Dyce & Sons Ltd.

Helping IT since 1993

Change of Direction

Thursday 21st May, 2015

I’ve just had the news that a current contract will be coming to an end mid-June. It was an interesting job, with a great company, and colleagues who were a pleasure to work with.

That it’s to end shortly, frankly comes as no surprise – it was a 3-month gig that started in October last year: initially my role was as a short term measure brought in to reduce a mounting backlog of work. Between us we soon managed to get that down, well within the 3 months envisaged. Along the way I managed to add in some KPI metrics to prove that was the case, and to allow them to keep an eye on their workload. The extra 5 months on the clock have been spent on a host of new features, revising their methodologies, and cleaning up the existing code base. Thanks to a funding change, they can only justify one in-house developer, so … hey ho, time for a change of scene.

I started looking for the next gig earlier today, and whilst there is work out there, a thought did occur. Is it time to turn gamekeeper?

I’ve been doing this now for over 20 years, and the benefits of effective self-employment have been very clear. But as time goes on, children grow, and the effects of the hiatuses between jobs magnify. (Luckily, I’ve never been more than 2 weeks between jobs, even during the last recession. But it’s the worrying thought that counts.)

Most gigs have involved integrating into small teams for extended periods of time. I have lots of ‘work colleagues’ in several different businesses, whom I’m still in touch with. The give-away of course is when, in conversation with them about work, I still find myself using ‘we’ about the company. It would be nice for once to get to know a group of people without knowing when the last day working with them will be in advance!

The trick will be finding somewhere doing varied and interesting enough work to simulate being in a contractor style job. Sounds easy, doesn’t it…