This week marks my 4th year at Space48 but also my 9th year as owner of Little Black Cloud my freelance business that I started way back in the day. Of course these days, nothing happens via LBC but I’ve kept it going in honour.
It’s mad looking back 9 years ago and what I was doing. I was still married for one.
But seriously, look at the web 9 year ago and it’s completely different now. I’d just about heard of jQuery, rounded corners still needed to be images and React was a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. There was no responsive web which for me is obvious when you look back at work from then. All those mad PSDs at 640px wide with textures and shadows.
But they were the best of times. Honest and everyone was out for everyone else.
Freelancing itself was pretty mixed. Not getting paid for a year was a low point but on the flip side, working in Manchester and pushing myself out there was the making of me. I was fortunate to also work with some lovely people who today I class as the bestest of friends. If it wasn’t for Simon Young of Chester fame, I’d never have met Andy Clarke and his wife Sue or Bob his mate who kept me in work. Freelance took me to Wilmslow where I met up with a team who to this day and forever will stay in my heart and from there friendships took me on again at a later stage.
I always give freelance a rough ride mainly due to the issues I had but in reality, I benefitted a lot from it too and I’m very thankful that I took that decision to give it a go. That said, am I fuck doing it again.
Upon joining, I’d had a year where I’d moved about a bit which back then it was probably frowned upon. So I made a decision to not move again if I could help it. 4 years on and I’m still there, pissing people off and refusing to update my time sheets on time.
It has been an interesting ride, we moved to Manchester from Warrington which means I have to use public transport these days and I spend far too much in the Tesco round the corner but being back in Manchester feels like home. Sure friends have come and gone but I am lucky to work with some very good and passionate people which ticks the biggest box for me.
So what does the next 4 years look like or indeed the next 9?
Lord only knows. I’ve been around long enough to know things change very very quickly. Whilst I still enjoy the work I do and I keep learning I’ll be happy. I’ve always maintained I don’t want to be a developer at 50 so I’ve already made that a reality but with how the web is changing year on year, can we be sure of anything we do? The things I enjoy in my down time projects are creeping into my work which is great. The web at the moment is a lot of fun with what is seen as old tech making a resurgence.
Now that I’m middle aged, priorities have changed and I’m thinking ahead a lot more now rather than enjoying the moment which is maybe a bad thing but as always, the way I work, I like to have a plan and be prepared.
I won’t be freelancing, I tell you that. Watch this space.