Last year I made the big decision to finally focus on getting a full-time job to help myself proceed in life. Having plenty of money is a wonderful thing after all. Fortunately my favourite pastime from a very young age on, namely computers and software development, turned out to be a very useful asset. It immediately catapulted me into senior developer status for my first job. So much for those who denounced me as someone who would amount to little since I didn't express much interest in studying at school and university.
At any rate I then ended up at a Dutch public broadcaster, doing backend maintenance and development on their websites. It wasn't the most exciting work, but paid alright. What ultimately made me quit there was that the place had a very top-down hierarchy, in which the people doing the actual work had virtually zero input in the whole process. This led to the developers being treated in a sense as children by management, who themselves naturally knew less of the technical details since they never made it into developers.
For over two months I just did some freelance work on random paid projects which didn't really make me a lot of money, so that I had to ask around on the social networks I frequent for more paid projects. This led to among other things someone referring me to the owner of this German software development company to ask whether he could use my services. The answer, as it turned out, was a resounding 'yes'.
Long story short, this week I spent in Southern Germany, working at the office of this company. This way we both could see whether I'd be able to work alright with the team I would be placed in as iOS developer and whether my work results were satisfactory. That I'm now sitting here back in the Netherlands with a new iPod and almost-current model Macbook Pro provided by said company would suggest a positive result there :)
I'm far happier with this switch to a new job and do not regret leaving my previous place of employment. I now work from home or anywhere I want, in a freelance fashion, meaning that I can work flexible hours without getting into problems with my contract. I'm also earning significantly more than before, which means that now I should finally be able to start saving up some money for the future which will include moving away from the Netherlands.
On one hand it's somewhat scary to start such a new job in this fashion, also because I'm at this point pretty much a beginning iOS developer, though my C/C++ background helps a lot there. There's a lot of responsibility resting upon my shoulders. Fortunately I'm feeling confident enough that I can do this. My experiences at the office this week also proved that. To a good developer the development environment and language should be of no real concern, as the underlying concepts do not change. The whims of the API developers and technical writers form the only major roadblock.
The only thing I still have to take care of at this point is a place of my own where I can live, but then I should be set for a while.