On February 1st, 2016, DevIsland hosted an event for local developers with the Toptal South America Roadtrip - a DevNight at the Technological Park of Belo Horizonte, better known as BHTec. Toptal’s Head of Marketing and Communications Dror Liebenthal, and Toptal’s Belo Horizonte Community Leader Diego Ballona spoke to an audience of around 30 developers.

The first talk was on the freelance market in today’s economy. Dror addressed the historical challenges of freelance work. But the world is changing. In his presentation, Dror notes the fact that over a third of the US workforce is freelancing (a figure that is supposed to grow to 50% by 2020) and digs into why the freelance market is becoming more hospitable to freelancers.

Following Dror’s presentation, Diego took the stage to talk about the other side: his experience as a freelance software developer pre- and post- Toptal. Diego described firsthand the troubles he had finding reasonable clients and interesting work on his own and through freelance sites like freelancer.com and Odesk (now Upwork) before finding a solution through Toptal.

After the presentations, the attentive crowd of developers asked nearly an hour of questions with a focus on how international payment works and the best ways to navigate Brazilian taxes as well as how the Toptal screening process works.

A big thanks to Douglas Aguiar and Gibran Silva for organizing this event!

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