Member Highlight

Andre Azzolini: Freelancing Like a Champ

We love having Dallas freelancers as members. Hear all about Andre Azzolini and how he's dominating the freelance world:

Who are you and what are you up to?

I’m Andre Azzolini, and I’m a freelance full-stack web developer. I’ve architected and built systems ranging from small, single-purpose Ruby apps to multi-server eCommerce websites for Fortune 500 companies. Recently, I find myself working with JavaScript as much as possible, using Angular and similar frameworks on the front-end and Node.js on the back-end.

What’s your story?

I graduated with degrees in Computer Science and Mangement Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin and began my career working for a boutique consulting firm in Dallas, Credera. From there, I joined a startup, Broadleaf Commerce, as one of the core engineers. At the end of 2014, I made the leap to freelance life and have been loving it ever since.

What sets you apart from others in your industry?

I view writing software as a craft to be appreciated not only for the end product, but for the code itself. There is a strong tie between the elegance and simplicity of code and its correctness, performance, and ability to handle change.

How is it going?

It’s going great! I’m able to constantly stay busy and enjoy the extra freedom that being a freelancer allows, such as where and when to work.

What are your biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge so far is managing my time between various clients. In the past, I’ve always had assigned tasks that I could complete, whereas now I need to budget my time to make sure everything gets done.

What are the two most valuable things you have learned since starting your business?

I’ve learned that freelancing requires more personal flexibility and a more well-rounded skill set. I have to be willing to pause tasks to deal with immediate things that come up as well as be more available to work with clients on their schedule. I also have to deal with not only programming, but also the unexpected business aspects of being self-employed, like estimated quarterly tax payments.

What’s your favorite part of your work?

I love the actual act of programming, and being a freelancer allows me to choose the projects I work on and the technologies they use. This lets me keep up to date with the latest trends in web development and enables me to be constantly learning.

What is the most time-consuming part of your work?

I spend the vast majority of my time doing development. Fortunately, the business overhead I’ve had to deal with so far is minimal.

Do you get much free time? How do you spend it?

I value my free time highly, and it is rare that I work more than forty hours in any given week. Having a strong work-life balance in favor of life keeps me excited about work and ensures I’m able to be productive every hour I’m on the job.

Where are you going from here?

I’m very happy currently and have no plans to change what I’m doing in the imminent future.

Are you thinking about expanding your team?

Not at the moment.

What is the impact of your business/ industry on your local community? On society?

Web applications have changed the world over the last 10 years, and I can’t imagine they won’t continue to do so. I’m excited to be a part of an industry that connects people together and improves upon old systems with technology.

Why did you decide to office at Common desk?

Being able to work near like-minded people and people with complementary skills is important. It enables me to learn from my peers and network both professionally and personally.

Are you working on a Mac or a PC?

MacBook Pro

What are two mobile apps that you couldn’t work without?

Spotify and Alien Blue

What’s your favorite place to eat in Deep Ellum?

Stackhouse and Uncle Uber’s

written by Common Desk

Common Desk opened in the fall of 2012 with a vision to redefine the way Dallas perceived a workspace. By creating a stimulating environment for both Dallas’ suit and tie professionals and artistic freelancers, the Common Desk community gained strength through the diversity of its shared office spaces. Today, hundreds of companies call Common Desk home.

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