On Speculative Web Development Work

Many web developers, especially Drupal developers (who are in particularly high demand these days), won't touch speculative work, period. With so many options available to us, we can choose work that will pay now over work that might pay some day. Still, not everyone who has an idea has the front money to build it. I have had some luck with speculative web development work over the years, and I thought I'd talk about why I do it and how I choose which projects are worth speculating on. Not long after I diverted from my former career path to pursue life as a Drupal consultant, I received the following advice from a trusted friend: "Every good independent web developer has a project or two that is their own, besides what they do for their clients." It's turned out that he is right. Good speculative work gives me a chance to build a product I'm really happy with, free of portfolio-harming client compromises and NDAs. It also provides me with important experience following a project through its entire life cycle, so that I can jump into my consulting projects and easily answer "where do we go from here?…

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