Dan Florio was an average designer who learned enough about writing code to become average at it as well. But he liked coding more than designing. Besides, it makes a great deal more money. Plus, all clients think they can design and create good UX. But none of them think they can write code.
Back in 2008 he quit working for Microsoft XBox and became a freelance developer. It seemed that Flex was in high demand so he set out to teach himself to become a Flex/Actionscript developer. He needed a good project to work on that would push his skills to improve so he turned to an old idea he had about making a website that would help people know the best times to run and pee during a movie. He built it. Named it RunPee and then watched it spend a year being lonely and getting no visitors. Then someone in the media - Leo Laporte - learned about it. And others learned about it from him and so on and so on. Eventually Dan was doing radio interviews for stations as far away as South Africa. RunPee was surprisingly a success.
Dan now lives in the South Bay area of Los Angeles where he is working hard - hardly working - to create another successful project. Most aren't but it's fun trying.
You can read Dan's developer blog at polyGeek.com.