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I left my job today after 7 years

turnerj profile image James Turner Originally published at turnerj.com Updated on ・3 min read

Today was my last day at the job I have had for the past 7 years. This day has been a long time coming but not because anything was bad about the job but about a grand plan I have had for a long time.

This post is partly inspired by DeChamp's post 25 years of coding, and I'm just beginning.

In the beginning

I've been fascinated with computers from a young age. I remember in kindergarten there was a Windows 95 machine running some game and I was just drawn to it - maybe even hogged it a little from the other kids.

In early primary school, I was showing off my amazing skills by... changing the desktop background. You should have seen the amazement in the eyes of other students!

As my skills got better, I more clearly defined what I wanted to be when I grew up. I don't hold much sentimental value in work I did for school but there is one "what do you want to be when you grow up" type assignment that I'm glad my mum kept.

Keep in mind I was 11 when I wrote this and I couldn't spell to save my life.

The letter of what I wanted to be when I grew up

Now, I don't have half of the degrees I talk about in that letter but the core of what I was meaning there hasn't changed. I do want to be a computer hardware developer, computer software developer and company founder/owner.

By the time I was in high school, I knew a bit of JavaScript and was learning PHP and C# from a friend of mine. Without this friend, I wouldn't be the programmer I am today and for that I am truly grateful to them.

Unhappy with the pace of progress in high school, I left it to begin a special course that got me into university earlier than I could have otherwise.

I got my degree and worked as an Apex/PHP/.NET/SysOps/whatever-the-company-needed-me-to-do for the next 7 years which brings us to today - my last day of work.

Starting something new

There is both a certain sense of freedom that comes with working for yourself but also with some amount of uncertainty for the future. One of the biggest uncertainties can be the flow of money coming in and depending what you try and make for yourself, you might have months of low-to-no income.

I'm personally branching out to make a SaaS product and while all my development time is "free as in beer", when you need to worry about legal costs or costs to third-party services, things get more complicated. You can be thousands of dollars out before you've made a single cent.

I may have been running a small business on the side for many years but all this I have ahead of me is still full of unknowns. I don't yet know whether my target audience will accept my product (though people I have talked to so far seem to like it). I don't know if I have made some terrible bug in the code base (bugs happen but you don't want some Day 1 fail scenario).

I may not be the best person to even execute my vision but I think if I try, that's best. To be in a position where you could do what you wanted but let that opportunity slip by may live with you forever.

While I have a lot riding on me being successful in my endeavour, sometimes you need to risk it to get the biscuit...

Discussion

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mtalsmith profile image
m3talsmith

Got to say, this makes me feel extremely old, having started well before DOS and Windows 3.1, but also very happy to see other's follow their passion so thoroughly! Keep it up! I'm following and rooting for you!

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y0mbo profile image
John Uhri

Good luck!
Remember, there's a lot of services you can use for free until you get the customers that will pay for them. And start charging early!

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elie222 profile image
Elie

Don't worry about the day 1 bug. There will be 100 and it won't matter.

"You can be thousands of dollars out before you've made a single cent."

You don't need to be out of pocket at all. Getting started is so cheap today. AWS, Stripe. You're not paying large amounts unless the site is popular.

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

With the day 1 bug part, I mean more like if the entire thing collapses. 100% there will be bugs and they will affect a lot of people but let's hope nothing catastrophic on the first day!

With the out-of-pocket stuff, a lot of that is legal fees for things like trademarks, setting up the business structure, T&Cs/Privacy Policies, making sure I have the right sales tax in specific districts etc etc. Not everyone needs to do every one of these but I'm trying to get it all right from the get-go. 🙂

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jacksonelfers profile image
Jackson Elfers

Best of luck, I love that vision of your 11 year old self. There's always going to be demand for SaaS I'm sure. I've never started a business but I can understand what it's like to be in the free fall state of uncertainties. Hope it pans out, if not it can always roll into something else from what I've experienced. 😁

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andrewcockerham profile image
Andrew Cockerham

What product are you working on?

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

My product is called "BrandVantage", a cross between an analytics/SEO tool and a brand management tool. One of my biggest motivations is how much "SEO specialists" seem to rip off people (I know one larger company spending $5k a month for several months and got 2 really basic reports) so I want to provide a low cost but powerful tool that gives any business an advantage, not just businesses with money to throw away.

I'm planing to launch on Product Hunt around maybe mid-April.

I would link off to it but I am in the middle of some legal things - I previously had it under a different name but had to change it so my online presence is really inconsistent. EDIT: BrandVantage Website

Rest assured though, I will post about any relevant parts of it to DEV. Actually, I already have a few posts about libraries I wrote specifically for my product: Sitemaps 101 & No Robots Allowed

I have another post coming soon talking about a web crawler I wrote. 🙂

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jonocodes profile image
Jonathan Stiansen

I’d also like to get a PM if you want some early beta testing. I’ll pay for a beta if the value is there, don’t short sell yourself.

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

Thanks Jonathan, that is very kind! I recently launched the landing page site for BrandVantage which goes into a little more detail about the product: brandvantage.co

One of the things I want to do with people that subscribe (besides getting them in on a beta in the future) is actually run them through a few surveys about future functionality etc. If that interests you, I'd love for you to subscribe 🙂

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joellcastro profile image
joellcastro

Best of luck..i have been in your shoes a few times. And brace for some tough times ahead..it will be satisfying though once you hit your goal..best unsolicited advice i would like to share to you is find a paying client fast! Money will not solve everything but it will keep your head above water to get you another day to pursue your goal. i would like to try your product. We are on the same field..pls pm when it's ready.

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

Thanks Joell! Yeah, the plan is to get paying customers ASAP.

I haven't launched yet (nor do I have a beta for you to preview) but I do have a new landing page for BrandVantage where you can register your interest: brandvantage.co

I'll be hopefully doing a survey or two for people that subscribe to help refine future functionality etc. Plus the more obvious reason for subscribing so you know when I launch 🙂

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glennmen profile image
Glenn Carremans

Very interesting, I hope to see more of it soon.

Once it is more stable and officially released I will suggest it to our office to investigate if we could use it.
Btw integration into Android and iOS apps would be a huge plus for us, we make custom native apps for companies (web is a part of it, mostly API).

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

Hey Glenn, interesting idea. I probably wouldn't want to step on too many toes in the analytics space in terms of getting the raw data BUT integration with sources that have this data would definitely be a good idea. It will be something I will need to do more research towards. 🙂

I recently launched the landing page site for BrandVantage which goes into a little more detail plus has a "register interest" form if you want to stay in the loop: brandvantage.co/

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shamar profile image
Giacomo Tesio

Good luck!

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peterwitham profile image
Peter Witham

The very best of luck!

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Ori Alvarez

Good luck!

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jamesscaur profile image
James Scaur

Good luck James!

Are you on Product Hunt Makers by chance?

BrandVantage sounds really cool.

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

Nope not on PH Makers, only just saw a link to it yesterday in their nav. Might look into it further 🙂

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jamesscaur profile image
James Scaur

Well worth joining, it’s both collaborative task manager and accountability program - with the added benefit of when you launch, you’ll likely have a community of other people to kickstart you on product hunt

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Jeff Hendrickson

Bon Chance James!

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sm171190 profile image
sm171190

Best of luck James! Thanks for sharing. It's ironic that I came across your heartwarming article as I'm about to start my Day 1 as a Developer hehe. It helped

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turnerj profile image
James Turner Author

Best of luck to you also then! 🙂

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mindmansion profile image
kelvin Ude

Good luck..

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tommcclean profile image
Thomas William McClean

Good luck, and read the mom test

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John Forstmeier

Good luck! I love stories like this one.

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Innocent J. Blacius

All the best buddy, I wish you success on your new journey.

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Sebastián Duque G

Not wishing you luck, but success. That's what you get from your efforts. Keep it up!

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yonootz321 profile image
yonootz321

Good luck James! I'm in a similar position right now (also worked for 7 years and trying to launch my business). I'm looking forward to the moment when I'll have the guts to quit my job.