A Funny Java Flavoured Look at the World

Friday, June 02, 2006

How can programmers earn extra cash

I saw this entry on a forum a while ago and put it in my list of things to blog about in the future when if I haven't got any inspiration. This was an entry about moonlighting (doing extra work after work) and whether anyone knew the best way for a programmer to make some extra money in his spare time, here is the entry
"Re: Moonlighting Opportunities?
At 7:55 AM on May 8, 2006, JMJ wrote:
Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to start doing a little "side" work? I've been doing development/design/architecture and even management for several years. I make a good living but would like to take in a little extra cash by doing some side work for a while, something I can do from home a few hours a week or so.

First, is this even realistic? In my career I've pretty much relied on a cohesive team, but with the advancement of outsourcing this doesn't seem to be so necessary for a lot of people.

Second, what's the best way to get started? I've looked at sites like rentacoder.com, but are these legitimate, and can you really get paid for this? I don't want to be wasting my time, just get paid a little for some quality side work...

Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this...thanks! "
The thought of spending your day programming and then coming home to and programming for some extra cash sounds very unappealing to me.

That was my initial thought but funnily enough I had wondered what moonlighting opportunities there are, I think probably all programmers have thought about this at one time because extra money is always good.

Even now though it doesn't really appeal to me but the time I go home I have usually had my fill regarding of programming and work. I usually want to do something different like playing football or TKD, slobbing about in front of the TV, reading, pretty much anything but do more work. Not that I'm saying I don't go on the computer when I'm at home, I do a bit surfing, blogging and sometimes a bit of investigation on new technologies or interesting bits and bobs.

This is very different from work, the ideal scenario would be to get some programming job that was fun and you got paid for it. In real life though I can't really believe this is going happen. I enjoy working but most of the time the work I do at work isn't that sexy or interesting it's standard stuff and sometimes (especially the afternoons) it's a slog. For every interesting bit of work you do at work there must be at least 10 bits which are pretty boring and standard programming fodder.

I found the responces to the question very interesting because I didn't really have a clue.

The first response is someone from http://www.TopCoder.com which is where they will set a coding competitions and then the winner basically gets some cash if these solutions are used. It could be sort of fun but still seemed like work for me but it has some good links on there and I did listen to the Java Posse's podcast when they went to live TopCoder event.

The next response mentioned rentacoder but said they didn't pay you much. A few of the other responses made a very interesting point. Basically these sites didn't pay much because you are in competition with people from India, China and Russia where there general wages are a lot lower. One of the responses mentions that you could earn more working at your local fast food joint as you would writing code for some websites.

Another response states that you should be careful working for other companies when moonlighting because there might be something in your work contract which might prohibite such activities. It's unlikely they would find out but you never know.

The final answer I really like it because it basically says why don't you just find a better job that pays you more, which probably seems like the real problem in this case.

I find it a very interesting question and answers, have a read


  • i have loved www.guru.com, i have had good luck with this site and the pay is good. I used it to build my company up, beware though you want to have some sort of portfolio there :0

    By Anonymous Joseph Crawford, at Sun Oct 01, 02:31:00 am 2006  

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