My Story

A recent head shot.

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.

Techie Jobs

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 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!”

Four Lists

One day I sat down and made four lists of reasons:

  1. Reasons to work for myself.
  2. Reasons to not work for myself.
  3. Reasons to work for someone else.
  4. 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!

Here Goes!

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, 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!