Year 2015 retrospect from freelance Web developer perspective

Year 2015 retrospect from freelance Web developer perspective

Once again a year has passed and now it's a good time take little bit time to think what has happened during the year. Listing the "achievements" helps you appreciate what you have and also helps to set some directions to improve different aspects of life.


  • worked 1229 hours which is 101 hours less than in 2014. That's 7.59% decrease. (to give some perspective: an average Finn works 1 645 hours per year)
  • annual revenue went down 4%
  • projects offerings have increased and also the quality
  • outsourced some monthly chores to a virtual assistant
  • ordered a Bash shell script from Russian Upwork developer
  • ordered a poster from U.S based Upwork designer

Things to improve in 2016
I am grateful for the projects that were interesting and had a chance to work with great people. It will be my top priority 2016 to get projects that are a good fit. In 2015, one of the projects had a setback, but it's one of those learning experiences and things are good now.

For long-time, I have been thinking of switching away from billing per hour to value-based pricing, but that turned out to be harder than expected. When you have a new client, it's difficult to estimate the provided value especially when you're dealing with startups.

Even more non-development work could be given to someone else, so that is something to improve. I have had amazing experiences with Upwork and it's just matter of using your imagination what you can get out of the vast amount of talent offered.


Things to improve in 2016
Discussion on Muut platform has been rare, so I might have to ditch that for a) hacker news discussion, b) disqus or c) none. I am not 100% why people don't use it even if there are plenty of visitors, and there are interaction going on at Twitter, etc. Navigation system between blog posts, main web-site, etc. needs to be designed and implemented.

The organic search creates more and more traffic, and it has steadily increased about the same rate as I create content.

Social Network

  • more connected with local development community (HelsinkiJS, NodeJS, etc.)
  • gave a talk at Node.js Budapest
  • on 2015, I didn't participate in any conferences. Instead, I went to meetups
  • I am quite novice Twitter user, but follower count has been steadily crowing

Things to improve in 2016

It would be great to know more people outside of development community to get a broader perspective. On 2016, I should do more public speaking as sharing the information is a passion of mine.


  • it's been a year of client-side components
  • my solutions are shifting more and more to functional programming paradigms instead of object-oriented
  • started to use ES2015 and TypeScript
  • wrote backends using Node.js and C#
  • used following client-side libraries: React, Redux, Riot.js, SockJS and Immutable.js
  • deployed apps to Heroku and Azure
  • PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and MS SQL Server were used for data storage

Things to improve in 2016

In 2016, I would like to continue on same path that 2015 has set. Finally, we're getting to the componentized world, but it is still a fragmented world of React components, Polymer, Angular 2, etc. I am quite sure that ecosystems will be popular enough to get rich repositories of components to speed up development. The best practices for authoring quality plugins is essential.

There is no coming back from ES2015 as it makes the code much cleaner. I think digging into React and Redux has made me a better programmer as they forced me finally to switch to ES2015 and also uni-directional data flow, immutables, etc. has made think about front-end architecture in a different way.

Your thoughts

Have you made 2015 retrospect? Send a link via tweet!