In April 2003 I started work with a software development company that was based in the same town where I lived. This was one of those rare strokes of luck because when I moved to the town from London I hadn’t known about them being there and in a town of 8,000 people it was lucky to find a software development company at all, let alone one that writes software for the broadcast industry, a natural continuation of the job I’d had with Channel 4 in London.
For the first few years I was writing Windows VB6 applications, something that grated slightly because by then I had become a Mac user at home and even had a Mac at work (we were doing our development using VMWare by then so the base machine was irrelevant) and I wanted to start writing Cocoa applications. However at the start of 2008 I solved a simple video encoding problem using AppleScript and the company then began to look at the Mac platform in a whole new light and I was given the opportunity to become a Cocoa developer, something I have now been doing for a couple of years.
In the spring of 2008 I made a cheeky and very optimistic request: I asked to be sent to WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, and, to my surprise, my request was granted. In all honesty, although I did learn an awful lot, I was probably a bit too inexperienced as a Cocoa developer to get the most out of the sessions. However I also experienced what is perhaps the more valuable side of WWDC, the networking. I met a lot of Cocoa developers and realised just how fantastic the Mac developer community is. I also met a lot of successful indie developers, both those that made their living by selling application and those who contract their development services out. The seed was planted.
For several reasons which I will not be going in to, the time is now right for me to make the jump from being an employee to being self-employed and on Monday 4th January 2010 I will start working my three month notice period and from the start of April I intend to earn my living by undertaking contract work. I am also planning to release some of my own OS X and iPhone applications and, if rumours are true, some applications for Apple’s upcoming tablet device.
I have decided to document some of my experiences in making this switch and I hope it will provide some useful information for other aspiring indie developers. I will be documenting as broad a range of topics as I can, ranging from setting up and marketing my company through to the business side of Apple’s App Store, from collaborating with other developers to dealing with clients and I hope that these articles will become a useful, business-orientated, subset of my developer blog.