If all goes to plan then I retire in twenty years' time, aged 55. About the same time as the mortgage ends. In the mean time I need to pay the mortgage each month as well as feed the family, put the kids through university, pay for a couple of weddings, take them on nice holidays etc etc.
Longer-term worries aside I have much more immediate concerns to address. If I'm to continue "living the dream" and working from home doing a job I love then I need to keep hold of what few good customers I have while waiting for others to come along.
I like to think I'm pretty good at keeping hold of customers. I give them what they want (usually more so) and at a reasonable price, so they tend to come back.
But what am I supposed to do when a good customer decides to leave Domino? Wish them luck and let them go; after years of building a relationship with them? Not likely. It would be foolish not to try and keep hold of them.
Can Domino Pay The Bills?
In a comment on this site the other day I said:
It's purely about paying the bills. For the first time in my career I feel like being a Domino-only developer is not going to do that.
The reason I've hardly talked about Domino on here recently is because I've not done much with it and the stuff I have been doing with it just hasn't been anything to write home about.
It's no longer about me being fed up with Domino and looking for alternatives. It's now purely about survival. I need to plan ahead and make sure I have a maintainable income for the foreseeable future.
In a meeting last month with the customer who's leaving Domino they said to me:
There might be some SharePoint work coming up, if you're up for it?
While some of you might have gracefully declined, my eyes lit up at the prospect. Not because I think developing with SharePoint will be a barrel of laughs, but because it means I might not end up losing one of my best customers. If they'd said there might be "some Excel macro work" or "some Notes 4 client work" I'd still have bitten their hand off.
Whether they actually meant SharePoint or whether that's a cover-all term used to describe any ASP.NET based stuff, I don't know. Either way I want to make sure I'm up to speed when the time comes. Hence why I've been working with ASP.NET of late and my more recent interest in SharePoint.
Not Quitting Domino Just Yet
If I thought that being a Domino developer could see me through the next 20 years then I'd be happy enough to stick with it. My family are now way more important than the idea of me being completely contented with my choice of tools.
So, for the record, I'm not looking to move completely away from Domino. If you want some Domino development doing then I'm still your man and waiting by the phone.