Interview with Peter Stahl

When did you decide to become a freelancer? How many years of experience in IT have you had by then?

Honestly, I have to say that I sort of started of as a freelancer way back around 20-something years ago with my very first assignment. I have also had the pleasure of being employed at great companies like Dimac (creators of w3JMail among other great products and solutions), HiQ and Avega, but most of my time has been as a freelancer.

You are currently living in and working from Spain, tell us how you ended up there?

That´s a bit of a long story, but I will compress it a bit for the sake of TLDR:edness. I lived in Spain between the ages of 7 and 14, and since my dad kept on living here when I moved back to Sweden, and my little sister as well, I always returned to Spain for visits a couple of times a year since moving to Sweden. When I met my wife Erika we kept on going to Spain and loved it, so we said that we one day would try living in Spain “for real” with work and all. Time passed by, kids popped up and after a fair amount of years we felt ready to give it a serious go.

I made sure to actively seek projects that allowed remote collaborations, and since most of my work from the beginning had been conducted on a remote basis and it has always been my preferred way of working, I had a good foundation to stand on when making the active decision and preparing for the move. Erika did the same with her work, and with that, we made the move and have not regretted it for a second. We love our life here, the time-zone is the same or similar as where most of my projects and Erikas work is - and we love the idea of our kids growing up in a multilingual and multicultural environment. We also want them to feel that the world is their oyster. If Erika and I could make the move with kids and all, then they can seek their future anywhere in the world.

How has freelancing worked out from you when working from Spain?

I have had the fortune of collaborating with many varied great companies, teams and projects, and I try to make a point of listening to feedback and constantly improving how I conduct my work to make sure that not only the “remote”-ness feels good for the client, but that the collaboration is smooth, transparent and fun for all involved.

How did you get started in software / web development?

I started on my own through curiosity, with the intention of creating games around 25 years ago when I was 14. I got absorbed by the possibility of creating something complex and interesting out of nothing and just kept on digging. I am still digging today and loving it.

Your favorite library / framework and why?

I would have to say that this is a bit of a moving target sort of thing. Frontendwise I would say that I right now find ReactJS quite powerful, but I am currently discovering Blazor and Svelte. I love the fact that there is such drive and constant development and improvement, allowing me to constantly have to investigate and learn new technologies and discover how I can apply these to better help in my work.

What is your current tech-stack?

My tech stack is-and has always been quite broad. It leans a bit more towards Microsoft-centric technologies, but is not limited thereto. As I have been fortunate to work with projects of varying complexity and tech-stacks I have learned continuously, but always with a focus on using the web as my primary platform.

What excites you about web development?

The combination of hard and soft challenges. The psychology, understanding businesses, the people that form part of the businesses, their processes and how I can help with the use of solutions. The continuous need for investigation, research and learning, the possibilities to create something very powerful and helpful out of an idea on a napkin etc.

How has Corona and current situation affected you when it comes to your work?

Corona affects us all and probably will for a long time in various ways. I am fortunate that my primary way of working has always been remote, so this means that I was able to transition without much alteration of my way of working. The remote way of working has been much more accepted due to Corona, which is a good thing according to me, for several reasons.

What would you like to share with new generation of web developers just entering the

job market?

Be hungry, show that you are hungry, take an active interest in your client, the way they work and think and be mindful of this continuously. Try to be as transparent as possible and enjoy the fact that you have chosen a field of work that has an amazing ever-expanding array of possibilities and fun ways to solve all types of interesting challenges!

What technologies should they focus on?

This is up to each and every developer to choose. One could argue to learn SAP just as much as Svelte or the latest agile way of working or SOLID principles, but it all comes down to what each person wants to work with and within what context.

How can they stand out from the crowd?

By finding what makes them tick and digging deep into this, and actively being a part of network activities, LinkedIn, communities etc.

Share a picture of your working place.

I like my desk minimalistic, and I use an absolute bare minimum of paper as I am 99,99999% digital.

Where do you see your self in 5 years from now when it comes to IT industry?

Still hungry, still loving what I do and still exploring the new possibilities that come with our amazing line of work!