Meet Sohail Abid – a freelancer who is a real trailblazer!
January 15, 2011 at 12:17 am
Pakistani freelancers have made quite a mark on sites like Rent-a-Coder, oDesk and Elance. They have shown that despite the challenges that they face in terms of power outages and connectivity issues, they have been able to meet customer deadlines and more than live up to the expectations of customers from across the globe. Some estimate that the freelance business via these sites may be as high as US$40 – 80 million which is truly amazing. We are going to try and find a way to substantiate this figure by conducting some specific research this year.
In the meantime, it is still a wonderful day when you come across someone like Sohail Abid who shows you that freelancers are going beyond just delivering outsourced work.
Sohail is a cultural analyst who also happens to be a software engineer by some weird act of God. He had quite a good career in the Pakistani software industry but says he quit after 3 years when during an interview for a new position, he asked for better salary than they were offering, and the potential employer said to him “If you are that good, why don’t you work for yourself?” So he did just that. He refused their offer, and started working on his own. He had been working as the team lead/project manager at that time. “And I have never looked back.” says Sohail. “9-5 is a big no-no for me now.”
So what has Sohail done that has prompted this post? Well, he has done many things (he wanted to be a physicist, studied software engineering, wrote an existentialist novel, and ended up in cultural research. About 9 months ago he also embarked on a Motorcycle tour of Pakistan). I may write about all that in detail some time but, at this moment, the Breaking News is that he has developed a WordPress plugin that gives users something Facebook isn’t offering: the ability to embed their public material on their blogs. It is called “Embed Facebook” and lets one embed various Facebook objects (albums, single photo, page, event, video, group, or note) in a blog post by simply pasting the URL.
Here’s a demo of the plugin: http://wp.sohailabid.com/
This plugin is available from the official WordPress plugins repository: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/embed-facebook/
(and has been downloaded 7000+ times in less than two months, which is a success from a wordpress plugin perspective as they are only used by website owners, not end users like iPhone apps :).
So when we assessing the talent that exists in Pakistan, let’s not forget that other than the companies, there are many freelancers who are marching to their own tune and doing their own thing – all below the radar. Well done Sohail. We are proud to know you. Keep doing whatever your heart tells you to because it is your passion (in addition to your hard work and talent) that has resulted in some of the wonderful work you have been able to do thus far.
Entry filed under: Posts. Tags: Facebook, Freelancer, ICT, Innovation, Islamabad, Pakistan, Pakistan IT, Sohail Abid, Wordpress Plugin.