Hi! I’m Dan, welcome to my site!
I am a web developer and I have been building web projects since 2008.
I am passionate about technology and I hold a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a Masters degree in Computer Engineering.
In the end I liked more working on the web than directly with chips, so I kept working on the www. If you want to know more, read my story below.
I am originally from Romania. I grew up there and went to university in Bucharest to study Computer Science. Got my first job there too as a junior programmer in a strange CMS called Drupal. After 2 years, at 23, I decided to get a Master degree abroad, So I left and went to a tiny town in the Netherlands, called Delft. I was going to study Computer Engineering.
You know how people who have done the army service keep talking about how that changed them? It’s like a rite of passage. Well, living by myself in the Netherlands was my version of the army service. I was suddenly alone in a new country. I had cultural shocks all over, and most of all their education system and study structure was completely different than what I was used to. As a result, my first exams did not go so well – I was still stuck in my Romanian studying mode.
I had a slow start but after I figured stuff out I was able to adapt, make new friends, study hard and graduate. I even scored a few months abroad in Rome on an Erasmus scholarship and those are the sweetest memories from that time.
After my graduation I decided the Netherlands is “too Northern” for me and I’d like a new challenge. After a few months of searching I landed a job in Paris. My work was well appreciated and I went on to be a consultant in France for big companies with offices in tall beautiful buildings. I was still doing Drupal but that worked well for me and I made everyone happy with my work.
After a while, Drupal started losing points in my eyes, especially since I saw how quickly many things could be deployed with WordPress. I liked it more, and since I was already 4 years in Paris, I did a crazy thing and left my well paid consultant jobs to become a freelancer and a digital nomad.
Digital Nomad Years
Being a digital nomad went well too for me. As a freelancer, I broadened my understanding of web projects. When there are no marketing, content or SEO specialists in your small team, you start learning and understanding more and more of these roles and how to apply them to your projects. I had many clients in this time and set them all up with good solid sites that would meet their requirements and help them reach their goals. They were all happy and I am glad to see that, years later, some of them still have the sites I built them.
When my wanderlust cooled off, I felt like it’s time for a serious project to commit to. I now had a lot of know-how of how to push products out, how to get the right customers to a site, and how to scale up the income of an online business.
My First Experience As An Entrepreneur
One day I got in contact with a stranger who was a popular trader from the internet. We connected well and after many nights of discussions we created our company, Tradunity, with the goal to help beginner traders find their ways in the murky waters of the financial markets. It was a fair deal: I had the minority package, while he was bringing in a large community and the knowledge needed to create good products. I was to create a platform to offer our courses and content to a premium community and he was going to provide this content. And we got to work!
We did a hell of a good job in the first two years, and kept the company running with no external funding. Moreover, we expanded and brought more people on board. We worked our butts off day and night, in a typical startup way, and had to stretch ourselves over all the aspects of the business: customer support, marketing, sales, human resources, project management, community management, business administration, partner relationship and whatever I may have left out. There were no vacations, few weekends and lots of days of 12-14h of sustained work. I learned so much in such a short time and it was an overall incredibly rewarding experience.
After 2 years however, I had the desire to exit: the project had evolved a lot from our initial vision. The new direction was, unfortunately, not very exciting or motivating for me. I decided to leave, but not before spreading my responsibilities to the rest of the team and making sure they can contact me if anything is wrong.
Looking For A New Venture
And here I am now, at 32, looking for a new challenge. The Covid-19 crisis came like an avalanche over my plans but there are always positive aspects and new opportunities in any crisis. Currently I am learning a healthy number of new technologies and I am looking to put all my experience and my big luggage of cross technical-business skills to work in the next project I’ll get to work on!
After looking to join a few new companies as a technical manager I decided to go back to freelancing. I joined Toptal and I was happy to find a lot of high quality projects and clients there. Here’s my profile on Toptal :).