You’re a Developer, So Why Do You Work For Someone Else?

by Noc Team on June 1, 2011

by Halima Khan

As a developer, you are success, an asset, a goldmine all combined in one. Never was it so simple to build something from scratch, with little or no capital and a marketing model that is restricted only by your imagination.

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, or even Google for that matter: created by developers who created something from little more than an idea in their head. Some common excuses software developers give for being employees and not self employed are:

Excuse#1: I don’t have any time

An hour here and an hour there adds up to sufficient time! You have time; it’s just an issue of what you choose to do with it. If you yearn to break out on your own, you have to come up with a good idea that accurately solves a problem and fixate your concentration on it. If you’re zealous about your idea, you’ll stumble on ample time. You’ll reach a point where it is essentially painful to have to work on something other than your idea.

Excuse#2: Get some experience

If you’ve never clocked a day of work in your life, you might mull over taking a job before striking out on your own — even if the consideration of doing time in a workspace makes you tremble. Work experience in the turf you want to break into may be, for the most part, dynamic use of your force.

Excuse#3: I can’t come up with any ideas

“Ideas are a dime a dozen” and “I’m always coming up with new ideas, but I just don’t have the time to follow through”. Build something practical. Something people require, and then work on it over and over and over. Start easy and go from there. If you obsess over the end result as big as a phenomenon like Facebook or Google, all you’ll ever be is a dreamer. Build something, put it out there, get feedback, and adapt.

Excuse#4: Fight inexperience with advice

Universities and alumni networks are great sources for mentors. The Internet is another great place to get free advice. Don’t be scared to take help, to seek advice, to consult people, who you know have more experience then you do. Read up if you have to. Be knowledgeable about what you are about to get yourself into. Nothing compensates lack of knowledge so make sure you have your facts right. Learn. That is the step that takes the longest. But this time is worth the effort it requires. Be very certain of your knowledge.

Excuse#5: I don’t have any money

Be creative about how you get what you need. Barter, trade, or consult. Make it a point to spend as little as possible to get things done until you can essentially rationalize spending money you don’t have on it. You don’t need money to get started. If you think you do, and in particular if you’re a first-time entrepreneur, you should in all probability think twice.

Excuse#6: Raise money
Your business plan should overvalue how much money you will need from the beginning because it’s easier to raise money before the launch than it is after you’ve failed to meet projections. To minimize risk, limit the amount of personal money that you put into the business. Business loans are only a good idea IF you plan to work full time with yourself.

Excuse#7: I don’t know how to market/design/etc

Find a co-founder that is good at what you’re not. Focus on what you’re good at. If you’re a developer, spend all your time listening to your users and building a great product. Sales and marketing is a full-time gig all by themselves. It is extremely difficult to master both worlds.


Step up and learn how to do it. This will mean that you will need to set aside your code for awhile and learn how to market effectively or essentially become a Sales/PR person. It takes time, BUT don’t give up!

Excuse#8: Write a bulletproof business plan

One of the biggest mistakes a young entrepreneur can make is simply failing to write a business plan. There is no other single process that can be more useful in beginning business problem-solving than addressing the risks and thoughtfully forecasting by writing the plan. Don’t fall into the excuse that you have the business plan in your head.

Excuse#9: I need a steady income — I can’t quit my job!
This may be more of a reality than an excuse, but it is no reason to continue with the status quo. Do you really want to work for someone else every day, on their terms, for the rest of your life? No? Well that’s going to require some sacrifice. Just be sure it is the right time for the sacrifice.

Excuse#10: I can’t find a partner
One of the biggest reasons startups fail is because of bad partnerships. Infighting or co-founders who are not pulling their fair weight can kill your idea faster than anything else. It is extremely important that you pick a co-founder who is as passionate about your idea as you are.

Excuse#11” Build a winning team
Bring on people who complement your skills and fill in the gaps. They make up for your weaknesses and you for them. This takes time and happens gradually. Keep a lookout for people who might be helpful, build contacts with relevant professionals, and befriend like-minded people.

Start building something people want! Already! And do it on your own, while working for yourself!



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Shahid Qureshi June 1, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Very good and motivating article.

Muhammad Yousuf Tafhim June 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Great article!!
Excuse # 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9 are too common. Many a times developers come up with great ideas but when they are not sure of any income from that, they quit.

Faizan Tahir June 2, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Very impressive article…. But there is a simple and major question that how can we work for ourselves???

ahsan June 2, 2011 at 1:48 AM

good article

ahsan June 2, 2011 at 1:51 AM

there is one big problem is that there is no charm in our local market for ideas, where they can flourish, or can have a big exposure…

Shahid June 2, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Meaningless article. All are common things everybody knows. huh

Waqas Rafiq June 3, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Though, those things are common, yet not a meaningless article…
This was intended to make us create something and make us realize, that why do you work for others if you lack something meaningless(as you said) …

Imran Khalid June 6, 2011 at 3:22 AM

I think this issues are common but writing article on these issues are not common in Pakistan is not common.Its a great effort by Halima Khan.

We ,Developers really think about starting our own business but dreams remain dreams just because of these excuses.

Pakistani IT Professionals have talent and they can be top IT Professionals if they started developing product according to the world’s requirement.

Proper guidance to new comers are in this fields are essential.

Grate article Halima Khan!

Naveed Ahmed June 8, 2011 at 5:51 AM

I really appreciate Halima Khan article, she writes every thing which experienced developers should do and some of them have started and i think in the future developers should take fast initiate so that they can get reward of themselves in good price.

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