I have recently come across a new platform called TopTal, which is basically a search engine of professionals in the tech field based upon their skill set and expertise. Its objective is to match projects with freelance professionals across the globe based upon the projects specific needs, barriers and/or unique application that must be considered (i.e., bioinformatics, health care, statistics, query accessibility, etc…). From the perspective of the consumer this enables a more accurate delineation of the project skills needed and the appropriate professionals that meet the qualifications for the entire aggregate of skills needed for effective completion of the project. This platform also provides freelance tech professionals an ability to advertise their skill set to the more discerning tech field employers who have more specialized or focused needs.

In an era, where the consumer is beginning to realize that all computer technicians are not the same – the mismatch of skills on project teams is a consistent hindrance of efficiency and timelines. In reality, the well-oiled team matches skills like a symphony with one note completing the other in a harmony of efficiency. However, the harsh reality for employers, but is no surprise to tech professionals, is that the ideal team for one project is not necessarily the ideal team for the next. Often projects present different objectives and barriers with new or different perspectives needing to be considered to always find the most innovative solution possible – which in reality forces the need for different frames of references looking at it from new ways - with each project a different problem.

Personally, I am excited to wave in the possibility for more efficient project teams that bring together an eclectic group of professionals to solve a specific problem. In fact, it reminds me of the scene in Apollo 13 when they dump a bag full of mismatched odds and ends in front of a group of the best minds and give them the instructions… “solve it”. I’ve been working on freelance projects alongside my full time job because of one reason… it keeps me sharp. Freelance makes you think outside the box, takes from the skills that may seem mundane in my 9-5 job to another level of problem solving, it makes me see the holes and weaknesses and forces me to find and stretch my problem solving skills for the perfect fit… in a nutshell, I practice my art.


Rafael Araujo is a computer technician specializing in databases, modeling and high availability architecture and back-end environments prepared for high traffic and/or high concurrency. Works with PHP, Java, Shell Script, HTML5, JavaScript, AngularJS, jQuery, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, PL/PGSQL, PL/SQL.

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