Meet Willem Bult, world traveler, entrepreneur, and software developer. Willem uses iDoneThis to build fine internet products by reflecting every day on his step-by-step progress towards his goals.
I write code and travel the world. I’ve lived in Europe, SE-Asia and the US. I’ve always been interested both in software development as in entrepreneurship. At age 15, I was selling my first “real” application. While pursuing my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees I started four high tech companies. Software I created has taught children in the slums of Delhi how to speak English, and a company I founded makes people smile every day when they receive our personalized game products.
Location: New York, NY
How do you use iDoneThis?
Every night after I finish my day of coding I track the functionality I implemented that day. It helps me reflect on my day and see how effective I’ve been. It’s easy to spend an entire day writing a bunch of code, but it’s very useful to see if that work actually brought you closer to your goal.
It’s also really cool to be able to easily look back through what I’ve been working on in the (recent) past. Sometimes I don’t even remember at the end of the day what I started off with, let alone two weeks from now. iDoneThis helps me track all that stuff.
You’re a hard worker. Aside from iDoneThis, how do you keep yourself motivated?
My main motivation comes from building stuff I’m excited about. Envisioning products I’m building being used by lots of happy users is a motivator like no other. That’s what keeps me in the office until 2 AM on a Sunday.
Another thing that works well for me is variation. It may seem counter-intuitive, but small side projects help me stay focused. Of course there’s always the risk of too much distraction, so it’s a matter of balance, as with anything.
Then there’s other stuff I do like setting goals that can be realistically achieved in one day. Delivering on these set goals gives you the motivating feeling of accomplishment, while they are also forcing you to stay until the task is completed.
What’s the most exciting part of being a software developer?
The most exciting thing is being able to create something that has the potential to affect lots of people. Software you write has the potential audience of the entire world, while it can take as little as one person to develop an application. It’s a very efficient way of making a difference.
On a more technical angle I’m a sucker for elegancy. I can get very excited about neatly architected software with clearly defined responsibilities and reusable components. Like most software engineers I’m kind of a perfectionist, so I often find myself on the edge of getting too caught up in architectural aesthetics, but I pride myself in delivering quality, robust, software. Handing off code that I know other engineers are going to be able to work well with is exciting to me.