Entries from January 2008 ↓

The Five Minute Guide to Becoming a Freelance Software Developer

I started my .NET consulting firm with a $35 check for a business license and a drive to city hall. I didn’t worry about anything but writing code and meeting deadlines. I can’t say it was a bad way to go.

Until you have someone willing to pay money for your services, the tasks below are a waste of time. My advice is to be prepared to get the process started, but don’t rush out and spend hours researching and implementing these steps until you’re sure you have a viable business. And by a viable business I mean you have sales.

This advice is intended for someone looking to become a freelance software developer or web designer (or looking to start a small web design/development/consulting firm). If you intend to seek venture capital then move along…these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Disclaimer: I’m neither a lawyer nor an accountant. I have opinions on starting a business only because I’ve been through it once or twice. Please seek the help of a trained professional for help with starting your business. Also, the advice about business structure and DBAs applies only in the U.S.

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Links for Micro-ISVs, Puzzle Freaks, Podcast Listeners, and Programmers

The Bootstrapper’s Bible Free in PDF
My favorite Seth Godin work. Solid, real advice about what being an entrepreneur is and what it isn’t. I thought I’d heard most of what there is to say about starting companies, but this 10 year old manuscript is filled with brilliance. Highly recommended reading for Micro-ISVs.

The Great Big Leaky Micro-ISV Sales Funnel
How 1,000,000 people turn into 500 customers.

Project Euler
Suggested by one of my clients (thanks, Noah!), Project Euler is “a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.”

Have you ever read Steve Pavlina’s story of graduating college in three semesters?
Unbelievable. I can only hope to one day be so cool.

Coding Horror: Are Features the Enemy?
Another insightful post from Jeff Atwood. If you’re not reading his blog you are missing out.

IT Conversations
Really cool IT Podcast. Am I the last person to find this?