For the past 8 months I have been working on a contract with one of the country’s finest Asbestos Surveying companies Lucion Environmental, developing “NexGen”; an online platform to service their entire company from quoting to site-work, report generation and finally invoices… and then some in-between.
Just last week I managed to “upgrade” my contract to the golden-egg of working arrangements - permanent work as a consultant developer! This means that I’m afforded all the luxuries of self-employment with the added bonus of financial stability for the foreseeable future!
And now… some things
What has made this project different?
The most exciting thing about working with an established business is that their procedures, company structure and needs are already well defined and instantly available to me. I’ve not once thought to myself “this is an interesting feature, I hope it’s right” instead I just need to express my ideas to the right person(s) and they tell me straight. In fact I spent most of my first month (or two) doing just this - building a picture in my mind of the company as a single coherent thought; it’s now so familiar to me that I’m confidently autonomous in my work. LOVE IT.
If you’re a consultant developer, who’s your boss?
I imagine there are 123 bosses, so in no particular order:
- 120 Staff Members - that probably makes me the company bitch
- Patrick Morton - Director, instigator of NexGen
- Me - some ideas are too good not to act on, brownie points live here
- The Data - if the data says “help me”, I oblige
I’ve noticed something interesting with this setup, If you pick out ANYONE from the list and focus solely on making their life easier / happier / better in any way you can, they become more likely to engage with the product - often with so much energy that it infects the people around them. Probably a valuable observation when instigating massive change in such a large company; I bet that’s how the fashion companies work it: target the alpha males / females and make them happy, then everyone else follows suit.
Well, we’ve already seen a gradual rollout in the Northern office, and next week we’re going live with the remaining 6 regional offices; this entails a meeting of the managers, Directors and myself… I just know it will be like when Mafia bosses meet in the movies; all suits, meatballs and gesticulations. It’ll be awesome.
After that I have a “development backlog” that represents months of solid work; everything from platform engineering, scalability, feature requests, bugfixes and a few things that I’m confident are going to make the competition weep with envy.
Me and Paul have been rebooting 1DayLater with a focus on helping freelancers and businesses really make money and being contractually watertight. Watch this space