I made the choice a few months ago to become an full time employee.  After a number of years of contracting, this was not an easy choice.  However, the company for which I work, 8z Real Estate, was not a black box to me.  I had contracted for them off and on since 2005.  Still, this was a big step for me, and I just wanted to blog about some of my thoughts around it.

Key reasons I became an employee:

  • An opportunity to really focus on the technical side.  No more being worried about the next gig.  Becoming an employee makes it easier for an employer to offer more freedom (for example, to explore a different skill set) to an employee as well.
  • The chance to be part of a kickass team with good teammates and a great manager.
  • It is fun to be part of a growing company.  We have Beer Fridays and other social events.
  • Less stress about work in general, although, as Bob Lewis said, the only difference between an employee and a contractor is that the employee has the illusion of job security.
  • 8z is doing some pretty cool stuff with some pretty interesting data, and offers a valuable service to many many people.  I can’t tell you how many folks have told me they love COhomefinder, the flagship webapp that I work on.

What I miss about being a contractor:

  • Business development–it was fun and challenging to think about how I could help everyone I met, or how they could help me
  • Extreme flexibility of hours, including when and how much I worked.
  • Greenfield development is always nice.  I am constantly learning and so sometimes cringe when I see code I wrote years ago.
  • Being able to say ‘no’/fire a client.

What I don’t miss about being a contractor:

  • Waiting for invoices to roll in and/or reminding clients about outstanding invoices.
  • Thinking about the next gig before the current one is done.
  • Regular overcommitment–making hay while the sun shines is what I had to do, but I did over commit at times.  Work life balance is easier to achieve.
  • Paperwork.

I’ll be blogging about my work at 8z from time to time going forward, so I added an 8z category to this blog.


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