It was a fun run!
In the end of 2009, when my internship ended I rejected the invite to continue working in that company. I was tired, grumpy and wanted something different, no more having to worry about a project I did not like and did not want my name in. My vacations at the time made me want to develop something mine something I could see start and grow, unfortunately I still had bad dreams about what I had been developing previously so I decided that I needed to exorcise that demon and created a competing product, one I could feel would really work as it was intended.
It took me and a colleague a full year to develop a software solution that we liked, and that we felt solved the mess that was managing and maintaining proper control of teaching in the “Co-financiado” world. We built the software, but we’re not salesman, we found no other funding (actually we didn’t really look for it), we had no experience in selling any kind of software at all, offering services or just plain getting people to trust that our solution was a good choice for their business, we failed but it was a nice ride.
We kept the system running and developed other projects as a freelance team, it allowed me to work with technologies I wasn’t familiar with (PHP + Oracle was strange) and work in interesting projects (like develop software to retrieve statistics from a network of printers). But after almost three years we needed to pull the plug and find something else to do.
Why create something that would compete with a project I had been working in? Wouldn’t that make me look like I wasn’t honest? Would it make possible clients think I would “steal” their ideias if they shared them with me? Would it make it harder for people to trust me and consider being my clients? I don’t know, I hoped it wouldn’t and I made sure I would not use any of information I got while working in my internship so I never used any of the code base I had written, I did not used documents or information from that company and I made sure to stay away from the clients of my previous employer. I even restrained myself from showing all the security issues and problems the software had when I happen to be face to face with the owner of the biggest company that used my previous employer’s software.
In the end, the will to prove to myself that I could make something I would glad put my name on, something I felt was not a piece of crap put together by one bad decision after another with little to no care for the end user. I wanted to make something that users could use without having to call support yelling every odd day. I didn’t want to be the guy in the other side of the phone has I had been for 11 months.
And here I’m now, employed again, working in software development for a company that opened it’s offices in Castelo Branco, meaning I had to move to a new city and am still trying to adapt to the change. The old projects, the will to create my own company, the long hours working on new ideas, all that was put in hold. I’m still an entrepreneur, I just work within the supervision of the company I’m collaborating with.