Smurf on recession

I am gradually catching up on my internet reading after a rather busy time, followed by a stunning holiday (skiing and snowboarding with the smurflings).

Anyway I read on Dennis’ blog about some things he is doing in recognition of tighter times ahead.

That made me think – what am I doing about it?

Traditionally my biggest cost has been travel and accom. I already fly cattle class and sleep in flea pit class (a bit too literally sometimes!) so the only option is reduce travel. That means in 2009 any travel has to be self financing (apart from whopping great expensive holidays of course).

That means no Microsoft jollies unless they are paying – which looks vanishing unlikely seeing what they are going through. (You’ll see my sub 15 USD share price prediction is looking a lot more likely today (low of 15.64) than in Dec(20USD))

I’m still doing the Excel User conf in April, and I’ll probably get to Eusprig in July. (London and Paris don’t really count as travel do they?)

I cancelled my Microsoft subscriptions years ago (Codematic was  certified partner for years until they got silly with the criteria). In my opinion, in the Office client dev space these things are nigh on useless as Microsoft are about 5 years ahead of any fee paying customers. Its cheaper just to buy the licences you need and own them for ever.

I am also looking at technologies where working from home is a bit more realistic. I already moved back from .net/SQL Server to Excel as there is less need to be on site for spreadsheets. I am thinking more web based stuff may make more sense.

I’ve seen Flash dev rates working from home better than some Excel Dev rates in the city.

I am also keen to look at open source stuff – hence my magnificent Ubuntu Acer Aspire One – I eventually want to turn this into a (rather underpowered and cramped)(and noisy it has to be said!) PHP/MySQL dev machine.

I am ultra busy at the moment but when things drop off, probably in the summer I will do like Dennis and invest some time in learning, but probably in quite different technologies.

I’ll probably give OpenOffice a miss, not because I don’t think it will soon become a viable business opportunity – I do. But I guess its 12-24 months away. and I am after remote working opportunities. And culturally web and especially client stuff is more available from home. Tech wise almost anything can be done from home these days – but that doesn’t mean the client will go for it.

I had briefly contemplated a permie role to shelter from the next year or two of depression, but I can’t see it really.

Have you got any recession busting plans?



6 Responses to “Smurf on recession”

  1. ross Says:

    I am working on my spam messages right now!

    I think you will do well to make any dosh out of php! – You always seem to have a handle on the rates, are they good? Flash, don’t you have to be a bit arty to do that?

    I would say share point, or excel services (to early-maybe), but they’re not working from home solutions are they!

    Get a job mate, theres loads of programing jobs in cumbria!!!!

  2. Rob Bruce Says:

    Nice try Simon, but I’m not revealing my business strategy to you or anyone ;-)


    “”business strategy “”

    What’s a busness strategy :-) …. ?

    Frankly I am finding my business is picking up because despite laying off a lot of people, the bosses still want their STUPID reports and probably more than ever want “quick and dirty” analysis that only Excel can provide but they’ve let go the people who used to do it for them. I’m serious.

    The Recession in the early 90’s was really good for me. Unless it gets so bad that they all go right out of business (which IS possible – in which casde we’re all screwed anyway) I should be able to scrape through this one too and that would be thanx to my knowledge of Excel and Access reporting.

    I am trying to convince the people I have contact at MS that this is an opportunity to showcase Excel and Access and promote “lock-in” going forward but I’m not having much luck.

  4. Rob Bruce Says:

    “What’s a busness strategy …?”

    See the back of this envelope?…

  5. Simon Says:

    I never thought of that Rob – good point.

    “Hey everyone the future is sharepoint come join me doing sharepoint dev”
    Then I can just sit in Excel/VBA and wait for the rate rise! :-))

  6. Bob Phillips Says:

    And VS integrated with Siverlight!

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