You may have noticed a dramatic shift in my online presence over the past few months. At the beginning of May, I more-or-less shut down Twitter, flushed the cache from my RSS reader, and stopped watching Red Sox games on MLB Live (well… mostly). This was in service to the regaining of my mojo, which I had lost (or least let wilt).
Although I make my living by consulting, I screwed up pretty royally in the past 2 years — allowing myself to switch from a consulting role to a contracting role. While you can make better money contracting (because you end up working long hours writing code rather than jumping in and out providing answers), it’s a big mistake for US and European developers. If you want to have people pay you First-World wages for your development skills, you have to stay ahead of the mainstream. If you are contracting, you inevitably focus in on a single development stack, a single paradigm, and a single problem domain. Email queries to you about availability and recent articles slow down and that’s fine, because you’re too busy with your contract to help people for free. And your livelihood becomes overly dependent on one or two customers. If, in the face of an economic slowdown, they decide to cease investing in advancing their infrastructure, you no longer have an Inbox full of recent questions to work for leads.
Tempting as it is, I am going to skip further discussion of lessons learned and mistakes to avoid…
And move on to the thrilling tale of getting my mojo back by way of the iPhone app store.
Stay tuned for the next thrilling chapter! Part 1: Desperately Seeking Ka-Ching