelancing here makes about the same has 3d modeling. Is similar in the ways to increase your earning potentials.
  10. Import items and sell them using fulfillers – This will depend on what you do but running a subscription box or a niche website using shopify and selling a few items can leave a decent amount of money. This requires money to start and knowledge of marketing. The trick is to use a fulfillment house in the US so the product never goes into Puerto Rico. You are basically and orchestrator.

Has you can see this are all professions that can be done from home in a disconnected sort of fashion.

How to get the jobs

  1. Create proof of your work and a online presence. Go answer some questions in quora so people can tell that you know what you are doing.
  2. Hit the freelancer sites – they got most of the categories above. Make sure that you polish your responses to get money and get the premium subscription. I recommend trying at most 2 at a time so you can dedicate time. Pre-baking a portfolio helps.
    http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/freelance-jobs/
  3. For stock video and photography
    1. http://www.videobrewery.com/blog/9-splendid-sites-for-stock-video
    2. http://microstockinsider.com/site_reviews
  4. Create call lists and hit the phone.  For example for programming make a list of startups incubators and co-working spaces. Make sure that they all know that your services are there and that you can find more people in the island if there is a need.
  5. Join the community of new business and startups in the island. Startups after hours in facebook is super active.  Visit Piloto 151 so they know your face even if you have to drive from the west coast. http://www.fuerzapymepr.com/
  6. Make sure you are in the appropriate sites for search.(looking and posting your services offered).
    1. Craiglist – Post on the ones in the states.
    2. Reddit – hit r/forhire.
    3. Clasificados.com – You want the local gigs if you can.
    4. http://www.startupsofpuertorico.com/jobs/ –> Pretty self explanatory.
    5. https://github.com/kaizensoze/remote-freelance-jobs
  7. Build events for the community related to your area when you can. If no one in aguadilla is talking about freelancers and what can they do nobody will think of you. Even if is just a coffee talk for microstock photography.

What is the end goal.

Build relationships you want to get gigs that lead to sustainable gigs things that you can keep doing. Retainers are amazing in this situation.

Last but important details.

Make sure you have money to cover your bills for 4 months has soon has possible. In the case of Puerto Rico make sure that you also have enough money in case you need to suddenly relocate back to the US or wherever you moved from.

Really important make sure that you have talked to a lawyer and accountant before you make decent money there are a lot of benefits you can take.

Hackathon For Authism

The Bing fund in seattle organized and event called Hackathon for Authism. I participated this past weekend and just wanted to mention that it was awesome. While the food was kinda meh. Everything else rocked. 

The talks from experts and the testimonials from families afflicted were moving and gave us laser focus before starting.  The space on the surf incubator its pretty neat and made me feel extremelly comftable.  

This is my third hackathon in the seattle are and the feeling of cooperation here even between opposite teams was great. People were willing to stop by and give you feedback in the middle of the day.

We worked on a tool to help kids learn to type since its such an important skill in this day and age.

Our approach was to use open data sources to be able to provide the biggest range of content possible for images and for rewards video when the user completes an action. For more advanced levels we connected with Soddiio a mit project that lets people create stories(aba) so that kids can understand how to handle situations. We also gave the options to indicate if they were bored or if they got scared by the content and used twilio to notify the parents in these occasions. The architecture was a single html5 page doing the work with an azure backendimage

The project is open source so if you want to come help us drop by https://github.com/DevHuertas/typeit

I survived burnout just barely

Hi blog readers I have recently read a bunch of posts regarding Work life balance. Starting with people trying to achieve it:

http://501manifesto.org/

http://www.hmans.io/2012/04/23/the-501-developer-manifesto/

Followed with some tips to survive the burnout and detect it:

http://www.codingninja.co.uk/logout-before-you-burnout/

And quite a few who don’t believe is an issue an most of us talking about this are a bunch of whiners.

I’m just going to state this I did not believe in burnout, it happened and I almost did not made out of it. I see there are two types of engineers in big companies those that make programming their lifestyle and those that just see it has a skill they have for work and two earn money. To the second kind I really can’t tell you much about burn out since except for the last 4 months I have never behave that way.

To the first kind listen if you want even though has you read it its probably going to sounds has rubbish since you know better Smile. You are not going to see it coming unless someone lets you know. Second its not about the time you spend in the office but about the time you are in the office but the time you spend connected to the problems that you need to solve. Especially those that drain your energy (In my case solving political or build issues).

So how does burnout feel. You know when you have those days that you look at the screen and no code wants to come out and your mind is like lets go look at reddit for a few more hours is like that but 24/7 and your mind seems to want to stay consuming instead of producing.

So how do you get to that point. First and foremost its your fault. In my personal case I was having confidence issues because I had tried to move to another team in the company and got rejected and decided to try to improve myself. If you feel at work that you have something to prove that is one of the early signs. Second things start getting overcomplicated and you can’t really justify it therefore you try to fix (this is normally not a real problem talk to your boss). Third you feel like you need to be in this job since getting out would be admitting failure at this point I would say that you know that you are in trouble. 4th very close to the end I felt like everyone was doing something wrong around me(Normally I never think that).

So what happened next I stopped functioning got to the point that I could not do anything and decided I had to quit.

So how did I get back on my feet quite a few things:

  • Family and gf support -Can’t say how important this was
  • Changing my lifestyle to focus on financial security
  • Watching tv for 3 whole weeks.
  • Reconsidering my career choices and if being a developer was a good choice.
  • Last but not least getting to work in a place where i was able to work in the part that i enjoyed of the job without all the other ones(This is the one that is hard to find).

    If you are wondering what im doing forward to avoid a repeat I will tackle that in a following post later this week since its rather lenghty. The one thing I would like to mention is that is all in your control burnout has nothing to do with bosses or what not in all honesty people should not have much power over you if they do. The first thing that you need to do is fix your living situation to help avoid burnout. Hopefully this experience helps some people out there. If there is anything you guys want to discuss let me know.

    How things are going current projects and sorry for the lack of update

    Hi Everyone,

    How come I have dissapeared for a few well the new contractor life and settling into the new pace has taken a bit more of me than I expected. On the good news Im a lot happier than I was in the sept – january time frame and gainfully employed.

    I’ve been doing a lot of WPF for two reasons one i’m studying for a cert and second its what i’m currently doing at work.

    I’m hoping to be a lot more active this month and bring some update to my old projects

    • There is no place for gnomes needs a new scoreboard and want to do an add based version
    • Reddit Screensaver needs and update and i want to transform it into a MMVM app
    • HDR raw want to try out some new formats in particular for the new sony lines is anyone still using this paint.net plugin??

    I have been working on a Platform game aussie puncharoo probably for almost a year this weekend im going to commit to getting some progress and uploading a demo. Hoping to finish this project in the month of march to move to some ideas that i have to start my own business.

    In terms of the blog im going to install win 8 today and then start describing the construction of an app that i will be work on a bit each day is going to be called contract manager and the purpose its to help you be a contractor on yourslef and keep track of everything that is going on in the life without a mother company

    Happy Coding

    New Year And Interesting Changes

    The new year came in and few things have changed in my life for once. I decided to resign at Microsoft to take care of some personal issues. At the moment i ‘m still dealing with the change of moving from the workforce into a more personally driven situation.

    In part due to my new found time I have been taking a look around at the new technologies that are coming and I’m convinced that this year is going to be the the year that html 5 blows up our minds. Perusing the web I found this two web sites and they did just that.

    http://www.kevs3d.co.uk/dev/
    He shows his 3d library and creates some interesting demos is worth looking at it.

    http://apps.nahklick.de/cnc/
    This one on top recreated c&c in html 5 showing off the possible gaming capabilities of the environment.

    Seeing this type of technology advancements have made me question two things
    First – What the heck have I been doing in this last couple of years since it made me realize I’ve been not contributing much.

    Second – As software developers we might actually be a bit out of focus with what is needed to advance society. We are spending our time creating software for advertisement, games and advancing it day to day but leaving behind  many fields like infrastructure creation, economics , resource distribution , medicine with only a few advancements.
      In a lot of cases when we have approach this field due to the constraint of money we have become part of the system. Like in medicine a lot of the Emr or bi systems are not for the betterment of the patient or to help the provider make less mistakes. But to enforce that correct billing is being done to the Insurance companies.

    Which brings me to the point maybe for the next year computer engineer / scientist should spend at least some of their time helping another industry that is not their own Smile

    Best of wishes on the new year.

    Alfredo

    A day In My Life

    dayinMylife

    Hey Everyone,
    I normally try to stay positive on this blog and simply show different technologies and projects that I’m working on but today. My plan is to rant and therefore I drew you guys a comic.

    I’m a fairly driven individual and after graduating from Computer Engineering at the university of Puerto Rico I really thought I was going to work every day on projects with incredible impact. Truth to be told I was fairly Naïve and while I work on a project that is used by billions of people I generally get to do so little in a day that I end up in the routine of:

    • Being Excited on the morning and going through a list of the thing I mean to accomplish during the day.

    • Getting to the office either meet a co-worker or get an email about a menial task that needs to get accomplished urgently.

    • Resign myself that this needs to get accomplished and work on it for the rest of the day.

    The positive thing about it is that i have gotten to realize that being a software developer in a company is about 35% time management , 30% coding and another 35% doing what you actually want to keep your fire lit. I learned a lot of important lessons in the past few years:

    • First and most important feel free to ignore meetings when you don’t think they matter
    • Order your priorities
    • Feel free to voice your concerns and discuss them depending on the culture of the workplace this can be a hard thing
    • Close your email program and set some contiguos time to code
    • Talk about your non related ideas with co-workers this normally leads to fun discussions
    • Try and enjoy the meetings since no matter what you will have to attend some
    • Its okay to be late sometimes if you could not control the externalities.Don’t give excuses just finish your job and hand it in when is done.

    I like software development still hate wasting time and which i could do solve some more complex issues every day. But in the end the office is my job and i can tackle the hard problems on my off hours if i really care. Anyone got an opinion. Also I will include a comic every time with rants.

    On Realizing I’m Not A Good Programmer

    Hey readers,

    Just want to make a quick rant. Ever since I was a teenager I felt in love with computing. The fact that you can do something in them and it executes it is really astonishing. Also the idea that you can accomplish more with them that you could do by yourself was a powerful motivator in this initial seduction.

    I learned how to program at this young age and started programming. At the beginning just random games in text, later a bit more elaborate work and a few years after transitioned into web pages. Since those times I always thought that programming required thoughy and in-depth knowledge of the programming language at hand.

    I figured I was doing things the right way and went to college with this mentality, sacrificed a bit to make sure that all my assignment programs came right and were the optimal solution. Made every single coding puzzle that I could. I saw a lot of the other students try things out and get errors and spend a ton of time figuring them out and thought of them has cowboys trying to reign a beast in.  I graduated with honors and got hired in a top 5 company. Figured I was still doing well.

    I’ve been working on said company for almost 3 years now. While I had foreshadowed and felt the transition was happening I’m now one of those cowboys that I saw in college. I’ve gotten some skills in making conversations, running a project and making presentations to communicate ideas. But the core of elements of what a programmer should have precision, in-depth knowledge and foresight of the code they are writing have been reduced to almost nothing.

    They say the first step to resolve a problem is to admit it. Therefore here I am and this is my admission that im currently not a good programmer. I will need to start working on this. My plan consists of the following I’ve decided that I need to start at fundamental and re-read my data structure book and do all the programs in it. Followed by a book on a language and try to master it(by mastering i mean be able to use all the features of it, not the libraries). Probably doing C# since its what we use at work. Third step will be to take a course on algorithm design and practice this by itself without a compiler to ensure that I’m not making any errors.(I’m doing it without a compiler because the skill i need is to stop and think throughly before sitting down to code)

    If anyone has any ideas or thinks that I should not worry about please post below.

    Also Hi Reddit.

    Edited:the grammar a bit.