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The independent's dilemma (or: why I became a dataverbinder)

If you opt for being an employee, you have the stereotypical choice between chasing the big money at the giant 'E-corp' style corporation, or following your heart at the small

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If you opt for being an employee, you have the stereotypical choice between chasing the big money at the giant 'E-corp' style corporation, or following your heart at the small value driven, non-for-profit organisation. You might reject this black and white dichotomy (and I hope you do), and point at the greyscale in between, but at the very least these options are open to you.

When I started my path as an independent, however, I felt like choosing projects based on their impact value is not a realistic option. I can imagine that being true for any independent, at any profession. The lack of financial stability, the lack of experience, even just being on your own - these could all pressure you into taking projects as they come, without having the freedom to choose. At best, it might be a "make money now, make impact later" type of situation. At worst, it could be a spiralling trap.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to come across the dataverbinders, and be able to contribute to establishing this corporation. On a bureaucratic level, it is about providing some of the advantages a company would - like spreading risks and sharing infrastructure costs. On a professional level, it is about having a network of peers, that are able to help and advise each other and dynamically group or disband for different projects. But on a more fundamental level, as cliché as it may sound, it is simply about belonging to something greater than yourself - which helps me focus on the things I know to be most important, but are often too easy to forget.

Being independent is not easy. Maybe it isn't supposed to be. I actually like that it's hard, that there are challenges. But for those of us who are looking for ways to do good around them, it can be a little easier. And just because we are independent - does not mean we are at it alone.

If this rings true to you, reach out to us. It does not matter if you are at the start of your independent journey, or a seasoned veteran. It does not matter if you are a pythonista, an R aficionado or a sworn SQL supporter. It does not matter if you are old or young, self taught or a certified PhD.

If you are an independent data professional, looking to do good in the world - we should talk.

Amit Gal

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