It all started a year ago - May 2013 to May 2014

Yesterday I reached an anniversary, one year as a freelancer and I survived!

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Les advising customers about computing in Liverpool
I started my freelance career in May 2013, with just one client, Linux Format. I then contacted other people and organisations and talked with them about what I could do for them.

To be honest in those early days I was terrified. I went into freelancing as a reaction to moving away from my previous role at Farm Digital. But what I quickly learnt was that I had some skills that people would pay money for, and over the course of this past year my skills have been sharpened and new skills have been learnt.

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It hasn’t been easy, but I rose to the challenge and luckily everything has worked out rather well. Thanks in part to a good community of hackers, makers, teachers and techies in the North.

Ben Nuttall
Alan O’Donohoe
Cefn Hoile
Dan Lynch
Liz Hardwick
Madlab
FTP Concepts
Magic Missile
Sean McGinty
Without these people helping me, answering questions and referring clients to me, I wouldn’t be where I am today :)

So where am I today?

I’ve currently got 8 regular clients that I work for, ranging from print magazines to web sites.

I teach computing, Python, Raspberry Pi and Scratch to teachers around the UK.

I also develop applications and technologies using Arduino and Raspberry Pi for clients, for example my Raspberry Pi powerd Fortune Teller which is now living at Blackpool Tower.

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Powered by a Raspberry Pi and PiFace, it lives under Blackpool Tower

I’m also doing my fair share of not for profit / voluntary work in the community.

I started the first Blackpool Coder Dojo on April 26th,. I released the tickets for the second dojo the other week, and all 46 are now gone! WOW!

alt Here I am teaching Scratch to the children at the first Blackpool Coder Dojo

Blackpool has it’s first co-working space in the form of Blackpool Jelly, we’ve been running for 3 months and all is going well.

All in all, if I hadn’t of left my old job, none of this would of happened. It’s been an adventure, and I am a better man for taking the plunge.