2009 Year in Review

Well the past 12 months have gone by really fast, again. It seems I always tell myself this each New Year’s Eve. So looking back on 2009:

Ruby on Rails Consulting

I have made many changes in the past year from a business standpoint, taking on more Ruby on Rails projects and less .NET projects. I think the decision to transition to more Rails projects has been a welcomed change from .NET if only to be doing something new. I have to say the quality of potential .NET projects is a lot higher than Rails, but I’m not sure why. I tend to think it might be because Rails tends to attract too many clients with little or no money, but this is just a guess based on observations.

iPhone Development

I signed up in the later part of 2008 for the iPhone Developer Program with the intention of putting my stake in the ground and implementing some ideas I had for mobile applications I thought would be good on the iPhone.

To say the least I was disappointed by the way Apple has been processing app store submissions and subsequent seemingly random rejections. It would take a lot for me to spend 3-6 months writing an app *hoping* Apple is kindhearted enough to accept it into their store for someone to possibly find. Not going to happen.

I may revisit the platform at a later time if the approval process changes because I think it is a great platform for developing apps, I am just not into playing the app store approval lottery.

Freelancing

I have been doing full-time freelancing for over three years now and 2009 really was a pinnacle of the realization how difficult it can be. The year started off very well but as summer came and things slowed down to a crawl but picked up again in the Fall. It was really a feast or famine time and it has made me realize just how hard it is to juggle the “feast” portion of freelancing.

It has made me realize how much consulting or freelancing does not scale. I can’t work 80 hrs a week for any number of clients, the work suffers, health suffers and overall life suffers. A freelancer can only work so many hours at full-speed but when times are tough, it gets really tough.

Unless you can juggle getting work, doing the work and getting more work in a reasonable time frame, it can be tough.

Looking Ahead

I think this is one aspect I need to change in my approach for 2010. Things are already in the works but I won’t go into detail right now, but expect news in the coming weeks.

I wish every one of my readers a happy and healthy new year and look forward to 2010.

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  • http://www.enlightsolutions.com/ Dan Pickett

    I struggled with the same issues freelancing in 2009. I was very fortunate to have great clients, but I found selling to new clients proved very difficult and time consuming. I think that over time, I did become better at qualifying leads and working through the sales cycle, but it still is very time intensive while you’re trying to manage your current workload.
    Thanks for your candor! Good luck in 2010!

  • http://www.enlightsolutions.com Dan Pickett

    I struggled with the same issues freelancing in 2009. I was very fortunate to have great clients, but I found selling to new clients proved very difficult and time consuming. I think that over time, I did become better at qualifying leads and working through the sales cycle, but it still is very time intensive while you’re trying to manage your current workload.

    Thanks for your candor! Good luck in 2010!

  • http://www.accidentaltechnologist.com/ Rob Bazinet

    @Dan – Thanks for the comment. I think freelancers just need to put aside a fixed amount of time each week to dedicate to marketing and other non-paying work. It is very hard to think we can work 9-5, bill 40 hrs and "go home". If that is the case you are just an employee w/o benefits.

  • http://www.accidentaltechnologist.com Rob Bazinet

    @Dan – Thanks for the comment. I think freelancers just need to put aside a fixed amount of time each week to dedicate to marketing and other non-paying work. It is very hard to think we can work 9-5, bill 40 hrs and "go home". If that is the case you are just an employee w/o benefits.

  • http://integrumtech.com/ Derek Neighbors

    I think that lately Apple has been much more timely in approving applications. Doing Rails and iPhone together opens lots of possibilities. Curious to hear more thoughts about differences in customers, projects and code from .NET to Rails.

  • http://integrumtech.com Derek Neighbors

    I think that lately Apple has been much more timely in approving applications. Doing Rails and iPhone together opens lots of possibilities. Curious to hear more thoughts about differences in customers, projects and code from .NET to Rails.