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Ladies Night (Breaking into Freelance)

For anybody thinking of going freelance Melissa Billias will talk about her journey and adventures learning the ropes. She will discuss pros and cons to both freelance and salary positions that led to her decision.  Melissa will talk about the importance of having an accountant and attorney on retainer, the beauty of bartering and the importance of contract negotiations. Attendees will learn the value of networking and building a personal brand to enhance marketability, as well as the benefit of being actively involved in tech communities. Attendees will walk away with the tools needed to make an informed decision about going freelance and skills to apply immediately to advance their career path.

Please rate this talk and view slides at:

Melissa Billias is a freelance software engineer, and owner, at Ghost Orchid Tech, LLC which she started after years of burn out with the 9 to 5 grind. She graduated summa cum laude from DeVry University and her passion for technology has led her through a various mix of technologies including PHP, VB6, Java, and C#.Net in areas from firmware to software. As a co-organizer of the South Florida PHP User Group (SoFloPHP) and the SunshinePHP Developer Conference, she is revitalized with new goals and a renewed vision as she hacks out her own path to balance and fulfillment.

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  • Alan C.

    Got stuck at work with a deadline issue Thursday. I'm so sorry i missed it. Will there be an encore in the (near?) future? (This is another "ask" for when you can present again).

    February 1, 2014

    • Melissa B.

      Funny thing is that I originally misunderstood Adam and thought that he wanted me to speak at SunshinePHP. In my mind it was odd since he hadn't heard me speak before. That quickly got sorted out. But if Adam says I'm ready, I can do it. Crowds don't bother me. I wanted to update my slide reel for a more fluid look and feel though and I don't think I will finish that before the conference, all things considered. But, "Put me in coach, I'm ready". :)

      February 3, 2014

    • Adam C.

      I don't see any reason why you couldn't do this for the Uncon. Make sure to tell Michelangelo Van Dam to sign you up. :)

      February 3, 2014

  • danhofmann

    Very informative story of Melissa's break into Freelance software development and her struggles, how she overcame them, and her successes. Very inspirational but also filled with great facts. The Q&A at the end with Melissa and Adam was extremely helpful when talking about contracts and how you go about charging your customer, and of course, ownership of the code, NDAs, and Non-Competes.

    3 · January 31, 2014

  • Melissa B.

    Thank you all for coming out and supporting me. I hope you all got some good energy out of it. That was my main goal. Remember to rate my talk so I can make it better. I have already been asked when I will present this talk again. Let me know if you want to hear it again too so I can have Adam put it on the roster again. I am so grateful for the audience that received my message. More to come in the future for sure. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

    4 · January 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Informative. A nice kick in the boot.

    1 · January 31, 2014

  • Adam C.

    Melissa did a great job covering tips and hints on how to be more successful at going freelance. Covered many areas that most forget about.

    1 · January 31, 2014

  • Kenny R.

    Sorry, can't make this one. :-(

    January 26, 2014

  • Faigie G.

    While I am not a developer, I am a recent COO within the tech space (SaaS) and have worked hand in hand with a team of developers. I may not speak your code, but I look forward to meeting you all. Thanks Adam and Melissa for setting up this meet up!

    January 5, 2014

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