Have you ever stopped to think about how lucky you are, developer? We live in a very unique momentum where us, software developers, are very privileged. And the reason is very simple: apart from a computer, we don't need any other raw materials to create amazing things.
Naturally, you need knowledge. But you can get all necessary technical knowledge for free on the Internet! If you want to be a developer, it will be just a matter of time and patience. And practice. Can you imagine this being possible for other generations before you? Even today, if you compare programming with any other activities, I strongly believe that we have much more resources available for free on the Internet than any other professionals. Easy to study, easy to practice. Of course it should be like this, since we build the Internet.
In fact, programming is not comparable with any other profession / activity, if you think about it. Where else do you create things only from your ideas? You might think about a writer or an artist, but this is completely different. We create things with behaviour. We create things that are dynamic. They change, they interact, they grow. Just like us! We create software in our image and likeness.
And that's not the only reason why we are lucky. Think about how much the entrepreneurship scenario changed in the last decade. Forget about Silicon Valley and the big companies: I'm talking about independent work by software developers. Small companies, or even individuals.
When I think about entrepreneurship, I think about creating a new software or online service. I could build something all by myself, only me and my computer. When my father thinks about entrepreneurship, he thinks about factories (real ones, not the pattern) and employees. He thinks about raw materials and shipping.
We don't need to worry about any of this. In fact, there are so many different opportunities today for us, that we don't even need to think about opening a company.
Advertisement (like Google AdSense) and independent book publishing (like LeanPub) are great examples on how you can use your programming skills to earn money in a completely independent way. No regular contracts, no clients. You have a shitload of work for some time, and after that you can just keep collecting your royalties.
I'm not saying that it's easy. No, by no means. Working for a company is much easier, because they tell you what to do and you have your money guaranteed at the end of the month. But if you feel that you don't fit in a regular job - like I feel -, going independent is an amazing experience that might completely change your life!
And a final piece of advice: if you want to endure the independent path, start slowly - don't just quit your job. You don't know yet if this is what you are looking for - like I said, it's not easy; feels much like leaving mom and daddy's home to live by yourself. Some people won't adapt. Find some time to work in parallel, and if everything goes well, you can make a decision based on real facts, not on projections.
We, developers, we have the power of creation ;) Use it wisely!
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