How I Became Top Paid Software Contractor

How I Became Top Paid Software Contractor

In this blog post I describe my carrier path from my first job as junior developer till the day I become top paid software contractor in Ireland. With a hope it will motivate someone to do the same.

I started my software engineering career early in my college years. Even though I studied electronics engineering I was always more interested in writing code than building hardware. So when opportunity came up – I didn’t hesitate.

Friend of mine offered me to go for junior Java developer interview at the company he was working in even though I had zero experience in Java at the time. I studied really hard for 2 weeks before the interview and after it I was offered the position. It was a part-time job at small Lithuanian accounting company Edrana Baltic for minimum pay which was around 200euros per month at the time.

I worked in Edrana till I graduated from college. My skills and salary increased multiple times over the time while I was working there. But after 2 years I realised that I want something new. Graduation day from college was also my first day at the new job. Even though new job at hotelston.com was paying less than my current employer, they had really strong development team so I saw it as a great learning opportunity.

I worked for a year at hotelston.com – salary didn’t increase much, I was earning around 600 euros a month. This is where I did hit a rough path and started to doubt myself and wether software development is the path I want to take. Doubts were so overwhelming that at one point I even applied for a job as an IT engineer. At the same time opportunity arose to apply for an Application Developer position at IBM. IBM looked like a wild dream to me, I thought that they would never consider my application, but you can always try, so I decided to give it a go.

Surprisingly, they shortlisted me and I ended up having three really tough interviews that challenged the level of knowledge I had back then. Once interview stage was over recruiter told me that they will contact me whenever role becomes open. I was prepared to be patient, but luckily I didn’t need to wait too long as one of the senior developers were leaving the company. So I got a call that I am needed ASAP and they are offering 3 times my current salary. It was a moment when my dreams came true.

On my first day I had a chat with Project Manager who introduced me to the project and told me that he wants me at client’s site in Netherlands tomorrow. That was a shock to me as it was so out of the blue, I have never travelled with work before and had absolutely no idea what is coming up next. During my interview process recruiter mentioned that there might be some travelling involved, but never in a million years would I ever imagined it will happen on my next day in the new job! So I packed my bags and went to the airport.

After three months project was successfully released to production I was assigned to IBM payments gateway project back in Lithuania. Spent another nine months working on it until I started craving for new challenges again, this time I applied for a Software Engineer position at Deutsche Bank in Dublin.

While working at Deutsche Bank in a mixed team of permanent and contract employees I learned about contracting and made a decision that contract work is exactly what I want. I found my first contract as Senior UI Developer. Opened my own company called Codespace Limited and have been doing contract work since.