Today one year ago I officially started as independent developer and I can say it was one of the best decisions I made in my life, till now.
In September 2015 I started quite relaxed, the most of the time I was looking for projects and I was enjoying my new life and responsibilities. Afterwards it was a very good way to start. Getting away from my previous ‘life’. So I found also lots of time to do running 😉
The first projects
My first project was a Quickr project, to help a customer with their customised Quickr environment which was broken after an upgrade. Direct afterwards I started at a big Dutch insurance company as Java developer. The main goal of the project was to build a new financial tool, with lots of calculations and my task was to create the dashboard. It was JSF based with lots of interaction with the background via EJB and JPA.
In this project I felt the benefits of the direction I was going for long a long time in my XPages development, Java first and forget Server Side Java.
With Java as the backend of your XPages app, the application become more stable ( in my opinion ), more scalable and better maintainable.
When you learn Java, there are much more opportunities of projects as a freelance developer, because Java is used in lots of big companies. It will benefit your career 😉
I can also say that what IBM has achieved with XPages runtime, based on JSF 1.2, is amazing. Lots of things we take for granted in XPages Development are not (yet) build in the latest version of JSF (2.2).
End of 2015, while I still was in the Java world, I start do some small projects for Belsoft from Switzerland. Build a XPages application, some widgets for IBM Connections and more. It was a nice combination. Partly doing XPages development, but most of the time in the Java world.
Back in the bubble
End of March the Java project was finished and delivered to the end users. My work for Belsoft increased to 2 days and I found another nice XPages project for 3 days. So my days of the where filled again. Meanwhile I started a new pet project, which was based on an idea of my wife.
Because of all the billable work I found not much time to work on this pet project.
Now my project for 3 days has ended, but I am still helping Belsoft out in their absence of one of the developers. For the other days I have some great opportunities, in the meantime I have some time to, finally, work on my pet project.
As I stated before, it was the best decision I have made. I like to be responsible for everything. Working partly from home is a good fit for me, there are so many ways to stay in touch with people of my network.
One of the downsides is to find time for playing with all the new stuff. This year I fully booked and billable, a luxury, but there was so much new stuff to play around, like BlueMix and lately the XPages runtime. And do work for my pet project.
I enjoyed the first year very much, learned a lot, not only development related.