Today is my last day before going back to full-time contract work. I’ve been off since September 15 — a full two months.
When I finished up with my last client, I needed to take a break. I’ve been a full-time contract software developer for almost seven years now with no real break between projects. It was time to recharge the batteries.
As it turns out, what I needed was time to work on my own projects. I was looking for a break from contract development and the break turned out to be filled with more software development.
What I found is that one of the best methods of recharging my energy and enthusiasm for programming is to work on my own projects. There’s something special about taking one of your own ideas and turning it into a working product. It’s completely different than working for someone else.
The first full day I had off to myself, I was overwhelmed with the amount of free time I had on my hands. Now that I look back, I’m amazed that I was able to virtually fill all of it and that it went so fast.
Working from home with no distractions, I was able to complete more than I would have ever imagined. My plan was to have a working prototype for a computer game; to be far enough along with enough momentum that I could carry on development when back working full-time for a client.
I out did myself. I actually have a functionally complete game that only needs some details to be finished and is awaiting professional artwork to be completed and integrated. Additionally, I have a working prototype for a second product that is awaiting its turn for my attention.
Both projects are for the Mac platform, on which I have no real prior development experience. I’ve progressed from a complete beginner in Objective-C and Cocoa to someone who knows enough to be dangerous.
As this day quickly approached, I was initially very envious of other bloggers who have made the permanent jump to full-time MicroISV status. But, I’m now feeling pretty good about what I’ve accomplished in such a short time and very thankful that I was able to take the two months off.
I’m also lucky that my new project looks to be quite interesting. No, it’s not for the Mac, but it looks like I may get to work with .NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and the newest version of SQL-Server.
As much fun as my new contract looks to be, I can’t help but look forward to the opportunity to work full-time on my own ideas again. My next goal: to put enough away in the bank for my next hiatus. Maybe, the next one can be longer.