My 5 Reasons for Going Indie

Becoming an independent software developer is the dream of many people doing their daily 9-to-5 slavery. It is mine, too. However, you can’t just decide to do this step, quit your job and tomorrow you’re an independent developer.

If you decide to walk this path, you will first be forced to give up a lot of your precious free time by working on your own projects on the evenings and weekends in addition to your day job. You’ll have to do this for months or even years to come in order to build a portfolio of products that generate enough additional income so you can switch to only working your day job half-time.

That’s exactly the point I’m at now and I’ve got the feeling that, just like in a marathon race, there will be a time when you reach the thirty kilometer mark and you’ll ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?”. Then you need a good answer that keeps you going, one that gives you drive. My 5 reasons for becoming and indie, for going all the way, will be:

  • I want to set my own times. With a job, I cannot just decide to go out jogging on sunny days or when I feel like it. It’s depressing to get up while it’s dark, work the entire day and drive home in the dark again during the winter months.

  • I want to decide what I do, and why. In the corporate environment, you are assigned a task and then that’s what you’re going to do. Granted, I have quite some influence here in my current job, but I still have to help fulfill the company goal. It’s like driving in a bus: You are free to choose your seat, but you have to cope with other passengers and neither the route nor the time are under your control.

  • I want to be proud of what I produce. At least for me, things produced in the corporate environment never live up to my standards. There are other developers with other priorities that produce tons of uncommented, badly abstracted code all the time. I’m not free to choose whether I accept these people on my team or not. I have to live with them.

  • I want to become rich. You’re reading right. Call me a dreamer then, a heretic even, for thinking that I can become rich as an indie developer. But fact is, I do. One thing should be clear: You will not become rich as a corporate working slave. If you want to get the money, you need to be the one in control. Maybe I’ll have to turn my indie business into a startup game development company some day to achieve this goal. So be it. I will not stop there.

  • I want to be in control. Have a bad feeling about some concept and would rather put it aside to see how it develops before doing the grunt work? Forced to do crunch time but know for sure that the deadline is but an artificial one? It’s not about choosing the easy way out – it’s about who decides what to do!

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