Today was my last day at the job I have had for the past 7 years. This day has been a long time coming but not because anything was bad about the job but about a grand plan I have had for a long time.
This post is partly inspired by DeChamp's post 25 years of coding, and I'm just beginning.
I've been fascinated with computers from a young age. I remember in kindergarten there was a Windows 95 machine running some game and I was just drawn to it - maybe even hogged it a little from the other kids.
In early primary school, I was showing off my amazing skills by... changing the desktop background. You should have seen the amazement in the eyes of other students!
As my skills got better, I more clearly defined what I wanted to be when I grew up. I don't hold much sentimental value in work I did for school but there is one "what do you want to be when you grow up" type assignment that I'm glad my mum kept.
Keep in mind I was 11 when I wrote this and I couldn't spell to save my life.
Now, I don't have half of the degrees I talk about in that letter but the core of what I was meaning there hasn't changed. I do want to be a computer hardware developer, computer software developer and company founder/owner.
Unhappy with the pace of progress in high school, I left it to begin a special course that got me into university earlier than I could have otherwise.
I got my degree and worked as an Apex/PHP/.NET/SysOps/whatever-the-company-needed-me-to-do for the next 7 years which brings us to today - my last day of work.
There is both a certain sense of freedom that comes with working for yourself but also with some amount of uncertainty for the future. One of the biggest uncertainties can be the flow of money coming in and depending what you try and make for yourself, you might have months of low-to-no income.
I'm personally branching out to make a SaaS product and while all my development time is "free as in beer", when you need to worry about legal costs or costs to third-party services, things get more complicated. You can be thousands of dollars out before you've made a single cent.
I may have been running a small business on the side for many years but all this I have ahead of me is still full of unknowns. I don't yet know whether my target audience will accept my product (though people I have talked to so far seem to like it). I don't know if I have made some terrible bug in the code base (bugs happen but you don't want some Day 1 fail scenario).
I may not be the best person to even execute my vision but I think if I try, that's best. To be in a position where you could do what you wanted but let that opportunity slip by may live with you forever.
While I have a lot riding on me being successful in my endeavour, sometimes you need to risk it to get the biscuit...