Author Topic: Indie Software Development?  (Read 2032 times)

smoghat

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Indie Software Development?
« on: December 14, 2018, 05:31:48 AM »
Plenty of software is still written by independent software devolopers. If you have a guaranteed stream of income, it could be a fun project to take up, no? Has anybody done that? I used to code a LOT in high school (I ran a software company, although we made perhaps four sales, but I wrote for Compute! Magazine and stuff) and was wicked good at it. Iíve continued to take on a serious programming assignment every few years and am confident I could do this. Plus, Iím a designer which helps. If I get bored doing other things, it could be interesting to learn to code for iOS. Has anybody learned this? Any thoughts?

This could even be fun to do with my son if he wants to go into business together after college (has to finish middle school first).

The big key is I donít ever have to work again, so anything is possible now.

mr.neel

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2018, 11:40:12 AM »
I think its a great idea. I've done iOS and Android programming and even had an app out there on the app store for a bit, but it was hard to monetize, plus I was working. I took a version of this class in 2009 and it was great. You can learn a ton: http://web.stanford.edu/class/cs193p/cgi-bin/drupal/


bacchi

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2018, 03:14:55 PM »
The problem with the app store (either) is that there are a TON of apps out there and it's tough to get noticed. The days of the fart app making someone rich are long gone.

It's still fun. I'm about to start a tablet app using kotlin.

brute

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 06:16:04 AM »
And I am really interested in supervised machine learning lately. The whole thing is amazingly complicated but I love challenges and as I hobby, it works even better. iOS development also is quite an interesting niche I must admit but I gave it up when I realised that the OS is losing it's popularity.

Hi there, your friendly neighborhood data scientist here. Machine learning and AI are amazing. Although not a replacement for human intelligence in the near-term, the ability to augment our knowledge and pattern recognition in invaluable. However, I wouldn't suggest going down this path unless you're very comfortable with the math and statistics behind it. Being able to build a neural network in TensorFlow/Keras is cool, but if you don't understand how the process works you may either settle for a non-optimal solution or a flat out wrong one that looks good until you run it in the real world. Then real people die.

Ok, maybe they won't die in every industry, but they certainly will in mine. Just know there's more to it than coding something and watching the magic happen. (Don't get me wrong, the magic is so freaking cool). I would really suggest a deep understanding of both supervised and unsupervised learning if you're interested in this. Supervised is great, but it isn't always the right tool. If you can do both, you'll be many times more capable than someone who can only do one or the other.

2sk22

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 07:28:48 PM »
This is the main reason I'm trying to get myself FIREed! I have been working in a MegaCorp now for over 25 years in the AI field (I have a PhD in in the subject). I love the field but hate having to build consensus for every project I want to pursue. It's hard to do fun stuff in a big company - just the politics are exhausting.

Thanks to the cloud, it's very much possible to be an independent researcher. Computing capacity which used to be such a scarce commodity is available so easily - I rent spot capacity on AWS as necessary.

Just to keep my sanity, I've been creating a list of projects I'll work on when I give notice:
  • Replicate my PhD work using PyTorch. I did my original work in the 1990s using C++ code I wrote myself from scratch
  • Languages to learn: Clojure, Haskell, Swift
  • Study stable model semantics for Answer Set Programming
  • Learn the fundamentals of iOS development. All of my work has been strictly server side so I'd like to try some device side work for a change.

brute

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 05:30:04 AM »
This is the main reason I'm trying to get myself FIREed! I have been working in a MegaCorp now for over 25 years in the AI field (I have a PhD in in the subject). I love the field but hate having to build consensus for every project I want to pursue. It's hard to do fun stuff in a big company - just the politics are exhausting.

Thanks to the cloud, it's very much possible to be an independent researcher. Computing capacity which used to be such a scarce commodity is available so easily - I rent spot capacity on AWS as necessary.

Just to keep my sanity, I've been creating a list of projects I'll work on when I give notice:
  • Replicate my PhD work using PyTorch. I did my original work in the 1990s using C++ code I wrote myself from scratch
  • Languages to learn: Clojure, Haskell, Swift
  • Study stable model semantics for Answer Set Programming
  • Learn the fundamentals of iOS development. All of my work has been strictly server side so I'd like to try some device side work for a change.
[/b]
[/list]

I think you'll really enjoy this. I HATED iOS dev back in 2009, but it's come a long way. The way the mobile platforms are handling ML these days is pretty nice, and having the cloud available for heavy duty work makes life much simpler and more battery friendly.

2sk22

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 07:52:02 AM »

I think you'll really enjoy this. I HATED iOS dev back in 2009, but it's come a long way. The way the mobile platforms are handling ML these days is pretty nice, and having the cloud available for heavy duty work makes life much simpler and more battery friendly.

iOS development has definitely gotten easier over the years and as you say, ML support looks very promising. I know I'll enjoy this since I'll be my own boss and don't have to answer to anyone else :-)

OurFirstFire

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 08:21:15 AM »
I do software development both for myself and as an independent contractor as my FIRE career.  One thing that I think is still ripe as an independent developer is applying specialized knowledge from a career to niche products.  For example, my sister and her husband own an indoor play place so I built a custom tablet-based waivers, marketing, and loyalty system with my brother in law.  It fits the exact needs a children's play place has much better than a generalized waiver product, it's a manageable project size, and it's a product category of one.  We sold it as a service to the chain that they're part of as a whole, and may stop being lazy some day and sell it to other play places.

In another example, a welding engineer friend is trying to get me to work with them on a custom weld planning and inspection application.  But I turned that down because I'm having too much fun on my embedded systems contracts right now.

So yeah, I think indie development of that kind of niche product is a great avenue to pursue.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 11:19:00 AM »
Writing a cool little app is one thing, finding enough customers to pay your bills is quite another. If you're already FI and don't care if it pays your bills, and you think it would be fun, go for it!

2sk22

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 01:39:46 PM »
Writing a cool little app is one thing, finding enough customers to pay your bills is quite another. If you're already FI and don't care if it pays your bills, and you think it would be fun, go for it!

Exactly - trying to make a living writing apps is really hard but great for FIREíd people!

AlanStache

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Re: Indie Software Development?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 03:06:45 PM »
I have thought about this some but while I am still employed full time I dont think I have the mental energy to devote to any home professional level coding projects; also literal time can be in short supply.  And trying to compete in a winner take all environment with the rest of the world while I can I only spend 10hr/wk does not sound profitable.  working on my own in my field while employed would violate my employment contract too. 

Also remember in many software projects the interesting/fun parts represent a minority of the work; the bulk of the code or man hours could be for finding and dealing with edge cases or writing code to test that you have properly cleaned your data before do anything with it. 

There are services online that connect coders (and other professional talent) to people looking for one off smaller projects but again you are competing with everyone online and this sort of sounds like a job.

To what Brute said: Also to do good stuff with ML/AI you should have an ok to great understanding of the core subject matter.  I have a very good understanding of my engineering field and can get by with ML in it but I would be 100% lost applying ML to anything biological.  I would very likely make very dumb mistakes.  That is not to say people should not learn and try stuff but it can take a lot of study in many different subjects to do something useful.

Did not intend for that to be so negative... 

I would expect that someone could make a few bucks doing something niche but you would need to put work in and take it seriously.