Narnach's blog

The thoughts of Wes "Narnach" Oldenbeuving

New blog and a status update

During Christmas I moved my blog from Blogspot to using Octopress.

Blogspot served me well at first, but after a while I got tired of fighting with it. Having to write your posts in raw HTML to make them look decent is so 20th century. Because Octopress is Jekyll with all kinds of nice stuff on top, I can now write my posts in Markdown and be happy again. Deployment is easy as well, since Octopress just generates static HTML and uses scp to put it on my server. I have to admit, it feels good to have complete control over my own blog on my own domain.

The last blog post I imported was written a long time ago, in 2009, while I was still working for yoMedia. Oh boy how things have changed since then.

Since 1 September 2009 I am the proud owner of my one-man company, Narnach. My original plan was to split my time 50/50 between building my own projects and freelancing as a software developer. It took a month for the first freelance opportunity to present itself. While working with that client, another opportunity came along and I’ve been busy non-stop ever since. In all the freelance fun I completely forgot about doing my own projects, though. Funny how that goes.

2010 was a good year. For most of my projects, I worked together with Gerard de Brieder of Govannon as a two-men freelance army and that collaboration worked out well. In 2011, Gerard got himself a physical office that we moved into. Soon, Gokhan Arli of Sylow joined us as third man on the team.

2011 has been my busiest year yet. It went so well that for the first half year I averaged 60 hour weeks just to be able to keep up with all the work. The second half of the year I finally learned to say “NO” to new opportunities, so things quieted down a bit to “regular” 35 hour weeks. Still, I worked way more than I should have and in December I was displaying symptoms of what, according to Wikipedia, may be a Burnout. So I went on vacation on 20 December and I took almost three weeks off to relax and recover. It seems to have helped!

For 2012 I have decided to change two things.

First, I’m slowing down my freelance activities. This means taking on less new clients and letting some existing clients go. The result should be less stress and more energy to work for the clients I am keeping.

Second, I’m revisiting my original plan of developing my own project. Freelancing is fun, but you are always helping other people grow their company. I finally have an idea that I would like to develop, so I figure now is the best time to start. The change from my original plan is that this will strictly be an evening/weekend thing. “They” say it takes at least a year or two to achieve “overnight success”, so I figure I’d not quit my day job as a freelancer just yet.