Stories about Software


Some Announcements: Podcasts and T-Shirts and Partnership, Oh My

This post will be neither how-to nor rant, neither philosophical musing nor observation.  Instead, I’m going to offer a handful of pieces of news.  I’m not sure that it’s anything yet polished enough to send to my mailing list, in case you’re wondering why I’m not making a rare use of that.  I’d prefer to save that for more official offerings and announcements.  This is just a handful of things I’d like to collect a bit of data on.

A Podcast Appearance

I was recently invited to appear on Developer on Fire, a podcast hosted by Dave Rael.  If you’ve never had the pleasure, I suggest giving it a listen.  Dave has had quite an impressive list of guests, including Scott Hanselman, Uncle Bob, and DHH among others, so it was both flattering and fun to be added to the roster.  If you want specifically to check out my interview, you can find it here.

I won’t tip my hat with specifics just yet, but I will say that this isn’t the last podcast on which you’ll be able to catch me, so stay tuned!

The Expert Beginner T-Shirt

My wife and I have been toying with 4 Hour Work Week concept of merchandising a bit lately.  In thinking about what we might be able to do together, combining the reach I have with her design chops, the thought of making something around the Expert Beginner emerged (my turn of phrase, her art work).  I’ve also been obsessed with extremely comfortable T-shirts lately, having been exposed to the absolute pinnacle of T-shirt comfort in the form of Pluralsight’s 2015 Author Summit T-shirt.  It is sublime.

Long story short, we’re looking at making a comfy line of Expert Beginner T-shirts.  To see if anyone would actually want this stuff, we’re maybe going to do a kickstarter, but that requires a prototype, which we’ve narrowed down to 3 shirts.  She and I were debating the merits of them, when she suggested we turn it over to a vote of potential customers.

Here are the fronts and backs of the 3 candidates.

Shirt 1

Mock Up 1--Front

Mock Up 1 and 2--Back

Read More


I’m a Business, Man

One thing that I’ve come firmly to believe over the last several years is that every developer should have a business entity.  Please do not confuse this with me saying that every developer should hang out a shingle and become a freelancer.  The staff developer is alive and well and not going anywhere in the near term future.  And, besides, full time hustling isn’t for everyone.

Still, I stand by the claim that every developer should have a business entity.  What I’m referring to here is the idea that you should be your own company, capable of doing business on your own terms, with your own branding.  You should exist on a map of the business world independently of whatever company direct deposits paychecks to you.

Because, right now, for many people, this is the default state of affairs.  As far as the world of commerce is concerned, they exist only as (human) resources on a company’s ledger sheet — essentially property of that company.  And in a world where long term relationships between companies and employees is increasingly a thing of the past, that’s a bumpier ride than it would seem.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a reliable presence through all of that, whatever comes?


We tend to think of going into business for ourselves as mutually exclusive with working a corporate job.  But there’s a different path, which is to establish yourself as a corporate entity alongside your working for a company.  That allows you to maintain gainful employment and a steady paycheck while dipping your toe in the waters of freelance as a weekend warrior.

But, above and beyond that, I would argue that it gradually starts to help make you more marketable as a salaried employee.  If you’re a software developer, you’re competing against other developers for jobs, and you’re competing against a whole slew of people, former-developers and others, for higher paying management positions.  Don’t you think, “I’ve run a business” might help with that job application?  How many of those you’re up against will have maintained budgets, understood operating agreements, contracted with vendors, etc.

In Illinois, where I formed my LLC, it’s comically expensive to incorporate.  I believe it’s more expensive in Illinois than any other state.  It cost me $500 to form the LLC and it costs me $250 per year to maintain it.  That’s an 11 year total of $3,000.  So, let’s set that as an upper bound.

The gamble I’m talking about will then pay off for you so long as you’re able to negotiate $3,000 in extra salary over the next decade.  Do you have any idea how likely this is?  I mean, let’s say you make $50K per year right now and that, with your business credentials, you negotiate an extra 1% pay increase 5 years in.  You’ll make an extra $500 per year over the subsequent 6 years and break even.  That’s it.  One slightly tinier raise, and you win.

I’ll close out this short post by saying that this isn’t purely a motivational speech.  I believe in this strongly enough that I’m starting to work on an offering to help software developers with their independent business affairs.  And, as sort of a beta of this, I’d like to invite anyone in the readership thinking of starting a corporate entity to reach out.  I will basically help you start your business for free, walking you through everything you need to do.  I will have to limit this offer to only a few people due to constraints on my own time, so, first come first serve.  Feel free to send email to erik at daedtech or to send the request as a question through the submit a question form.  Really, feel free to reach out however you’re comfortable.

But, whether you participate in this or not, I think you should do yourself a favor and make yourself a business.

Editorial Note: Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the Beta!  I wanted to make a quick update for anyone still reading that the slots for this offer have been filled.  I’ll keep you posted if I have any further, related offerings.


Happy New Year, 2016

Much like last week’s Friday post, I think a seasonal greeting will suffice.  Thanks very much for reading the blog and all of your feedback and support.  Here’s to a good 2015 in the books and, hopefully, an even better 2016.  Happy New Years to everyone reading!  To celebrate, please enjoy this worried owl.



Merry Christmas, 2015

Big chunks of the world take the day off on Christmas, and I see no reason that DaedTech should buck the trend. So, instead of your usually scheduled Friday post, please enjoy this festive, non-sequitur drawing of a bunny farm.

And, of course, for all Christians reading, have a Merry Christmas! (And to everyone else, hopefully you get to enjoy a relaxing day off).



Happy Thanksgiving, 2015!

For me and for readers in the US, today is Thanksgiving.  So instead of working and writing a DaedTech post, I’m going to be watching football, eating, and relaxing with family.  I suppose I could publish one of my drafts that was written for another blog, but a significant chunk of my audience is going to be spending the weekend with family and not reading technical blogs.  So, I’ll just hold off on a post until next Monday.

For those not in the US, have a good weekend.  For those in the US, have a happy Thanksgiving, and a good long weekend.  Try not to eat too much or kill anyone while shopping on Friday morning.  (Better yet, stay home on Friday morning).  For everyone’s enjoyment, here is a picture of a turkey that my wife drew.