Top Ten Recession Survival Tips for Developers

Well, with the Dow making its biggest single-day point gain ever today, maybe things aren’t going to be so bad after all. However, the economy is still on everyone’s mind these days, especially us independent consultants. Will shrinking demand for development services cause our business to decline, or will hiring freezes and tight budgets cause IT managers to look to variable-cost options like consultants and small development firms to keep key projects alive? Time will tell.

In case it’s the former, I’ve put together my predicted top ten growth industries for 2009, so we can all focus our limited resources wisely:

  1. Brisk trade in gold, guns
  2. Generating electricity for Bartertown
  3. Foraging for nuts and berries
  4. Being a Democrat in elected office/Not being a Republican (tie)
  5. Repurposing credit default swaps into lightweight, waterproof shelters
  6. Issuing public guarantees of underperforming bank assets/nationalizing the banks (tie)
  7. Innovative financing methods to enable less-creditworthy borrowers to participate in the dream of home ownership, only in this case the dream is a blood-chilling national nightmare
  8. Law practice specializing the the raft of rushed and poorly thought-out regulations about to be imposed on the financial industry
  9. Fix and flip!
  10. Providing Agile training and coaching at recession-sensitive prices to give businesses the tools they need to remain competitive in the face of shrinking budgets and to position themselves for success in the recovery, following Tim Bray’s recent suggestion

With so many options to choose from, 2009 could still really be an exciting year. As for me, though, I think I’m going to go with #10. Who’s with me?