Going it alone

Sep 30 2017

I’m leaving Bikesoup, where I’ve spent the last two years as Lead Developer. When I think back on everything that I accomplished with the Bikesoup team, and everything that I didn’t know before I joined them, it’s clear just how much I’ve grown during my time there.

Most of what I’ve learnt has been the hard way, making mistakes and recognising with hindsight what I should have done instead. It can be a harsh and at times demoralising way to learn, but I’ll always be grateful to Bikesoup for giving me the opportunity to work and learn this way — I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that I wouldn’t be the developer I am now without this.

So, to my team at Bikesoup, a profound “Thank-you”!

It’s not goodbye just yet though, as they’re my first new client since 2015! I’m leading one last project at Bikesoup over the next few months, and it’s something we’re both really stoked about, and have wanted to build right from the very beginning. I won’t give too much away, but this is going to be big! Keep an eye out for it landing just before Christmas.

All that said, I’ve decided it’s time to go it alone.

Why I’m doing this

Whilst I loved having a “regular job”, and particularly the chance to dive deep on one project for over two years; I’ve always preferred having the freedom that comes with working for myself. Being able to choose the projects I take on, the people I work with and the time & place of my working day really can’t be beaten. I’ve really missed it!

I’ve got some goals that I promised myself I’d knock down before I was 30, and getting back to working for myself full-time was one of them!

It’s always said that you should scratch your own itches with side-projects, and I’ve a few that I want to dedicate a proper amount of time to explore thoroughly. I’ve noticed some things in a few areas of a few industries that could be much better,and I want to see how my work can improve things.

I want to be very public and open about these projects — both the good times, and the bad — because websites never just appear fully formed, ready to go.

A lot of developers suffer from “Imposter’s Syndrome” - I certainly do at times - because as a collective, we only talk about it when it’s going well, and we’ve got everything figured out. We only write a blog post, or tweet about something once we’ve got it all worked out, even though we might have spent endless frustrating hours getting to that point. It gives less experienced developers an unrealistic view of what it takes to build something, and perpetuates the myth amongst those we work for that what we do is easy.

Developer’s blogs read like people’s Facebook feed — a wall of endless highlights. Instead, they should probably read like a story pulled from the pages of Stack Overflow - although maybe with less snark and sarcasm…

I want to share my process, warts and all, so that we all learn something and perhaps feel a little less uncomfortable with what we don’t know.

Onto new projects!

I’m really excited to work with new people on the projects that keep them up at night. Let me know what you’re struggling with, because I just might have a solution.

I think the people I can help most are those that have the skills to get started, but perhaps not fully execute their idea because of a technical barrier.

Think designers and front-end developers that need a backend or API for their project. Think business owners than need some guidance on technical matters. If you’re a startup that wants to grow, but are worried about how your app will keep up — I can help with that. If you’ve got a codebase that’s starting to get a bit tangled — I want to help you untangle it.

I’m available from October so - regardless of your location, budget, requirements or whatever, I’d be really interested to speak with you and see how I can help. From consulting, to hands-on dev work, to writing and even - gulp! - to speaking; I want to start working on a wide variety of things for a wide variety of awesome people!

Like what you’ve read? Then send me an email.

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