Today is my last day as an employee at Enough Software and as of tomorrow, I will be independent. Hopefully this means I'll get to spend more time working on iOS and Mac projects of my own, but especially in the early stages of my new-found freedom, I will do a lot of contracting to cover the bills and make enough money to pay for our upcoming wedding (in September) and our honeymoon (January 2012).
Over the years, I got to work on a number of exciting projects (such as S-Banking, which was #1 in the German App Store for quite some time and was even featured in one of Apple's TV commercials in Germany) at Enough Software, and I'll really miss the place and my co-workers. There are a lot of talented and bright people working here (including the best boss in the world), and transitioning from working at an office to working from home won't be easy. I'll also miss downtown Bremen, which is an awesome place to work - everything is so close!
On the other hand, I already have the best co-workers in the world, on Twitter. Fraser Speirs once said that Twitter is like an office for the self-employed, and I couldn't agree more. Before Twitter, it would have been harder for me to take this step. I am pretty certain that I would feel that my fiancÚ, Maxie, and I were going through this alone and that no-one could possibly relate to what we're doing. With Twitter, I know there are dozens of others who have made the same experience or are doing it right now. When I tweeted about my last day as an employee, I got over 50 people congratulating me and wishing me good luck in my future endeavours in a matter of hours. People were even complaining (jokingly, I hope) that their timeline consisted of nothing but people congratulating me. If this isn't the right place and the right time, what is?
I am really excited about the upcoming changes, but of course, as with any life-altering decisions, I am also a little scared. It might all backfire and I might be looking for a new permanent position in a few months. I am hoping that my skills as an Objective-C developer are sufficient, so this hopefully won't happen. But there are just too many variables in a situation like this and it might not depend solely on my abilities.
I'm already working on a new iPhone app which I'll hopefully be able to tell you more about in a few weeks. I also have just started a contracting gig for a well-known Cocoa developer here in Germany, so my bases for the beginning should be covered. I also have a half-finished update for Folio Case, which needs just a little fine-tuning, localization and beta testing before it's ready to go out. Looks like there won't be a shortage of projects for a while. :-)
In the end, working on my own means that I will enjoy a lot more freedom than I used to have. I will have a say in which projects I will do, and which projects I won't do. If the market stays the way it is, this might mean that I will get to try new things and even have my input on UI and UX valued - which isn't always the case when you're contracting. It means letting go of a steady income, which is something I will have to adjust to, but I am pretty certain that eventually, it will be worth it from a financial perspective - not to mention my personal happiness.
Today is my last day as an employee. Tomorrow, I will be an indie.