Let the Games begin!

June 5, 2023

Hello there y’all.

For my first post I chose a topic that I’ve been thinking about for a while. It is about a career pendulum, how that marks the beginning of a new season of “the games” for me, and my bucket list for the next couple (🤞) of months.

If you have not read The Engineer/Manager pendulum, very well written by Charity Majors, I highly recommend it!

The career pendulum I will describe here is a bit or byte different, hopefully! It is about Software Developer FTE vs Consultant pendulum. One that I’ve found myself twice in the past 10-ish years.

    But before I begin my very first post, let me clarify a two things:
    1. I am not a technical writer, I am a human who writes Software for a leaving for 20+ years;
    2. English is not my first language, so this is scary. I appreciate any report of wrong usage of the (not programming) language syntax or semantics! :-D

Ok, with that out the way, let’s dive into the FTE vs Consultant pendulum!

I’ve found myself in this position twice in the past 10-ish years, which is somewhat the 2nd half of my career. After I transitioned into Web Development using RoR stack. So this post is mostly about my perception of the experiences in my career that lead me through this pendulum.

    Here is the high level summary of the pendulum:
    1. You enjoy your time & work as a FTE
    2. Get stuck, unmotivated, stop learning new things, or gets assigned shit work
    3. Leave through the pain (of day to day in a boring FTE job) until enough is enough
    4. Decide that another job isn’t a solution, but instead do Consultancy
    5. Start network around, find night-time consulting small jobs
    6. Make the full switch from FTE to consultant

Does any of this seem familiar to you?! Have you found yourself in any of these scenarios?

I guess we all go through phases in our tenure in any company. And most likely, the majority of employees manage to live through it and remain in the same company. This used to be more common for past generations where the norm is to stay in the same company the entire career.

A small portion transition from one job to another, until they are old enough or tired of switching jobs or learn to remain unaffected by these cycles.

And another portion, which I believe is as a very small group, go into Consultancy or Entrepreneurship, and break out with FTE.

In the last 10-ish years of my career I feel like I am that group. Despite the fact I do believe I lived through some cycles in my last FTE, which started as a part time consultant.

    And once you are in the Consultant phase, here are the summary of the pendulum:
    1. Find 1 customer that pays good enough and provide interesting problem to solve
    2. Do contribute to OSS in between customers, or for a small part of the week
    3. Do write blogs, tutorials, books, and content in general
    4. Starts to feel the pain of marketing, selling projects, and finding customers
    5. Job posting starts catching your eye until long periods of no income sink in
    6. Starts applying for jobs, and at some point you are back into FTE

I’d like to think money and the necessity to sell yourself (meaning: your consulting services) over and over again are the most common triggers to go back to FTE. And these are in fact, by a far measure, the reasons I’ve switched back from Consultant to FTE the first time around.

But some people are good and enjoy these challenges enough to be successful and earn an income good enough that keeps them going.

And I say that with the heart and brain full of hope this time around I will make it! 🤞

And this time around, I am older and wiser (or at least I like to think - also, this is my blog so I can brag about myself as much as I'd like to :-D). And I am doing a few things differently...

    So, in order to help keep a healthy pressure on me (or a bit different from the silent one from my dear spouse), I have created a bucket list:
    1. ✅ I will start blogging with the hope of never stopping.
    2. ✅ I will start contributing to OSS and hope to keep a healthy pace.
    3. in_progress I will build a new SaaS (currently in the concept phase).
    4. future I will give TCard a spin-off try.
    5. after #3 is in production I will build a 2nd small SaaS with a $1 per month subscription for web, iOS, and/or Android phones.
    6. at_any_time Take on part-time consultancy work, so I can keep the bills in good standing.

Esteemed gentlepersons (🌈), ladies, and gentlemen: let the games begin!

But before I go, if you read it all and it is still here with me, please send me comments, suggestions, questions or just say hi on or by .