How indie development growths your potential

How indie development growths your potential
Photo by Igor Savelev / Unsplash

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When I started to develop my apps, I faced several challenges. Moreover, I was missing a critical point of indie development.

In this post, I want to share what I took six months to realize so you can gain time and advance in your career.

Reading this post will save time and change your vision compared to traditional developers working for a company.

The problem is that most developers stay in their code and technical implementation without considering the business feature impact.

Don't build features for building features

In companies, developers tend to develop features only to get the job done asked by their manager or the product owner. But building features is just a part of the business process.

Most developers do what they are said to do. "Can you develop that feature? It is crucial for our deadline, bla bla bla.". It is effectively vital, but there is something that you probably never face in that case.

As developers, we often only have the product vision if the company has the values to share it with the different team members. Especially if you participate in product brainstorming to elaborate solutions for business use cases.

But it is not the majority.

Developing a business has an impact on several teams and roadmaps. For example, should I take more time to develop something robust? Or should I build that feature the fastest way? It will depend if the future is for testing or not. Some companies may take the time to let developers build strongly, but others cannot.

For the little story, I was in a company that lets developers build clean and robust architecture. Next, I changed to another company, prioritizing feature and bug fixes speed over code quality. Both have their advantage and are inconvenient, but they depend on the company's business.

How can indie development improve your career?

A good developer can learn in all technologies as it is kinda of the same logic but with a different paradigm. However, learning all the different problems around a digital product is something else.

I recently had a talk with Greg Lhotellier at Titans. He is one of the organizers of the Talk "Swift Connection" in Paris. He explains that quitting iOS development helps him understand more about businesses and how things work. I am convinced that it is the same for indie development. 

Here are the different aspects of indie development that can be helpful for you:

An indie developer doesn't have to be good to create a great product. It must develop and ship fast to validate its idea with the technical aspect and market fit.

Indie developers are also good lead acquisitors, product owners, marketers, client supporters, and designers. Building your apps on your own makes you wear all the hats about a product.

Indie developers have a larger vision of the product. He knows which features are essential, when they will be developed, and what the next steps for the app are. 

Indie developers know how to build profitable products by knowing the development costs. One question I asked myself when I was building a chat GPT app is: How many should you price for the year? For the month? Does the user can exceed a limit? Those questions are important because you should turn off the app if you build something with a higher cost than the income.

Keep learning during the journey

Besides all the good parts of being an indie developer, the road takes work. There are obstacles, problems, and self-doubt that could prevent product development.

One thing is for sure: never stop learning. The secret is to take pleasure and joy in doing it like we did during our kid's day.

Moreover, when you develop apps, you clearly determine what is working or not. It offers the opportunity to improve yourself continuously with different experiences.

For example, I knew I was too focused on my app's technical aspect. It kept me from shipping it for six months. Therefore, I publish it without even finishing the project. Some mental barriers were broken, and I was able to keep developing.

You can do the same. Just pick a project, build it, and ship it fast.

ā€œIf you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late.ā€

Reid Hoffman

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