I was asked the other day ‘why I was a contractor’. For me contracting is perfect in many ways. It gives me a good income, as the main earner of a family, this is really important. I also get to work with a variety of clients including football clubs, startups and councils.
I started contracting in 2012, so next year will be my 6th year. This is my longest job to date and I can’t see myself going back to permanent employment (unless Nrwl.io come calling).
Getting started as a contractor is relatively easy. All you need is a Limited Company (though you could be a Sole Trader, a Ltd company is better). An accountant or some type of online accounting software and a job.
Well, this sounds simple, but it’s not.
When I started getting my Limited company involved completing an online form, making a small payment and that was it.
One of the things I did need to consider was a company name. You need something that matches with the services you’re providing, with some flexibility in case you try something new. You don’t want to be called WideWeb Solutions if after a year or two you just make iOS apps.
I wanted something that covered me for web development, but I have always been interested in mobile development. So I went for something that had the word software (either web or mobile) plus the initials of my wife and children. That’s how I came up with CGCSoftware.
So I had my company name and limited company setup, next getting some work.
The reason that I started contracting, I was working for a startup in London as a Flash developer (good times). It was all going well then the company decided to move to America, and get a new development manager. So we had this new manager and half the team went to America, but still, the work was ok.
But soon the new development manager started letting people go, and get in new people that he wanted. Well, eventually it came to my time to go for a quick chat at lunchtime.
So that was the end of that, can’t say I was too bothered as I wasn’t getting on too well with the new members of staff. It did remind me that I don’t want to work for someone ever again. (If you work for yourself, it’s hard to fire yourself).
This is why I started contracting. I wanted to be in charge of my career, and have that flexibility of working on different projects with the technologies I wanted.