Freelance Development Pitfall

Run faster little hamster!Rob Walling: "My first reaction is that becoming a freelance developer (or starting your own consulting firm) can also be a lot less conducive to launching a product. Instead of being able to justify a somewhat fixed salaried workday, you find yourself working longer and longer hours as client demands increase. In addition, freelance development requires a lot more mental energy than being a salaried employee. Mental energy that can't be spent launching your product." - Just over a year ago I was ready to jump into the freelance world. My plan was to use freelance work to support my Mac development habit. Alas, after talking to a number of people, I heard the same thing over and over and over. One, I wasn't going to charge enough to make it work, two, you're ALWAYS on a treadmill. Either you're working long hours to satisfy client requests or you're out trying to hustle business. Now, I know some folks that are doing quite well. They keep their heads down and have a reputation for delivering, but they do work TONS of hours and it seems like it never ends. That's a huge challenge to overcome.

The best job in software is still the job that allows you to develop a product and "ship" it. It doesn't have to be on a shiny CD/DVD, it just needs to be "packaged" and available for purchase. If your product is decent it affords you the time to actually plan for the next version, put your head down, and deliver it. I like that model.

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