I saw this tweet tonight and thought of dignity in hiring.
I admittedly didn’t read through the site in a ton of detail, but notwithstanding that, I found myself feeling a little giddy. Apologies in advance for the spoiler, but one of the main things for which I’ll be advocating in my in-progress book, Developer Hegemony, is that software developers stop commoditizing their labor at pennies on the dollar. Instead, I think they/we should form organizational structures akin to law firms, and sell software expertise as a professional service. With this model, a rising tide will lift all boats. Even the odd staff developer at some non-software company will be paid more like staff counsel than like someone with 4 layers of middle management between them and people that make decisions.
But, I digress. I mention seeing this site because it was a hopeful reminder that better ways of marrying developers with automation needs are on the way. And, for my part, I’ve been thinking about how to get there, and not just for the purpose of my book.
A bit under 2 years ago, I realized that I’d completely burned out on salaried, exempt (i.e. full time) employment. At the core of this was the feeling that exclusive employment cedes entirely too much control over one’s circumstances to another entity. On a long enough timeline, you’ll find yourself in a situation you don’t like, doing things that you think are stupid, and hoping for reprieve before you have to make the life-disrupting decision to go job hunting on the sly.
So, I followed the advice that brings you continuous integration: if it hurts, do it more and more, until it’s painless. I decided that, whether it be with employers, clients, or anything else, I’d never be completely able to prevent a situation from going sideways. But what I can control is how easy it is for me to hit the eject button when it does. And having a bunch of different clients and a whole ton of connections makes any single depression of the eject button relatively painless for me. I was done putting all of my eggs in one basket.
That’s gone quite well. These days I have more offers for work than I can take on, and a lot of different connections, contacts, and clients. Life is good. Maintaining my own pipeline is not without its drawbacks. When you’re taking a break from your 9 to 5 gig on weekends, you might well find me invoicing or following up on prospective contracts. But, I wouldn’t trade the relative freedom when it comes to controlling my working destiny. I work more hours than most, but none of those hours are spent doing things that I think are stupid, at the behest of some megalomaniacal expert beginner. And that has made all the difference. Read More