Have you thought about quitting your job as a software developer to find a place to fit it in the freelancing world? Maybe a work from home setup suits you well. In this article, I will tackle about why software developers often think about their great resignation.
Here are the topics I'll be touching on in this article:
- Why Software Developers have priority boarding for this Flight to Freedom - Why Are Software Developers Leading The Great Resignation? - What are the benefits of working from home as a software developer? - Are you thinking about quitting your software development job? - Final Thoughts
Why Software Developers have priority boarding for this Flight to Freedom
If the global 2020-2021 Coronavirus pandemic taught the business world one thing, it’s that remote work and the flexibility it provides is loved by the majority of the workforce. Not only have more and more people found the joys of working from home, but many have hung up their 9-5 hats in search of sustaining this freeing lifestyle.
The rise in self-employed opportunities, combined with the desire for flexibility, has caused what is fast becoming known as “The Great Resignation”. Also known as the “Big Quit”, this movement aligns itself with the rising availability of self-employment opportunities, with alternative forms of income now providing sustainable and secure ways of quitting a 9-5 while still maintaining a high income.
From taking up freelance work contracts to setting up their own business or even creating their own Micro SaaS applications, software developers are using their valued skills to find new and exciting work opportunities. And they’re not the only ones, with over four million Americans quitting their full-time jobs in April of 2021.
As vaccination rates go up and businesses start asking their employees to return to work, many are affronted by one simple question - do I want to go back to the old way of working?
Why Are Software Developers Leading The Great Resignation?
By its very nature, software can be developed from anywhere as long as you have a computer and an internet connection. Contrast that with “on-site” vocations such as plumbers, nurses, waiters, actors, etc where remote work just isn’t an option.
Given this, it should come as little surprise that after getting a taste of the potential freedom on offer, that resignations subsequently increased by 4.5% in Tech employees between 30-45 years olds.
Another reason that software developers are resigning is due to the high demand for their skills. There are a whole number of side hustles for software developers that are easy for them to start, using their skills to build websites, applications, or simply automate processes for others.
With their skills in demand and the lack of location dependence, software developers - now more than ever - are switching out their 9-5 for a more flexible form of working.
The flexibility offered during the work-from-home period of the pandemic showed a large number of programmers just how liberating working in your own space can be. Without the need to commute, people were suddenly blessed with extra hours of their day and more control of their time.
Regarding time, an incredible 80% of US workers reported that prior to the pandemic, they didn’t have enough time to do everything they wanted to in their daily lives. To work at a high-level in the corporate world, the general sentiment is that you have to give up other aspects of your life - be it your social life, family life, time to yourself, or another one of your priorities.
This phenomenon of our work-life slowly overtaking our actual life is known as Time Poverty, with the hours available in the day not quite feeling like enough anymore.
The hours saved on commuting was the first eye-opening experience for many full-time developers, with those extra hours allowing them to reclaim an aspect of their Time Poverty. From there, the desire for freedom has only risen.
What are the benefits of working from home as a software developer?
After a taste of the good life while working from home, many people are now determined to keep their work situation that way. While many businesses are now offering more flexible working schedules, some companies are rushing their employees back to the office.
In retort to this, a huge 40% of White-Collar Americans have said that they would rather completely quit their job rather than return to work. It’s not particularly difficult to see why, there is a whole range of benefits from working from home:
- Increased Productivity - a combination of the below factors mean that ultimately you will be a much more productive employee for the company.
- Zero Commute - those wasted hours spent commuting can be spent with family or learning new skills instead. Financially, you’ll also be much better off as working from home saves the average person $4,000 a year in commute-associated fees.
- Less Interruptions - in an office environment, it’s too easy to be distracted by colleagues coming over to you to talk to you (about work or life outside of work). Given context switching is especially taxing as a software developer, being able to focus on tasks without interruptions is a much needed breath of fresh air!
- Work-Life Balance - When working from home, you have more flexibility to choose the hours you work, generally you can start earlier or later without an issue.
- Meeting Multitasking - if you’re in a meeting where you’re not one of the key speakers, when it’s in-person you have no choice but to sit there and fake interest. On remote meetings, as long as you’re looking at the screen most of the time you can be working on something menial during the meeting without looking out of place.
- More Sleep - with no commute any longer, it means you have a greater time period to dedicate to sleep each night. More sleep equals greater levels of concentration and creativity, which will naturally boost your productivity.
- More Exercise - it’s difficult to do any meaningful exercise during the day whilst working in an office. Whereas, at home you can go for a morning jog, do some yoga, life weights at lunch or whatever takes your fancy. You’re at home and can quickly shower without having the need to try to cram the rush to the gym, workout, shower, rush back, eat within the space of 60 minutes!
- Eating healthier & cheaper - when I worked in a city centre office, we would go out for a walk at lunchtime and most of the time we’d end up at the food court. Needless to say the food was neither cheap, nor healthy. Working from home, you can spend more time preparing healthier meals and the small increase in your supermarket bill will be far less than what you were spending on office lunches.
Are you thinking about quitting your software development job?
If you’re a software engineer that's fed up with your 9-5, your skillset puts you in an attractive position to be able to jump ship.
Your first thought may be to jump to a different company that promotes remote working. You’ll want to bear in mind that you’ll now be competing against a global resource pool and those remote-only roles will be in high demand due to the wave of wannabe remote workers.
Alternatively, you might consider freelancing on sites like Upwork, which you can start as a side-hustle and slowly build it up over time.
However, both of the above are forms of Active Income, where you trade your hours for a fixed income. In a permanent role, you’re likely paid per month and freelancing you’re likely paid a day rate.
As part of this working revolution, software developers have started to realize they can use their existing coding skills to develop passive income streams via small SaaS (Software as a Service) applications.
These “Micro SaaS” apps are typically self-funded (generally just the founder’s time investment) and built by a solo founder to fix a problem for a specific niche audience. These Micro SaaS create a stream of reliable monthly income for the founder.
Over time, by building up this income stream, software developers are able to comfortably make enough to match and exceed their current salaries. What’s more, they’re able to do so without putting in additional hours or dancing to someone else's tune.
A great example of a successful Micro SaaS is the Closet Tools chrome extension, created by Jordan O’Connor to help his wife automate some of the tedious tasks on Poshmark. Little did he know he’d stumbled on a great Micro SaaS opportunity which led to him building his app up to $32k monthly recurring revenue as a solo founder!
If you’re a software developer looking to escape the 9-5, then take a look at my beginner’s guide to building a Micro SaaS application. It details the whole process from idea to exit.
It’s a road I’m familiar with as I was able to quit my job and enjoy a new found freedom through Micro SaaS. With your existing software development skills, you might be surprised by how easy it is to get started!
From remote only roles, to freelancing and creating Micro SaaS applications, The Great Resignation is sweeping the globe, with more and more people embracing alternative forms of working.
Rejecting the antiquated system of the 9-5, millions of software developers around the world are starting to think outside the box. They’re figuring out how they can quit their corporate jobs and set out on a path to time and financial freedom.
Considering the rising availability of side hustles for a software developer, making the jump isn’t as hard as it once was. The 9-5 corporate lifestyle continues to look less attractive as time goes on, especially for those motivated to change the way they work.
If you’ve already got this far, what are you waiting for?
Join our growing Facebook group of Micro SaaS Founders that are helping each other move forward on this exciting journey. See you on the inside!
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