Business is Booming and I Need Your Help

In less than 3 months, I will have been working for myself for 10 years. In that time, I have mostly been able to keep up with client demand on my own. This has been by a combination of hiring occasional subcontractors and turning away business.

Now, however, I have too few clients to turn away and still too much work to handle on my own.

I have a couple of subcontractors helping me out who do marvelous work. While I intend to keep giving them work (they do marvelous work), I simply have far too much for their availability. As such, I need at least one more person on a more full-time basis.

Here is where I need your help: If you have been where I am and successfully navigated that transition then I need your advice. If you are looking for work then I likely want to hear from you (more information on that shortly).

I believe that I will need to transition from primarily programming to primarily assigning and overseeing the programming work of others. I'm not sure how to go about that. Nor am I sure how to find the best person or integrate them into my workflow. All advice is welcome and appreciated.

As to the kind of person I want, I will say that I regularly use the following in my development life: ColdFusion (with CFCs), TDD, Git, XML, SQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery. I would not necessarily want someone who would excel in all of those areas, but certainly someone good in a few with the ability to pick up on those with which they are not experienced.

Most of my work is CFML code using TDD and Git, so that would be the primary skill set that I desire. Most of my work uses my own Neptune framework, so a willingness to learn that and an ability to do so quickly would be essential.

If you think you might be the person to help me program than email me (steve at the domain name of this blog) with the subject "Scooby Snacks" (following directions being important). If you have advice for me, please leave a comment so we can all benefit from it.

Comments
From listening to podcasts and going to conferences, I know there are lots of things that I should be doing, but just don't.
I toyed with TDD and GIT, but I don't know - I must be stupid.
I mean - I couldn't even figure out the new Windows version of Git this weekend.
The sad thing is - I have a feeling that I'm trying harder than a lot of other people.
So what to do about someone that hears about all the latest techniques, but can't quite seem to implement them?
And this isn't a political struggle either - it's not like someone is saying "we can't afford to do such and such".
And I don't know that going to cf.objective would have helped me either. If anything it would have added more fuel to the things I ought to be doing but aren't doing.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 5/29/12 9:44 AM
Phillip,

Those are great questions! I'm not sure I have the answer.

When I was trying to learn Git, I tried it once and it didn't take. I mean, I couldn't even get started. It seemed like everything I read on the web started at step 3 when I couldn't figure out step 1. Then I tried a few more times, with similar results (including a trip to cf.Objective).

Then I went to cf.Objective last year and went to a hands on session where people like Mike Henke actually helped us install Git and get it running. That really helped.

Still, I wasn't using Git right away. Then I basically just forced myself to use it on a real project. I probably wouldn't have been comfortable enough to do this, if I hadn't had some experience with Git which required the help at cf.Objective, which itself may have benefited from my previous failures.

My experience with TDD was less tedious, but somewhat similar (a presentation in cf.Objective really helped here as well).

In both cases (as with so many other things), I am still very much in the learning stages. I still find I am doing things "wrong" and likely will for some time.

I'm at earlier stages of development with other things. ANT, for example, hasn't clicked for me yet. I'll keep trying though.

My point, if I have one, is that I don't have a magic answer but that continuing to try seems to be the path (at least for me).
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 5/29/12 10:01 AM
Phillip, excellent questions. I too have transitioned to being a project manager (which I really feel more comfortable with these days) and we use GIT. It took me quite a while to understand it, but it is more intuitive to me now, simply by observing the information as I pull down updates and make changes to the minor stuff that I can handle myself while our programmer does the heavy work.

All I can say is, to play around with it. Get familiar with the command-line and compare with what you're seeing with Windows GIT. You might want to check out Matthew McCullough (sp??) videos - he seems to be really clear in his explanations on how GIT works.
# Posted By Lola LB | 5/30/12 6:11 AM
For Windows, I use GIT GUI and Bash; I use Bash to pull and get status, and GUI to stage, commit and push. Haven't yet installed the new Windows app from GitHub but I do use their app on my MBP.
# Posted By Lola LB | 5/30/12 6:14 AM
I'm looking for a VPS that can be used as a development machine.
It would have ColdFusion 10, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Microsoft Windows.

Then I would ask for people (you perhaps?) to show an example of TDD, ant, git, Neptune, cfBuilder...

I think that a VPS would be required so that one could see it from the desktop.
Also a VPS gives you more flexibility than a shared server, which is sometimes required with frameworks that need to be off the root.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/2/12 12:15 PM
Phillip,

With apologies for being slow, what would be the major advantage of setting of a VPS for this over some blog entries with code samples?
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 6/4/12 6:26 AM
A blog entry is like reading a letter that someone has written. A VPS would be like talking to them in person.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/4/12 4:21 PM
I guess that makes sense. If someone would provide a VPS, I would certainly be willing to be involved in such an effort.

Otherwise, blog entries might have to suffice for now.
# Posted By Steve Bryant | 6/5/12 10:29 AM
Hostmedia.co.uk has an affordable Linux, Railo, mySQL VPS.
To use Microsoft Windows however would cost $50-60/month.

Do you think people would be put off by being restricted to Railo, mySQL and Linux?

I'd prefer to have Adobe ColdFusion 10, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, and Microsoft Windows.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/6/12 11:12 AM
What is the cloud solution that Adobe is talking about? Is it some sort of quasi-VPS?
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/6/12 11:15 AM
By far the cheapest VPS I have been able to find is
http://myhosting.com/virtual-server-hosting/custom...

It includes
Windows Server and
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition (10GB)

Add Power Pack for Plesk Control Panel provides support for MS SQL server, Tomcat, Multi-Level Helpdesk, Application Pack, ColdFusion and SpamAssassin

$28.95/month

Everything else is in the hundreds of dollars per month.
My thought is to setup a good developers machine and invite people (in the cf community) to come and look at it.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/7/12 12:08 AM
I played around inside Amazon's EC2 yesterday. It looks promising. But I don't know enough about it yet. I fired up a Windows Server 2008 instance with SQL Server.
Tried installing Railo and got localhost:8888 to work, but I didn't know how to show that to point a domain name to it.
# Posted By Phillip Senn | 6/8/12 12:17 PM
I've got to admit ... being on windoze for so long, git was a bit of a curve ...
but after a while I really started to like it ... So much in fact that I started exploring *nix a lot more ...
Fast forward ... I don't develop on windows anymore ...
# Posted By Edward Beckett | 7/12/12 2:08 PM
Steve,

Are you still in the market for a second developer. I am looking for a CF job in Tulsa. I currently work at the University of North Carolina but I have live in Tulsa 3 times. If you would like to see if out talents would be mutual beneficial drop me an email at <redacted>

Quick Skill set:

13 years developing CF.
CF5 & CF8 certified. Currently using CF9 and Railo 3.x
# Posted By Andrew Penhorwood | 7/18/12 2:36 PM
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