00:07:36 ◼ ► Programming, I was mostly on my own, or learning from web sources, open source, or other programmers that I would talk to occasionally who worked in other places, or things like that, blog posts.
00:07:49 ◼ ► So it was weird that I kind of never got the next level education that you would presumably get if you were working as a junior programmer, or a mid-level programmer under a senior programmer, or whatever these titles are.
00:08:21 ◼ ► When I was in Pittsburgh, I was able to look up to the people who were there before me, and to go to them with problems, and to hear their critiques of how I was doing things, and to get their input on the best ways to do things.
00:11:51 ◼ ► for probably the next maybe five years, like, in terms of, like, I don't really plan out that far or anything, but it's like, I can kind of imagine that this sort of independent iOS developer thing
00:12:34 ◼ ► Like, it starts to get squishy. And then I start to think, like, just like you, I feel like I have these big gaps in my capabilities, in my skills that you kind of can only get from experience.
00:12:45 ◼ ► And I mean, I'm sure at a certain point, like, if I went and got a job at a big company, I would pick it up quickly, I would, you know, dive into it and learn it as best as I can, just in the same way that,
00:12:57 ◼ ► for one thing, I will say that being an independent has definitely taught me is the ability to learn things quickly, because most of what I do, it's like, I don't know how to do this at all.
00:13:09 ◼ ► Now I need to know how to do it, because that's just part of the job. There's no other person, like, if I need to host a web server, I just had to go and work out how to do that and, you know, like, sit there, spin up my first Linode, you know, VPS box and, like, mess around with it for a while until I could get it to work.
00:13:35 ◼ ► But like you said, like, I don't, it's not like I want to stop what I'm doing now and go and learn those things, like, take a, like, for the, you know, go get a regular job for, you know, for five years to develop the skills of being an effective technical manager, like that,
00:13:51 ◼ ► that doesn't appeal to me, but it's weird when I think, you know, will the 10 years in my future self, like be mad at me right now for doing that, being like, why did you spend all that time doing the all doing all that indie stuff when eventually you're going to have to go and get a job and that's going to be problematic.
00:14:10 ◼ ► But it's a weird tension, though, like, I don't know what the the right answer to it. And I think whenever I hit something like this, that I don't have a good answer to that I feel slightly uncomfortable about the fact that, like, I'm getting really good at making apps, and doing it in a way that
00:14:28 ◼ ► like works for me and it has, you know, certain amount of success in the market and those types of skills, but there's a certain aspect to being a professional developer that, like I have zero experience in that is arguably, you know, just as important and I'd be just as important but significantly important.
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00:16:07 ◼ ► I think about this sometimes too. I honestly have no idea. It's an incredible luxury we have to have to think about like well what kind of job do we want to have after our self created non-job that makes us money for this luxurious lifestyle that we lead. A lot of people would give a lot to be in our position.
00:16:30 ◼ ► Yeah, I think one thing that Daniel Jowkut told me a long time ago was that once you go indie for a pretty short amount of time, you very quickly become unemployable. Not in the sense that nobody will hire you, but in the sense that you quickly lose the tolerance of working for other people.
00:16:57 ◼ ► And I don't know, I haven't gone back to work yet since going indie for anybody else, so I don't know if that would be true for me. It certainly sounds likely. I can tell you that. Even when I was working for other people, I was not the easiest person to manage.
00:17:15 ◼ ► It's not that I wouldn't work or that I would not show up or anything, but it was just really hard to motivate me to work on things I didn't want to do. And of course every job involves things that I don't want to do. Even my current self made job involves lots of things I don't want to do.
00:17:31 ◼ ► And I do indeed put them off forever. This is a part of my personality that I still have not solved and probably never will at this point, but I can keep trying. So ultimately, I don't know what else I will do.
00:17:49 ◼ ► I don't expect iOS development to last forever as my job or as a viable job for lots of people. I mean it's already hard. It's already very hard for most people to do it as the only thing they do, unless it's something like consulting.
00:18:04 ◼ ► But for what we do, more of the product thing, that's very hard. And not a lot of people do that for their living. So I don't expect that I will be doing iOS development in a meaningful way in 10 years. I might. That might be cool.
00:18:22 ◼ ► But I'm not going to say I'm definitely not going to be doing it. But I wouldn't expect that. I would expect something else to have supplanted it by then. Whether that's an Apple platform, I hope it is. I like Apple platforms. Or whether it's something else. Maybe I'm not doing a lot of programming at all in 10 years.
00:18:38 ◼ ► Maybe in 10 years I'm just going to be an angry podcaster complaining about everything all the time. Oh wait, I'm not today. Maybe in 10 years I will be focusing more on media stuff and less on programming. I have no idea.
00:18:56 ◼ ► But as we've talked about on previous shows, this is one of the reasons why I try to keep my options open and why I try to develop multiple skills in different areas. Because the markets change, the job market changes, demand changes.
00:19:09 ◼ ► And down at the bottom of it, I change. And what I like to do changes. What I'm able to do. What I'm good and bad at. What I feel is good use of my time versus what isn't. All these things change over time as people grow and their life situation changes.
00:19:29 ◼ ► Right now I have a young child. Before I had a kid I would have made different decisions. Right now he's young. I make a certain set of decisions. And now as he gets older, my lifestyle will presumably change along with those changes and will extend in different ways.
00:19:49 ◼ ► I can't say what I'll be doing in 10 years. All I can say really is I expect everything to change because it always does. And I just try to prepare myself for what that might be. And that might be going to work for somebody else.
00:20:06 ◼ ► Again, I wouldn't rule that out. I just don't think it's a very likely outcome based on just me and my personality type. I think I've gotten so full of myself as an independent developer now that I really can't see myself going back.
00:20:21 ◼ ► Unless, again, people change. Unless there's some kind of big project that I want to tackle that would require working with or for other people. So right now one of the downsides, and I think you feel similarly, one of the downsides of my limited experience is, as you mentioned earlier, I don't have any management experience.
00:20:46 ◼ ► I've never managed anybody, even at Tumblr, even when we hired more programmers in my last year or so there, they all reported to David, not me. I was kind of like this offshoot, kind of like was, in his role.
00:21:01 ◼ ► As the company got bigger, he kind of just did his own thing and then eventually left. As far as I know, I don't know the details, but that's kind of what I was doing. I was really like, I was given my own assignments by David, who was the boss of all of us. Nobody reported directly to me.
00:21:16 ◼ ► I've never had anybody. I've never had any direct reports. I've never been a manager. Even when I have, in previous businesses, I have occasionally paid contractors to do certain things, but even those were very, very basic, shallow, low touch arrangements that didn't involve much management from me at all.
00:21:37 ◼ ► So, there's a whole set of potential things that I could possibly make or want to make someday that would require more people. Because I've never managed people and don't really have an interest in doing that, I basically can't tackle that set of problems. I just can't do that.
00:21:58 ◼ ► If I want to change that statement and if I want to become a manager of people and possibly do things like take on investment, which is a whole different level of management, because then you're managing the investors as well as your employees and everything.
00:22:32 ◼ ► But right now, I'm pretty happy just doing things with myself. I'm pretty happy with what I can accomplish as one person. There's always going to be more that I could do that I wish I had time to do, but there's also the trade-off of if I would tackle that, then I would have all these downsides and I'm not sure the downsides are worth it to me.
00:22:57 ◼ ► We're not learning the skills of, I was going to say business, but it's not really business, but it's that kind of, it's the management and budgeting and HR and all of those aspects that are kind of the necessary bureaucracy of a company.
00:23:40 ◼ ► There you go. But I do think the interesting thing is that I feel like one nice thing about being independent is I am, I would say I have a very broad, to what you're just saying, I have a very broad set of skills in a lot of areas that I wouldn't have if I was working at a company.
00:24:09 ◼ ► There's lots of aspects of businesses that I have to learn. It's like you end up with this very broad experience when you're independent because you have to wear all those hats. You have to do all those things. You don't just have a department that takes care of it.
00:24:22 ◼ ► But on the flip side, this is the thing that I think gives me some comfort in all of this. When I think about, "Oh, am I missing out? Am I going to find myself in a position that I look back and regret that I've left this entire aspect of being a professional developer completely flat for so many years?"
00:24:42 ◼ ► The thing that I think about though is being independent also means that in addition to having a very wide experience in some ways in a shallow way, I have certain areas of things where I am able to be much more of an expert and much more focused and have experiences and skills developed to a level that I don't think would have been possible in a typical company.
00:25:09 ◼ ► I can choose my assignments in terms of what I'm working on to such a degree that I've chosen to focus essentially all of my efforts for the last couple years in one way or another on the Apple Watch and being really good at making apps for that.
00:25:27 ◼ ► It's a skill that maybe in some ways I could have done there if I'd been at a bigger company, but what it means is this is now something that I have. My guess is that technical expertise and the ability to really have the experience of having to build things all the way from one end to the other is probably going to be more valuable ultimately than having these other skills and these other abilities that I would have developed if I'd been in a corporate environment.
00:25:56 ◼ ► If I ever get to that point where I want to go and work for you know be a director of a software group maybe like that became my career goal like I expect I would be able to get there still but in a different way that I could the things that the skills and the strengths that I would be leaning on as I was trying to you know sort of prove myself in that environment would look more technical and would look more to
00:26:25 ◼ ► this kind of this breadth of experience and this sense of having the whole picture in mind and like that would get me you know sort of make up the handicap that I was getting or at least that's what I tell myself but like it's okay because it's like the I'm getting experience that you can't get any other way that is still valuable and still transferable just not you know it's like it's just not comprehensive and like the things that I lack in managerial skills
00:26:54 ◼ ► or office politics skills or those types of things that like the things that I don't miss about having a corporate job like I don't miss and having office politics that I have to work through where it's like why are we doing this this seems foolish it's like well this is the way that Bob wants to do it and Bob's the one who has the ear of the whatever like those things don't exist we all have a Bob yeah I mean that Bob
00:27:21 ◼ ► yeah so was yours actually named Bob it sounds like you have some history there it's like the names have been changed to protect the innocent case but I think actually worked with the Bob but anyway like those things I don't miss and I think the reality is I am going to be like I'll be fine because being independent is in like there are so maybe not like I maybe I'm not going to go work for like some big massive
00:27:50 ◼ ► government contracting company with that you know like CMMI level five like the super formal like rigorous software engineering stuff that I just really would fall behind in but if I wanted to work at a startup that was making something that I thought was cool I could probably make up the ground and the other things and like it's more important and more impressive to have had a history of shipping products from start to finish is probably valuable in its own way.