Can I earn a Living as a Indie Dev?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by Fearless Leader, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Mar 21, 2006
    I trying to decide if programming would be a job I'd want to peruse.
    Couple questions.
    1) are you an indie Dev?
    2) do you make money on your work?
    3) is it more of a side thing you do for fun, or do you make a full living just writing/designing apps?
  2. cblackburn macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2005
    London, UK
    1) Yes
    2) I make some, but not enough to live independently on it (yet)
    3) I intend to make this into a full living but it will take a while to build it up. It all depends on who you know. There are plenty of people out there who still think "Wow, I with there was an app that did x. That would really make my day easier", but they usually dismiss it because they think it would be ludicrously expensive. It's all about meeting those people and convincing them that it can be profitable :)

  3. robbiehanson macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2006
    Missouri, US
    1. Yes.
    2. I make a little bit of money.
    3. I have been doing it mostly for fun in the past because I love programming so much. I'm currently trying to make a living off it. This is much more difficult. You spend a lot of time working, and it's often a thankless job.
  4. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) It's a side thing and something I do mostly on the daily commute from my day job (I travel by train). It's profitable but nowhere near enough to live on.
  5. toddburch macrumors 6502a

    Dec 4, 2006
    Katy, Texas
    I'm assuming by "indie" you are asking if I am an "independent" developer, as opposed to being from "India" (which is booming in programmers right now).


    1) Yes and No
    2) Yes
    3) Yes and No

    1), By trade, I am a professional software developer for large IBM mainframes. I've been in the industry since 1980, and have been writing software since 1988 (for fun) and since 1990 (professionally). I also have a side business with two other guys, selling productivity software for a popular cross platform application. And now, I am getting into writing data conversion software on my own, that I will turn into a small software business. Not ready to quit the day job yet though.

    2) Obviously, the day job pays the bills and supports the wife and kid. (Wife works at the local High School, so that income is negligible.) The partnership gig is doing pretty good for passive** income. It's bought a new fridge, is financing the restoration of a classic Ford Mustang, tools for the home workshop, pays for vacations, paid for a MacPro and a Macbook, etc. Next planned purchase - a nice new clothes washer and drier.

    3) I sit at a computer probably 12 hours a day (8-9 for the day job, and early morning or late night time otherwise), on average. If I'm home and not working on a house project or watching a DVD with the family, I'm sitting here. I try not to watch TV.

    So, I really love it. Yes, I have other hobbies too! Programming is challenging, and I like to learn new things.


    ** I call it passive income, because I strive to write my apps correct the first time. That way, when I'm done, I'm done, and I'm not spending all my time fixing stuff that should have been done right the first time, or explaining how to use it over and over again. And I'm not just talking bugs here when I say "correct". I'm also talking about full-function, proper documentation / tutorials, and in the event of an unexpected event occurring that the software is not expecting, full diagnostic capture. Don't expect to hack something together and be in business very long.

    With the partnership thing, we've built our "brand" to mean quality software and good support. In the mainframe world, there are highly incented, hungry salespeople working for the competition, waiting in the wings for you to screw up and piss of your client with bad code or late deliveries.

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