In a week or so I will have been contracting for about 6 months. I made a move away from the employee world because of two major factors. The first was the fact that employee status wasn’t allowing me to take advantage of the upward movement that rates were making in our local market. The second reason is that I was feeling more and more constrained by the schedules that employers were asking me to make.
The money reason was the least of the two reasons in the end. The restrictive feeling that I was feeling around my schedule has turned out to be so much bigger. So many times I hear developers talk about making the leap to contracting and they echo the two reasons that I’ve stated here. They want more money and a more flexible schedule. They want to be able to attend the conferences of their choice, take trips when they want and for the amount of time that they want. Essentially they talk about life freedom.
What I’ve seen from the majority of contractors is that they will talk this talk, but they never seem to walk this walk. I’m not sure why they don’t. Some most definitely get addicted to making more money. Some just don’t seem to make the transition to having the ability to make more time. Either way, a large number of new software development contractors don’t make the time to take the time away from the industry.
We’ve either been to the point of burnout or seen another developer get there. The dollars won’t buy you happiness unless you take the time to spend them.