Running akosma software

As I celebrate 25 years of work as a software developer, I look back at one of the most thrilling and frantic times in my professional life: those five years in which I worked as a freelance professional.

Yes, I’ve been around for 25 years. As I said in a previous post,

I started my career as a software developer at precisely 10am, on Monday October 6th, 1997, somewhere in the city of Olivos, just north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The moment was Unix Epoch 876142800. I had recently celebrated my 24th birthday.

Le sigh. Anyway, I digress.

From 2008 to 2013 I ran my own little software company, mostly dedicated to building mobile apps for Android and iOS, using native and web technologies alike. Being the only person working in it, I was responsible for everything; from writing the code, to managing the business.

To run the company I used a small set of self-hosted software packages, written in either Ruby on Rails or PHP, conveniently hosted at Site5.

Most of these self-hosted apps stored their data in MySQL databases. I updated them around three or four times a year; which for Ruby on Rails apps is quite cumbersome in general. No containers here (this was before 2014!) Site5 offered an account in a virtual server with Rails, PHP, and MySQL support, so just SSH and have fun.

As for desktop software, I used the following:

I also used a few SaaS services:

I also outsourced various services; it’s important to outsource those things that aren’t your core competency.

25 years. I still can’t believe it.

  1. I could have used something like Moodle for that, but I didn’t know about it. Redmine did this job very well. ↩︎