Seb Dancer-Michel

Web developer –

Hi there!

I’m Seb, a web developer with 5+ years of experience making

With an affinity for front-end development and UI design, I focus my efforts on crafting adequate interfaces between humans and technology.

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29 years old, living in Amsterdam, Netherlands and originally from Toulouse, France. Curious about mostly everything. An optimist at heart, always tries to focus on the bright side of things. A lover of memes, cats, red pandas, and cute animals in general. A millenial in mind and spirit. Will always strive to improve our world in the smallest ways.

Seb Dancer-Michel

Solving puzzles is what I love doing most.

To find pragmatic solutions to practical problems and ideas. Whether it’s building a web page, a contact form, an interactive installation, or a hands-free display, I’m always looking to shape the adequate interface.

I have a broad horizontal knowledge of all things Internet and tech, and my curiosity pushes me to learn new things and adapt to the fast changing Web continuously.

What I use regularly: HTML, CSS, Javascript/Typescript, ReactJS, and ThreeJS.

Previously

  • 2023-now – Freelance
  • 2019-2023 – Your Majesty – full time contract
  • 2018 – Werkstatt – 6 mo. apprenticeship
  • 2017 – Your Majesty – 5 mo. internship
  • 2016 – Cinémur – 4 mo. internship
  • 2015 – Purée Maison – 3 mo. internship
  • 2014 – Oréalys – 2 mo. internship

I studied at HETIC (and got my masters degree) between 2014 and 2019, going through a multi-disciplinary program teaching us design, web development, communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, and everything else.

I was involved with the largest student movement in France, the Junior-Entreprises. I worked for 1 year at HETIC's own J.E., Synerg'hetic, then volunteered to work as part of the team of 20 students managing the French confederation on a national level.

2023-11-16RSS feedRSS feedGoing Freelance

Going freelance

tl;dr: After 4+ years at Your Majesty, I'm now freelance! It's exciting and terrifying. But the way I arrived at that choice was not easy and it took a lot of introspection to figure it out. Here's a bit of that story.

The beginning

I moved to Amsterdam in July 2018 to do an internship at Your Majesty. I was 24 years old, one year away from finishing my masters and I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do (websites). I had no idea what I was doing, but I was excited to learn.

The next year I was so excited about coming back to Amsterdam that I asked YM about if they'd offer me a full-time position. And they did! I joined the team a junior web developer. Noticed that by doing this I never really had to look for a job, even before I got my diploma, and I'm not blind to that privilege.

For a good while I was -for the most part, I'm not forgetting the global pandemic we went through- happy. I was learning a lot, I had some amazing coworkers and worked on some very cool projects. After a few years I started thinking about moving on and exploring more of what the industry could offer, but that never really happened, and also I never really felt like I had to. The grass was green enough on my side.

The summer of '23

In June 2023, I was let go, along some of my colleagues. The financials were not great, sales forecast wasn't looking promising, so the company had to cut costs. Pretty standard stuff.

No reason to feel bad about it, I had no bad blood with the company, I had a sense that my skills would be in demand, and that was it. In the weeks leading up to my last day, I started being anxious about not being employed anymore, but the prospect of having a long summer off got more exciting and I decided to make the most of it.

So, on July 1st, I was unemployed for the first time of my life. I applied to the UWV (Dutch unemployment services), I got my admin in order, and I left Amsterdam to go on an Interrail trip through Northen Europe.

It's funny now, because unexpectedly that summer was probably one of the best of my life so far. It was packed with travels, meeting new people, family, good sleep, sunsets, sunrises, and a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do next. I had fun! But I was also very eager to build things with web things again.

The job hunt

Some fun stats: I applied to / was contacted by 52 companies, which led to 26 first interviews/calls, and resulted in 1 job offer (which I refused). This took over 2 months and before the end of it I decided to go freelance. The whole process was, if I'm being honest, exhausting and frustrating. I want to put a disclaimer here that I'm not blaming any of the individual companies, recruiters or managers I talked to. I'm just sharing my personal subjective experience.

It feels like the tech market is in a really weird state, to be honest. There's more job ads than I've ever seen, for various types of companies and roles, but the process to get to them is terrible. Recruiters are practically harassing you through LinkedIn to get you in a call to talk about their super awesome client, who may or may not have a job for me but let's talk about what I'm looking before they give me any detail. There's the classic "I won't talk about salary range until you get to the last round of interviews" one which to my knowledge has been banned by the EU as it's now mandatory to specify a salary range on any job ad. Anywho. I've been told I wasn't senior enough. I've been offered junior positions in companies where I had more technical knowledge than the people trying to recruit me. I've had unending interview processes spanning multiple meetings with overlapping people.

There's a weird impression, paradoxical even, that companies are looking for people that don't exist, and that they're making it hard on themselves to attract the right candidates. It's hard to have empathy for those companies, when respect basically only goes in one direction.

I know I'm picky (or my parents keep telling me), but I'm not willing to sacrifice some simple values for just a job. I'm fortunate enough to work in an industry where the workers have a lot of power, and sometimes it's good to remind recruiters that this is indeed us building all those products/services/websites, and not the opposite.

I've had some amazing encounters though. Companies and people I would love to work with in the future, but that made me realise one crucial thing: I don't want to specialise just yet, or have one specific role. I like developing websites, I like creating physical installations that work on web technologies, heck I even like working on digital signage (those screens you see in museums or train stations, mostly informative). There are a few agencies that do that of course, but those seem to run on passion more than money, and thus not many opportunities to be recruited right now.

Back to work

And so, this is how I arrived at the conclusion of this story, something I think I've wanted to do for a while but I needed a push from my friends -Sunni, Jen, Nico, Julie, Zelda, Abril, Roel, Kristofer, if you read this 👋- and from myself being confronted to the current tech landscape. I am super excited to becoming my own boss, to struggle with accounting and administration, and to learn a bunch of new skills along the way.

I may even build some websites and get paid for it, who knows*.

*That actually already happened! I helped the Odace team launch their new website a few weeks ago, go check it out!

See you on the Internet! 👋

Seb Dancer-Michel © 2024

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