Hello, my name is Tom Hartung and I have been working with computers for most of my life.
I really enjoy working with computers — so much so in fact that I earned a Masters Degree learning about them, and now have a static IP address so that I can run several websites out of my home.
For a long time, I did technical work.
Whenever a recession would hit, I would look at my doctor, dentist, and car guy and notice that they might have fewer customers, but would not be totally out of business. I would wonder if there was some way for my income to have that kind of resilience.
Every day I would fret about how I could balance using existing technologies to give my employers 110%, with how I could also learn new technologies so that I could remain marketable in the long term.
Every day I would worry about when the next recession might hit, or my skills might suddenly become obsolete, or my boss’s boss’s boss would make a bad decision, and I would be completely out of a job due to no fault of my own — with semi-obsolete skills, at best.
Techie Meetups and Conferences
One day I started attending meetups, and that led to meeting lots of people who work for themselves. The meetups I go to also led to learning about Denver Startup Week and a slew of more specialized and hence smaller local conferences.
All of these conferences have not just technical sessions but also talks and panels offering advice to self-employed freelance consultants. These sessions include tips on how to find customers, make sure they are satisfied, etc.
I also take advantage of mentoring sessions whenever they are available, and somewhere along the line I learned about medium.com. After awhile I began thinking, “Hey, If I go into business for myself, I could fix both the recession and the keeping-up-to-date anxieties — and if I do it right, maybe even make more money while I’m at it!”
One day I sat down and made four lists of reasons:
- Reasons to work for myself.
- Reasons to not work for myself.
- Reasons to work for someone else.
- Reasons to not work for someone else.
Lists (1) and (4) contained many reasons, but lists (2) and (3) had only a very few. What’s more, they were very weak reasons, such as “that’s what I’ve always done” and “that’s what I am most comfortable with.”
This was when I started thinking, continuing to look for full time work in today’s dynamic economy and rapidly-changing tech environment is essentially a bad habit — essentially a bit like smoking!
There’s nothing I like more than a challenge, but to be honest, I’m a bit nervous about this one.
I believe we are extremely fortunate to live during a time when there are resources such as the Commons on Champa, medium.com and the Free Code Camp, because they have advice for people like me a-plenty!
My Next Project?
If you have a part-time project suitable for someone with my skills, please contact me!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!