Where I came from
This company was officially started in 1990 as K&D Consulting and was more hobby than anything. Over the years, the company was reformed into ALDA Consulting and has been a second source of income for my family. I still treat it as a fun thing I do. During those years I have worked full time for a couple of software companies that are still going strong after 30+ years in business and I get a good deal of work from them. Now I am retired from other full time jobs, but the passion for this has always kept me going.
In 1987, I was asked to make a desktop application for a major oil company because their in-house programmers could not get to it for another year. This was all to do with some new EPA regulations. I did the job for them and word got out that it worked. Two other oil companies immediately purchased the application. To my knowledge, they are still using these old dos based applications.
In 1991, I created a payroll program for my own use in a company and was asked to sell it. I re-wrote some of it so it could be easily kept current with all the government rates changes and placed it on the market. I sold about 600 copies of it. It was such a good app that no one ever needed an update. Guess I built it too good. I only know of one company still using it, but they keep and old dos based computer just for that.
After that, I worked for a national company as a programmer while making applications for friends and clients on the side.
In 1997, I formed a company and started to make more apps and got stronger on the web side. That is what I have been doing ever since.
BUT, it has all been as a hobby that brought in a little extra. It still is a hobby since I retired, although I now run it as a full time business. That is 8-12 hours a day 5 to 6 days a week.
I will be doing the same thing for years to come. Some of my corporate clients call fairly often and I do a job for them. They know I am dependable and any data I see is going to be safe.