It has been a little over two full months since I left my cushy corporate job and decided to make my own schedule, manage my own projects and “make my own shit”. The schedule and project part is going great. I have two good projects in the can with two more currently in the works. I have been working with some great companies and brands such as Dr Seuss, Kraft, the NFL, PBS Kids, Toyota and others. Mostly I am the “behind the scenes” hired gun coder so I never get to meet the people from these great companies, but I love the work and it certainly has been quite a little adventure. I have not had much time “to make my own shit” other than the HTMl5 Canvas book I am working on with Steve.
Change Requests Suck (but are a necessary evil)
I spent 13 years on the other side, doling out the coding side of projects and being the “tech guy” for Mattel toys. Because of this I certainly understand where some of the changes and odd last minute requests come from. Mostly they are from the legal department but various other sources such as brand managers, corporate communications, and even procurement can get involved in change requests. I have been handling these well because I know to build into my quotes a certain CR padding that all projects encounter. It isn’t much, and normally it isn’t enough to cover all of the QA, button size changes, graphic tweaks, etc for the most discerning of clients, but it is enough so I feel comfortable giving a quote that will cover my bases well. That being said, I still have not been able to make my old hourly salary, I am now making roughly 50% of what I made at my corporate job, and I am spending about 50% more time than I used to. I’m no math major, but this means I certainly am not doing this for the money. Why then?
Some questions and answers in a single sentence:
Here are a few of the many questions people have been asking me lately. I will attempt to answer them all in a single sentence:
The Bright Spots
The bright spots are all of the times I get to walk my son to and from school and all of the times I am not missing as he and his little brother grow up. Work is work, but I love this work, I love the commute, and the location and I hope and wish everyone else the same.
Also, the experience I am gaining is immense and my personal library of reusable code and engines grows by the day.