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nightlife

Self-employed

  • 23rd Apr, 2006 at 9:11 PM


Candles
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Friday morning, I cleaned off denizsarikaya's memorial. People don't dust it often enough, but I thought I'd better before I said goodbye. You see, it was my last day working at NITI. At the end of the day, I fired off a last e-mail and packed my things away. As I slung my backpack on, I looked around the office and got that forlorn feeling. Then it was off to my farewell party.

Thanks to all who showed up to Hurley's. It's been a pleasure working with you, or almost working with you. One of the things I'll miss the most is sitting at work, late at night, talking shop. I love being surrounded by smart, passionate people.

Luckily, I'll still be your co-worker. I'm still going to be release manager for all our Free Software offerings. This is quite in line with our tradition of having people leave and still hack on WvStreams. Which reminds me that I still have a couple of bugs to quash before the next release can come out.

This weekend, I've been spending my few scant days happily unemployed. I spent Saturday finishing off my tax report. Since it was a rather dull task, I worked by candlelight. What can I say? I'm a Romantic gentleman. Today, I've lounged about in my housecoat reading books and sleeping.

Alas, I won't be retiring as a gentleman of leisure. Instead, I have become self-employed. Because I'm not a layabout, I actually have a contract. Tomorrow, I start working with Canonical, a very fine company indeed. I'll be working with them on Ubuntu, as their first Quality Controller.

Good thing I like control.

But what's the point in being self-employed if you only have one contract? What else do you guys think I should do to expand? I have a diverse set of skills and a sense of adventure. I'm thinking those things are in need in this world, don't you?


Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
kyotto
24th Apr, 2006 01:22 (UTC)
woah did I ever miss something... mmmmm working by contract is good... generally if they like you you can pick up additional contracts... also what's good about contract work is that it's easier to take time off.

*superhugs*

C.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 01:44 (UTC)
Time off? What's that?
thothmeister
24th Apr, 2006 01:34 (UTC)
You're thinking like I do as a freelance writer, trying to get more than one contract at a time. My friend gothamajp is more successful at that.

I'll be making my PC dual boot when next I can loh in to Windows - especially considering how I often need to use Linux Live CDs to get in.

I still haven't managed to truly sat goodbye to Deniz yet; I'm still linked to her LJ as a form of tributary.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 01:41 (UTC)
Well, I want to expand my horizons a bit. Working in technology for money is lucrative, but I could see myself getting bored with it twenty years hence. I like to prepare myself for these eventualities.
(no subject) - thothmeister - 24th Apr, 2006 01:45 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 24th Apr, 2006 01:49 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - joenotcharles - 24th Apr, 2006 04:20 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sfllaw - 24th Apr, 2006 04:29 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - andukar - 24th Apr, 2006 14:44 (UTC) - Expand
urbangeo
24th Apr, 2006 02:18 (UTC)
Sounds like an interesting job. I've used Ubuntu LiveCD briefly and if I were to ever switch to Linux that would be what I'd likely use.

I am rather curious though, how does a company that works to develop open-source software sustain itself in the post tech-bubble burst? I know Mozilla has done this partly through their inclusion of the Google search-bar integrated into the browser, but I'm wondering how Canonical is doing it (unless of course that info is covered by an NDA of some sort)?
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 02:22 (UTC)
I have yet to understand the specifics of Canonical's business model.

But an interesting realisation is that people in the business world really want to pay for things. And now, many systems are becoming obsolete and so they are looking to replace them. If they want to offer money for free software, who are we to stop them?

This, of course, is a simplified view of things. But there is often some value-added to the software itself, that makes the contract worthwhile.
abelynx
24th Apr, 2006 03:27 (UTC)
awesome and welcome aboard the world of freelancing!!
(I like that there's the word "free" in freelancing :P)

does this mean you have more time?
interested in doing work for shares for a really up-and-coming cool record label/production company? which also does web contracts btw, so if you are interested, then i can list you as a resource, be it IT or artistic.. People already working the IT side of things could really use a hand.. so i guess in a way, i'm trying to recruit you into our circle of freelancers? huh? whatdyasay?
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 03:34 (UTC)
I'd be happy to talk. When's a good time for coffee?
(no subject) - abelynx - 24th Apr, 2006 11:52 (UTC) - Expand
thewronghands
24th Apr, 2006 07:49 (UTC)
Congratulations on your new course of action; may it bring you success! And indeed, working by candlelight is romantic. [grin] I think reading books in a housecoat almost works too. As far as expanding your clientele, what sorts of contracts would you be most interested in? What would you like to do?
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 16:52 (UTC)
I think I still need to grok my entire situation. It's really rather shocking to be self-employed. I didn't understand the gravity of the situation, all this paperwork is quite heavy!

I'm also confused about what I'd like to do, because I don't think I go about doing things in the same way as most people. I seem to enjoy designing beautiful things. It doesn't matter what those things are, as long as they're beautiful.

More practically, I'm good at architecting software, groking deep problems, philosophizing, and information security. I suppose I could also look to do some writing or photography. It's all up in the air.
(Anonymous)
24th Apr, 2006 08:27 (UTC)
Sad to see you go! I was really looking forward to chatting with you once again when I started my workterm at NITI in a few weeks.

I must admit that when news of your birthday party came out, I didn't go because I was somewhat busy at the time, and I thought "I'll just see him again if I get back to NITI."

I should have made the time! Hopefully we can grab a drink sometime.

Regards, Adam Zey.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 17:00 (UTC)
I'm sure we will. It's not like I've moved away. Surely I'll drop by the Montréal office often enough.
scaffold
24th Apr, 2006 10:58 (UTC)
Congratulations:) Yay for freedom.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 16:57 (UTC)
Thanks!
phrawzty
24th Apr, 2006 12:20 (UTC)
"Canonical is a global organisation headquartered in the Isle of Man..."

The Isle of Man! They speak Manx there! Awesome. :)

Anyhoo, good luck w/ the future endeavours, mate. You strike me as the type of person that can be successful at more or less anything, so i'm certain that you've got nothing to worry about.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 17:05 (UTC)
They do! Though Manx nearly died out.

Thanks for the well-wishes. We'll see how well I do, empirically.
dcoombs
24th Apr, 2006 13:21 (UTC)
Good luck Simon! I wish I could have seen you at Hurley's, but I had to catch the last train of the evening. ppatters will attest that I certainly did have a beer in your honour, at the very least.

In any case, we will see each other soon.

sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 17:06 (UTC)
Yes, we shall! I look forward to more snobbery in the near future.
princessleia2
24th Apr, 2006 16:28 (UTC)
Tomorrow, I start working with Canonical, a very fine company indeed. I'll be working with them on Ubuntu, as their first Quality Controller.

That's great! Congrats.

I don't have any advice for expanding your network of contacts though, I've done it all through the internet, and only recently have gotten to a point where I actually might be able to survive being self-employed again. Alas, for now I keep plugging away at a job that pays the bills.
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 18:27 (UTC)
How have you been finding people over the Internet? Just LiveJournal?
(no subject) - princessleia2 - 26th Apr, 2006 01:34 (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
sfllaw
24th Apr, 2006 18:27 (UTC)
Thank you!
cloquewerk
25th Apr, 2006 07:05 (UTC)
Heya, sorry I missed Friday as well. I'll email you about Arkham Horror in the near future though.

With regards to contract work, I bandied about the idea of starting some sort of software consulting co-operative at one point. Something in which you do custom software development for people, but the work structure would be arranged such that members could set their hours and preferred contracts--work for 20 hrs/week on this contract for this amount of time, 40 later on a different contract, no contract for a while, etc. I think it'd be an interesting enterprise.
sfllaw
25th Apr, 2006 22:07 (UTC)
Yes, Arkham Horror sounds excellent.
peaceful_dragon
25th Apr, 2006 22:50 (UTC)
Simon, that's incredibly courageous and totally awesome.

Ubuntu is great; I've adopted it as my main OS on all three of my machines. (Home, laptop, work) I'm looking forward to seeing your contributions to it!

Have you ever thought about starting a startup?
sfllaw
25th Apr, 2006 22:51 (UTC)
Casually. But I don't know how, and I'd real rather silly starting a company if I didn't know what I was doing.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )