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Exploring the Intersection of Software Development, AI Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Success | Network of the top freelance software developers

Network of the top freelance software developers

Have a skill that you want to turn into a business? Great. if you are thinking about starting your own freelancing business to actually doing it. It is not built on idealistic scenarios but is based on my own experience of running such a business. Checkout an amazing training about how to run freelancing business by Doru Catana on Pluralsight. And so Doru founded and runs a marketing agency with global clients in a wide range of industries. His focus is on campaigns that convert and get new business through the door, not feel good campaigns. This article about toptal and only 3% of people who got accepted for the job.

Full time or freelance? Permanent employee or contractor? Cubicle or home office? Doru was able to acquire clients while working on many freelancers web sites below himself, than he hired more people and founded startup company for online marketing. Long term work – The only reason I don’t like freelance platforms such as Elance is that it’s hard to find long-term projects for a competitive salary there. Most of the projects are low-paying short-term projects, and you have to be on their site every day, so you can catch (on time) and apply quickly for the occasional good project that is posted there. That is boring, and very time consuming. TopTal promises to provide opportunities for you, so you don’t have to waste an entire day just searching for a good project.

Network of the top freelance software developers

There are a lot of places with low quality talent. Network is very elastic and hundreds of people working on projects, and after it is done folks move on and work on others. High skill labor has very big demand, there are not enough graduates from United States with engineering degree. Folks in toptal are from anywhere Brazil, Russia etc. 

Network of the top freelance software developers

What struck me other than Elance, was one of the top websites for freelancers called and because you have to write a post in English on your personal blog explaining why you are committed to joining Toptal. I was really curious about this idea and decided to submit my profile to get a chance to be 3% of the top developers in the world. I worked in many teams in Microsoft and many companies in my life, but this hole concept is very appealing to me and the way how they filter candidates is intriguing. 

Network of the top freelance software developers

One of the first thing that stood out is their screening process—you have to pass their own phone and coding interviews before you make it to the site. Any other job service I’ve seen simply lets everyone in the door who wants in so I imagine it’s pretty overwhelming for employers and very difficult to find the good ones. At Toptal they claim that only 3% of applicants make it through the process. I never love interviewing (does anyone?) but I’m excited for the opportunities that Toptal could open up for me so I’m going to brush up and get ready for that phone call. The job boards or other freelance websites simply haven't figured out the correct business model yet. You can find some small projects here and there, but it is not long running and not stable business. You don't know who is doing work, is it family of moms, kids and in India or Philippines with a very low rates? Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good freelancers and very strong folks from India and Philippines, but I am just saying that is very hard to validate ratings and quality of work until you are in the no return state.

The better way to connect clients with contractors is to have a pre-vetted pool of contractors and retain them with repeated project success. Vetting a new contractor must be technically thorough, and done by other engineers. It can't be the slipshod qualifying that is done by the typical, technology-illiterate headhunter. That's where Toptal comes in. Toptal is a broker for clients and contractors, like the job boards, but Toptal maintains a community of elite engineers and developers that have qualified themselves with multiple levels of skill tests. This formula is a win-win for clients and contractors. Clients have a higher probability of project success, and contractors have a steady supply of work at consistent rates.

Here is video about problems with developers networks and pipelines in United States. Toptal has algorithm tests, and skype interviews. They are spending time to each individual very rigorously. 95% of work is done remotely, folks are working from many different countries. US companies are trying to get better quality of work and not just lower price of work. Taso Du Val, Toptal's co-founder & CEO, reviews how Toptal connects businesses to great software developers with CNBC hosts Andrew Ross and Becky Quick.

Lucas Vogelsang has used Toptal for many different companies, from DeinDeal to KaufDA to present, and his experiences with each engagement have been very positive. Across many different company projects and needs, Lucas found that Toptal developers integrated very well with each separate engagement.

Vadim Dagman recently joined Toptal as a iOS developer and was amazed at how quickly he landed his first engagement. Hear Vadim's experience going through the Toptal screening process, as well as his experience working with several clients since joining Toptal.


Toptal Twitter: 

Hurdle Two: Coding Challenge

Someone from toptal is going to call you to see how your English is doing. Applicants are given 90 minutes to solve three coding problems. Even developers with decades of experience face-plant under the pressure. “And if there’s a hint of cheating, you’re never going to get into Toptal,” says Beneschott. 7.4 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…

Hurdle Three: Big-Brother-Style Exercises

Toptal hopefuls have to share their screens so an evaluator can watch their every keystroke. This is as much about creativity and collaboration as speed and intellect, so candidates are encouraged to talk through their thought process.  3.6 percent of original applicants make it to the next round…

Hurdle Four: Faux Project

Test projects can take 30 or more hours to complete. “People at the very top are so much better than everybody else -- they’re endlessly hungry, endlessly talented,” says Beneschott. “It’s hugely valuable to find them.” 

That’s how 3 percent of original applicants make it into Toptal.

1. Identify Your Needs:

  • Determine the skills, expertise, and experience levels required for your current and future projects. This helps in targeting the right professionals.

2. Utilize Freelance Platforms:

  • Platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, and GitHub can be great places to start. They allow you to review portfolios, read reviews, and assess the work history of potential freelance software developers.

3. Networking Events and Meetups:

  • Attend industry meetups, hackathons, conferences, and networking events. Personal interactions can lead to meaningful professional relationships.

4. Social Media and Professional Networks:

  • LinkedIn, Twitter, and tech-specific forums like Stack Overflow are valuable for connecting with freelance developers. Engage with content, join discussions, and reach out to professionals who impress you.

5. Referrals and Recommendations:

  • Ask your professional network for referrals. Recommendations from trusted colleagues can lead to reliable and proven talent.

6. Collaborate on a Trial Basis:

  • Start with small, low-risk projects to evaluate the developers’ skills, reliability, and compatibility with your team.

7. Offer Competitive Rates:

  • Top talent comes at a premium. Offering competitive rates not only attracts better candidates but also fosters loyalty and commitment.

8. Maintain Good Relationships:

  • Treat freelancers as valuable team members. Clear communication, prompt payments, and respect for their time and expertise can build long-lasting professional relationships.

9. Provide Clear Briefs and Feedback:

  • Clear project briefs, regular feedback, and open channels of communication ensure that projects meet your expectations and help developers grow.

10. Stay in Touch:

  • Even when not currently engaged in a project, periodic check-ins can keep the relationship alive and ensure you remain at the forefront of their minds for future projects.

11. Build a Community:

  • Consider creating a community space where your network of freelancers can share knowledge, collaborate, and support each other. This can enhance their value to you as a group.

12. Legal and Security Measures:

  • Ensure all legal agreements, such as NDAs and contracts, are in place to protect your intellectual property and maintain confidentiality.

13. Continuous Improvement:

  • Provide opportunities for professional development and feedback. Freelancers who feel their client is invested in their growth are more likely to remain loyal and deliver quality work.

14. Recognition and Opportunities:

  • Acknowledge excellent work and provide opportunities for challenging projects. Recognizing their efforts can lead to higher motivation and job satisfaction.

By carefully cultivating your network of freelance software developers, you not only gain access to a diverse set of skills and experiences but also ensure that you have the resources to handle various projects and challenges effectively. Remember, the key to a successful freelance network is not just in finding the right talent but also in nurturing those relationships over time.


TopTal is American company that connects you directly to the clients, you as freelancer join to the client. Once you are inside of the pool you will be directly work for them. Toptal do validation of each project, it means that you never is going to be without idea what client wants to do. Majority of projects are from startups, about 70%. You have opportunity to work with newest technologies in the market. It’s the place where the best freelancers are – TopTal receives thousands of applications every month, but only about 3% of applicants get in. According to their website and various blog posts on the web, TopTal has developed a tough screening process to identify and accept the best engineers. Oh, and did I mention that the engineers who are accepted at TopTal work for clients such as Airbnb and ZenDesk? When firms like Google, Ideo, Airbnb and even Pfizer need a freelance Java expert or UX designer -- and they need it, like, yesterday -- they call Toptal. The $80 million company has developed a rigorous, four-part screening process: “We get thousands of applicants every month,” says cofounder and CEO Taso du Val, “and we take the top 3 percent.” Here’s how Toptal vets its freelancers.