Dataecho Retro

start date: 01 July 2021 (initial chats started mid-June)

end date: 18 Oct 2021

time commitment: 60hr

what i learnt

  • i like to think i somewhat improved on my context switching. with the use of workana, and well separated task lists, plus project specific notes to refer to.
  • difference between client-only/focused architecture & server side firebase (admin-sdk) became clearer.
    • Shaun even mentioned this in today’s backend sync
  • my initial estimate for how long the project would take was way way off.
  • when outsourcing work, you’re better off getting the entity you’re outsourcing to on a separate contract with your client. that way you’re not responsible for people management, or their deadlines etc.

what i liked

  • first production project with firebase!
  • had a place to write new features, in a time when most sigma work was chore like.
  • was cool to go end to end with a product. from initial chat, to user stories, research on architecture, then implementing.
    • going from client vision, in an unfamiliar domain to me, to an application they were happy with, lovely feeling.
  • always fun to work with tailwind.
  • i had a healthy git workflow, good balance between working directly in main, and short lived feature branches.
  • client pays on time 🚀

what i disliked

  • felt like working two jobs, the cognitive load was a bitch.
    • it meant putting in time early morning before work, or early evenings after work
    • this has put me off freelance work for a while, i have earned the rest.
  • my rates were way lower than market - consolation for this is all the stuff i learnt along the way though.
    • this may have been a result of my completely off estimate. as it was project & deliverable based pricing, as opposed to hourly billing.
  • noticeably less time for loved ones, as most of my free time was dedicated to side gig work.
  • having to do design was a pain. attempt at outsourcing it was unsuccessful & set me back an extra 2 weeks at least. it was then when i decided to roll up my sleeves & get into it.
  • I got really worn out about 2 months into the project, considering I had academic obligations too, my plate was filled to the brim.

ideas & actions

  • work on personal projects or open source for the rest of the year, and possibly beyond - no need for client pressure.