Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

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Topic Author
LiterallyIronic
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Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am

I'm a software developer by trade. But I could always use some more money to hit my mortgage and other goals harder.

I've been trying to think of something I could do after work to bring in more income. However, a "true" second job, like Walmart stocker, McDonald's cashier, or pizza deliverer are off the table. Anything with a set schedule is unacceptable. I need to be able to work my regular day job as much as necessary, even staying until midnight with no notice, if necessary. This makes it impossible to have another job that wants me to be there at a particular time. Also, any developer-related jobs are off the table as well. The last thing I want to do is go home and write code after writing code during the day. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. It should be something completely menial, not something that tries to bring in as much money per hour as possible.

I could think of Uber/Lyft as being something that allows you do work whenever you feel like it, but they require cars that are 10 years old or newer, which I don't have. We also have no spare bedrooms, etc for renting out.

That leaves me with the only option I can think of: panhandling on days with good weather. I know I can't stand on a sidewalk and attempt to panhandle to drivers because that's a misdemeanor in my city (though I could check on what the law states in adjacent cities), and panhandling in a private parking lot can result in a trespassing violation if the owner of the parking lot doesn't want you there, so that pretty much leaves panhandling in a public park, to foot-traffic on a public sidewalk, etc.

That being said, there's definitely an ethical issue with a fully-employed software developer sitting on a sidewalk asking for money when there are people in actual financial straits out there.

Anyone have better ideas for a menial job that can be done if and only if I have time and feel like doing it?

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Raybo
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Raybo » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:03 pm

On the assumption that this is a serious post (which I doubt), you might look for on-line tasks that others are willing to pay you for, such as, data entry. I have no idea if such things exist, but I keep hearing about them.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

badger42
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by badger42 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:08 pm

Real advice - Don't Any effort you spend on this would be way better spent on finding a better paying software developer job.

But if you want to try the Uber idea, I think UberEats will let you deliver food in an older vehicle. That would at least let you decide if you want to get a newer used car to drive passengers. Be aware that delivery / rideshare almost certainly need a rider on your insurance (depends on state / locality / carrier).

Other ideas - sell crafts on Etsy. Setup an Amazon or Ebay store where you buy things at your local Wal-Mart (assuming you are in a cheap location) and sell them to people in expensive locations.

Economically speaking, there is always limited value in things with minimal requirements and flexible schedules.

thx1138
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by thx1138 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:09 pm

I have no direct experience with this so my ideas are perhaps stupid ideas or ones that have little or no economic value to you. That said I completely understand your situation of not wanting your side hustle to be the same as your day job and wanting something menial.

Depending on where you live Amazon has a delivery Uber equivalent. Go to a pick up point and get a car full of packages to deliver for them. Not sure of their vehicle requirements but perhaps yours is OK for that.

If you have any sort of craft skills or what not you can go the Etsy route and sell whatever sorts of trinkets. Some people find craft projects - even repetitive ones - to be relaxing meditative work. Build up your stock on your own schedule and your only time sensitive obligation is to ship which for smaller craft stuff in small quantities doesn't even require a visit to the post office.

There are also various gig economy sites that are a way to offer various remote services like proof reading and such but those are probably a bit too much like your day job. Again similar things for providing local services like doing other folks chores for them or even cleaning their house but I suspect those have more of a scheduling burden than you'd be interested in.

Maybe you can suggest some of the skills or interests you have beyond coding that would fit into your menial work category?

That said - almost all these "gig" economy kinds of things seem to have an effectively very low compensation for your time. I suspect if you know how to code your time would be better spent getting some rest and developing your career further.

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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by hicabob » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. ….. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. …..
Seems like you are perhaps in the wrong profession?

ohai
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ohai » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:20 pm

Use your paltry salary as a software developer to make wildly speculative leveraged bets on stocks. It's what Jack Bogle would have wanted.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Spirit Rider » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:21 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. Also, any developer-related jobs are off the table as well. The last thing I want to do is go home and write code after writing code during the day. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program.
"Error, does not compute", "Error, does not compute", etc... Define what you do that qualifies you as a software developer, but you can't do web development, develop programs, etc...? Using your existing skills is always going to be the best form of moonlighting.

flyingaway
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by flyingaway » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:22 pm

I was thinking to start a blog. But after some calculatio, I found that it is easier and more profitable to stay at my current job one more year.
You could change a job if more money is your primary motivation.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by DanMahowny » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:26 pm

Advantage gambler.

Easy if you have lots of discipline. Just add a bankroll and some knowledge (widely available)
Funding secured

Spirit Rider
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Spirit Rider » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:31 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:26 pm
Advantage gambler. Easy if you have lots of discipline. Just add a bankroll and some knowledge (widely available)
Yeah sure. How to make $1M; start with $2M and follow this advice.

sport
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by sport » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:32 pm

When Costco has a very good deal, such as a closeout, I often see a large quantity disappear all at once. Those items can then be found on Ebay. That would seem to be a side gig that would meet your requirements.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:34 pm

hicabob wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. ….. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. …..
Seems like you are perhaps in the wrong profession?
That's what I was thinking too. When I read "developer-related jobs are off the table", I thought why take your most valuable skill off the table? But then this statement made me think the skill isn't that valuable after all. And if the income from the job was typical for a software developer, a "menial job" on the side would seem like a waste of time - why work additional hours for a small fraction of the hourly pay? If the OP is being serious, it sounds like a really lousy software job, and either the skills just aren't there for that profession, or a job hunt is in order (for a different primary software job - not a side gig).

StandingRock
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by StandingRock » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:42 pm

dave_k wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:34 pm
hicabob wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. ….. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. …..
Seems like you are perhaps in the wrong profession?
That's what I was thinking too. When I read "developer-related jobs are off the table", I thought why take your most valuable skill off the table? But then this statement made me think the skill isn't that valuable after all. And if the income from the job was typical for a software developer, a "menial job" on the side would seem like a waste of time - why work additional hours for a small fraction of the hourly pay? If the OP is being serious, it sounds like a really lousy software job, and either the skills just aren't there for that profession, or a job hunt is in order (for a different primary software job - not a side gig).
There are plenty of bad software developers out there, I have worked with a lot of 'em. A lot of them get paid just as much as the good ones.

pdavi21
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by pdavi21 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:43 pm

Land-lording. If you don't want a mortgage, just rent out part of your current home/apartment.

Topic Author
LiterallyIronic
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm

badger42 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:08 pm
Real advice - Don't Any effort you spend on this would be way better spent on finding a better paying software developer job.
That's no good. I just did that a couple months ago.
badger42 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:08 pm
But if you want to try the Uber idea, I think UberEats will let you deliver food in an older vehicle.
That's interesting. Hadn't heard of that.
thx1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:09 pm
Depending on where you live Amazon has a delivery Uber equivalent. Go to a pick up point and get a car full of packages to deliver for them. Not sure of their vehicle requirements but perhaps yours is OK for that.

There are also various gig economy sites that are a way to offer various remote services like proof reading and such but those are probably a bit too much like your day job. Again similar things for providing local services like doing other folks chores for them or even cleaning their house but I suspect those have more of a scheduling burden than you'd be interested in.
Those are interesting ideas.
thx1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:09 pm
Maybe you can suggest some of the skills or interests you have beyond coding that would fit into your menial work category?
I do have a solid understanding of grammar rules, etc, for proofreading. I can do data entry like a madman. I don't get bored easily. I can build computers. I'm kind of a neat freak. I'm not sure what else would be helpful. My "interests" aren't things that pay money - I like to watch TV and surf the Internet.
hicabob wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:11 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. ….. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. …..
Seems like you are perhaps in the wrong profession?
Oh, absolutely. I just fake it 'til I make it. Just gotta BS my way through 18 years of a career - 15 more to go! I figure at some point it will be discovered that I'm no good for the amount of experience I have, and I won't be hire-able. That's when I'll go back to school for one more CS class, change the date on my resume, act like I'm brand-new to the industry, and go back to a "new developer" salary.
Spirit Rider wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:21 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. Also, any developer-related jobs are off the table as well. The last thing I want to do is go home and write code after writing code during the day. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program.
"Error, does not compute", "Error, does not compute", etc... Define what you do that qualifies you as a software developer, but you can't do web development, develop programs, etc...? Using your existing skills is always going to be the best form of moonlighting.
I mean, my job title is Software Engineer. I am a software developer. But I'm terrible. I fix bugs and that's it. You want something started from scratch? Can't help you. I just find where the bug is and fix it. If a new feature needs to be added, all I can do is find something similar that already exists, copy it, and make adjustments as necessary. I can "do" web development, sure. I can write HTML and CSS to make it look a certain way. And I can write JavaScript and JQuery to make it behave a certain way. I can write the back-end code in C#. But I can only add code to existing files - no idea how to start a project. That's why I can't do a side project for someone.

fareastwarriors
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by fareastwarriors » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:53 pm

I know you said not set schedule but if you can do it, it can be lucrative... What about bartending or even bar-back.

TravelGeek
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:54 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm
I mean, my job title is Software Engineer. I am a software developer. But I'm terrible. I fix bugs and that's it. You want something started from scratch? Can't help you. I just find where the bug is and fix it. If a new feature needs to be added, all I can do is find something similar that already exists, copy it, and make adjustments as necessary. I can "do" web development, sure. I can write HTML and CSS to make it look a certain way. And I can write JavaScript and JQuery to make it behave a certain way. I can write the back-end code in C#. But I can only add code to existing files - no idea how to start a project. That's why I can't do a side project for someone.
Become a better software engineer (take online courses, work on open source projects, build stuff for yourself, ...). That won’t earn you any money in the short term, but in the long term would not only be monetarily rewarding but hopefully also more satisfying than driving Uber meals for tips and pennies.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:58 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm
I mean, my job title is Software Engineer. I am a software developer. But I'm terrible. I fix bugs and that's it. You want something started from scratch? Can't help you. I just find where the bug is and fix it. If a new feature needs to be added, all I can do is find something similar that already exists, copy it, and make adjustments as necessary. I can "do" web development, sure. I can write HTML and CSS to make it look a certain way. And I can write JavaScript and JQuery to make it behave a certain way. I can write the back-end code in C#. But I can only add code to existing files - no idea how to start a project. That's why I can't do a side project for someone.
Are you not able to improve your skills? It sounds like your time outside of work would be better spent learning to be a better software developer than taking on a "menial" side gig. Try creating a project from scratch in an area of interest. There are loads of tutorials and other resources freely available on the internet. The fact that you haven't done that and aren't considering it makes it sound like you really aren't interested in software development. You almost seem angry that you're even doing it. In that case, you need to change careers. Staying in a job you don't like enough to try to improve at is a recipe for misery, instability, and burnout.

Thegame14
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:03 pm

I am in the same boat, and everyone just says you do accounting during the day, just do it at night, but it isn't so easy, my day job is already heavily deadline driven, I don't want to take on work at nights and weekends that is also deadline driven when that is already stressful enough at work. same boat with Uber, my only car newer than 10 years get 18 miles per gallon so cant use that to make money. And also like you said, I cant have set hours as some nights I have to work late and right now, I have a two week old, so I could only work in short bursts while he and his brother are sleeping, so uber is the appeal with its schedule, but I am not buying a newer car to try to make more money....I would think anything tip related would work for other reasonsl

stoptothink
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:06 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. But I could always use some more money to hit my mortgage and other goals harder.

I've been trying to think of something I could do after work to bring in more income. However, a "true" second job, like Walmart stocker, McDonald's cashier, or pizza deliverer are off the table. Anything with a set schedule is unacceptable. I need to be able to work my regular day job as much as necessary, even staying until midnight with no notice, if necessary. This makes it impossible to have another job that wants me to be there at a particular time. Also, any developer-related jobs are off the table as well. The last thing I want to do is go home and write code after writing code during the day. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. It should be something completely menial, not something that tries to bring in as much money per hour as possible.

I could think of Uber/Lyft as being something that allows you do work whenever you feel like it, but they require cars that are 10 years old or newer, which I don't have. We also have no spare bedrooms, etc for renting out.

That leaves me with the only option I can think of: panhandling on days with good weather. I know I can't stand on a sidewalk and attempt to panhandle to drivers because that's a misdemeanor in my city (though I could check on what the law states in adjacent cities), and panhandling in a private parking lot can result in a trespassing violation if the owner of the parking lot doesn't want you there, so that pretty much leaves panhandling in a public park, to foot-traffic on a public sidewalk, etc.

That being said, there's definitely an ethical issue with a fully-employed software developer sitting on a sidewalk asking for money when there are people in actual financial straits out there.

Anyone have better ideas for a menial job that can be done if and only if I have time and feel like doing it?
I take particular interest in your posts because we are close to the same age and live in the same area. You make good money for someone with your level of education, experience, and admitted (lack of) expertise. Haven't you like tripled your income in the last 3yrs? It's bizarre hearing how much you have progressed and then in another thread (jokingly or not) considering panhandling. You have a very valuable skill, even if you aren't that particularly skilled; the most effective way to make more money is to improve that skill. And, be patient; you aren't in the Bay Area, 6-figure salaries aren't going to be thrown at you immediately. I think you need a friend more than you need more money.

renue74
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by renue74 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:12 pm

Treehouse (develop better developer skills. Learn a new language)
Codeacademy (see above)

TaskRabbit (do menial jobs for people)
Mechanical Turk (Amazon's way of getting people to make pennies)
Dog Walker
Pet Sitter
Amazon FBA
Handyman
Doordash delivery guy
Shipt shopper
Instacart shopper
Grubhub delivery guy

Boom...I just gave you enough side gigs that you should be able to quit your full time gig and make bank.

TravelGeek
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:13 pm

sport wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:32 pm
When Costco has a very good deal, such as a closeout, I often see a large quantity disappear all at once. Those items can then be found on Ebay. That would seem to be a side gig that would meet your requirements.
Funny, literally just a few seconds ago this recent article about retail arbitrage popped up in my news feed:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business ... story.html

robphoto
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by robphoto » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:15 pm

Sounds like you need to upgrade your skills, as has been suggested above.

You'll make so much more money per hour doing that, rather than driving Uber, etc., unless you just want to do those as a diversion, not a money maker.

I'm also confused when you say building a website is beyond your skill set. Coding one of those from scratch isn't that hard, and most people could probably do it, using either one of the Adobe programs or a platform like Wix or Squarespace.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:19 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
I'm a software developer by trade. But I could always use some more money to hit my mortgage and other goals harder.

I've been trying to think of something I could do after work to bring in more income. However, a "true" second job, like Walmart stocker, McDonald's cashier, or pizza deliverer are off the table. Anything with a set schedule is unacceptable. I need to be able to work my regular day job as much as necessary, even staying until midnight with no notice, if necessary. This makes it impossible to have another job that wants me to be there at a particular time. Also, any developer-related jobs are off the table as well. The last thing I want to do is go home and write code after writing code during the day. And I'm not remotely good enough to do a development job by myself - I can't make someone a website by myself, let alone write someone a program. It should be something completely menial, not something that tries to bring in as much money per hour as possible.

I could think of Uber/Lyft as being something that allows you do work whenever you feel like it, but they require cars that are 10 years old or newer, which I don't have. We also have no spare bedrooms, etc for renting out.

That leaves me with the only option I can think of: panhandling on days with good weather. I know I can't stand on a sidewalk and attempt to panhandle to drivers because that's a misdemeanor in my city (though I could check on what the law states in adjacent cities), and panhandling in a private parking lot can result in a trespassing violation if the owner of the parking lot doesn't want you there, so that pretty much leaves panhandling in a public park, to foot-traffic on a public sidewalk, etc.

That being said, there's definitely an ethical issue with a fully-employed software developer sitting on a sidewalk asking for money when there are people in actual financial straits out there.

Anyone have better ideas for a menial job that can be done if and only if I have time and feel like doing it?
1. Visit Labor Services, Temp Companies, etc.
2. Give them your resume and time constraints.
3. They will coordinate with you and give you work as you can handle it. They will also pay you.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:21 pm

Is there an escrap yard near you? If there is, since you can build computers, how about dismantling for scrap or for resale. I do this. I pick up anything from a bunch of 80's video game consoles and computers at the side of the road to complete office suites of stuff being abandoned when an office is moving. For the rare thing that I can prove works and is worth anything, I'll try to sell it. (Hint....nobody wants flat screen monitors......months on craigslist for 4 of these with cables for $5 went nowhere). Anyways....craigslist is free, so you can try anything. It is NOT going to earn you a ton and it will probably take you a while to get enough to make going to the scrapyard worthwhile, but it's low stress (or destress) and you do find interesting things about how lots of electronic stuff is built (most is total crap). Finding those early 80's Dec and Prime and telecom things, just shows how good things used to be made compared to today. Oh....you'll want to have a place to bring scrap metal too. You will end up with a lot of steel and a good amount of aluminum.

Then there's tradeline sales. But that doesn't take much time. It does pay much more than scrapping, but it's nowhere near as fun.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

coupleofcents
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by coupleofcents » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:23 pm

The far easier path would be to cut your expenses, and/or increase your income at your current job.

There is tons of info out there including this forum with how to cut expenses. Increasing your income is a little less tangible and includes improving your skills, marketing yourself/schmoozing with the boss, changing companies, etc.

Everyone wants the type of side gig you describe but you really won't make much money from most of those unless you turn a part time side gig into some type of value added business and then scale and have other people work for you.

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greg24
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by greg24 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:24 pm

Spend your free time upgrading your programming skills.

Don't make an excuse, just do it.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:28 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm


Oh, absolutely. I just fake it 'til I make it. Just gotta BS my way through 18 years of a career - 15 more to go! I figure at some point it will be discovered that I'm no good for the amount of experience I have, and I won't be hire-able. That's when I'll go back to school for one more CS class, change the date on my resume, act like I'm brand-new to the industry, and go back to a "new developer" salary.
This made me laugh. I wouldn't try to fake it till you make it because I think the dishonesty will catch up to you. Instead (as others have said) try to get better at your current profession. You're in a great, high demand field. You can watch YouTube videos on how to create a website or any skill that you want to work on.

Another possibility is QA testing as a part-time gig.

Topic Author
LiterallyIronic
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:30 pm

robphoto wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:15 pm
I'm also confused when you say building a website is beyond your skill set. Coding one of those from scratch isn't that hard, and most people could probably do it, using either one of the Adobe programs or a platform like Wix or Squarespace.
Heh, Wix or Squarespace. That's ironic. At my last job, myself and two other developers wrote a program that competes with Wix and Squarespace. A program that someone can use to make a website. Want some text? Drag a textbox onto the page and start typing. Want the font bigger? No problem. Want an image? Drag one onto the page and click it to choose which image you want to use from a library of images you have uploaded. Here's a company's site that was built using the website maker that two other guys and I created: https://www.emeraldeve.club/. How does it work? I have no idea. One of the other guys built the skeleton for the website maker and I added a lot of the "meat" to it. I can add anything to anything, but I can't start something to save my life.
renue74 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:12 pm
Treehouse (develop better developer skills. Learn a new language)
Codeacademy (see above)

TaskRabbit (do menial jobs for people)
Mechanical Turk (Amazon's way of getting people to make pennies)
Dog Walker
Pet Sitter
Amazon FBA
Handyman
Doordash delivery guy
Shipt shopper
Instacart shopper
Grubhub delivery guy

Boom...I just gave you enough side gigs that you should be able to quit your full time gig and make bank.
Thanks, I'll take a look.
stoptothink wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:06 pm
I take particular interest in your posts because we are close to the same age and live in the same area. You make good money for someone with your level of education, experience, and admitted (lack of) expertise. Haven't you like tripled your income in the last 3yrs? It's bizarre hearing how much you have progressed and then in another thread (jokingly or not) considering panhandling. You have a very valuable skill, even if you aren't that particularly skilled; the most effective way to make more money is to improve that skill. And, be patient; you aren't in the Bay Area, 6-figure salaries aren't going to be thrown at you immediately. I think you need a friend more than you need more money.
I don't know about tripled, but I went from $48k three years ago to $75k today. But it's never enough. Because of my mortgage. I felt I was swimming in cash even at $50k when I was a renter. Now I think about my mortgage every single day. That's not an exaggeration. I try to run math on it every morning in the shower. $141,500 outstanding. Even if I somehow come up with $1,000 toward principal every month, that's still twelve years to pay it off.

bhsince87
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by bhsince87 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:42 pm

If you can "build computers", you should be able to find part time work just about anywhere as a PC support tech, especially if you're willing to do it on site.

I'm assuming that means you also know how to troubleshoot problems, set up routers & wifi, do system updates, remove viruses, etc.

Try to find a part time/on your own schedule gig with an established business. Or run some ads on Craig's List, facebook marketplace, etc. and try it on your own. Set up an hourly rate.

I'm an electrical engineer, and I can fuddle my way through mosty PC related issues (with google as my friend). And I can't believe how many emails or PM's I get from friends who ask me if I can come to their house and help them with PC related issues.
Retirement: When you reach a point where you have enough. Or when you've had enough.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:43 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:30 pm
I can add anything to anything, but I can't start something to save my life.
If this is really about not being able to start something, then the best use of your spare time is to just start something. Maybe the attitude towards your job/career that I'm detecting in your posts stems from a lack of confidence. That could be helped by improving your weakest skills in your spare time. You'll find that starting a project isn't that big a deal once you've done it a time or two. You'll earn more overall if you have a better attitude and confidence in your chosen career than if you try to "fake it" for 15 more years and take poorly paying side gigs.

And why obsess over your mortgage? If you didn't own, you'd be paying rent like you were before. At least some of the mortgage payment is going to principal/equity.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:46 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:24 pm
Spend your free time upgrading your programming skills.

Don't make an excuse, just do it.
Programming skills have little to do with what a software developer gets paid. The bang for the buck is improving marketing and negotiating skills.

If he spends all day fixing bugs he's already more useful than a lot of developers who spend all day writing bugs.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:54 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:46 pm
greg24 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:24 pm
Spend your free time upgrading your programming skills.

Don't make an excuse, just do it.
Programming skills have little to do with what a software developer gets paid. The bang for the buck is improving marketing and negotiating skills.
There's some truth to that, but if he already feels like he's faking it, this will only push him further in that direction.
Epsilon Delta wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:46 pm
If he spends all day fixing bugs he's already more useful than a lot of developers who spend all day writing bugs.
This made me laugh! Very true, but a developer that spends all day writing decent code is more valuable than either, and possibly more satisfied with his career.

gotester2000
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gotester2000 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:55 pm

I understand your problem. You have a few choices:
1. Improve your technical skills if you want to pursue your current career.
2. Move into management roles gradually.
3. Reskill and move to a different industry.

Most developers hate to do a second job that requires coding - been there.

To be successful with side gigs online, you have to work full time on them - e.g.writing.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:56 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm
thx1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:09 pm
There are also various gig economy sites that are a way to offer various remote services like proof reading and such
I do have a solid understanding of grammar rules, etc, for proofreading.
I wouldn't count on that for a reliable side income...
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:30 pm
At my last job, myself and two other developers wrote a program
:wink:

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:13 pm

gotester2000 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:55 pm
Most developers hate to do a second job that requires coding - been there.
This highlights the difference between software developers who have a passion for it from those for whom it's just a job. I have always been a software developer, and I've had a few side jobs doing it as well, including what became the company I co-founded. Even as CTO, I find the farther I stray from software development or architecture, the less happy I am. All along I have often had software side projects of my own that were just for fun. When hiring a software developer, I try to find people who are clearly passionate about it, because I know what a difference that can make. I think the OP falls squarely in the "just a job" camp. Maybe he'd be happier in a career he's more passionate about, or maybe some software side projects could lead him to be more interested as well as more skilled in this career.

badger42
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by badger42 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:23 pm

gotester2000 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:55 pm
Most developers hate to do a second job that requires coding - been there.
When I built infrastructure (think "DevOps before DevOps was a word") all of my side jobs were infrastructure related. They paid well, gave me interesting problems that were different from the day job (think "tech startup" vs "factory floor"), and I had an explicit arrangement at my day job that allowed me to do consulting work on the side. (with reasonable limits e.g. no direct competitors, defined narrowly and sealed with a handshake)

Right now I have no side jobs because the day job really needs 110% and I want to actually have some family time. Focusing on getting better at my day job (including via side jobs) and finding niches that I really enjoy in the day job helped push my TC from ~80k to ~400k over the past 10 years.

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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:23 pm

I hope you don't take this as coming across too harshly.

For a long time you have posted about your unhealthy obsession with your mortgage balance. I would seriously consider seeing a counselor or therapist. Your situation is enviable to a vast (90% of the world, I would hazard to guess) majority of humanity and you don't have the emotional/psychological framework to see why that's a better starting point to your day than "my mortgage is $x."

Oh, and get better at your job! That should take up more of your mental capacity than thinking about how to quickly pay off your mortgage.

I hope things improve for you, for the sake of your wife and child.

:beer
"Knowledge and innocence are both excellent things, and they are both very funny. But it is right that knowledge should be the servant and innocence the master." - GK Chesterton

TravelGeek
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:35 pm

dave_k wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:13 pm
gotester2000 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:55 pm
Most developers hate to do a second job that requires coding - been there.
This highlights the difference between software developers who have a passion for it from those for whom it's just a job. I have always been a software developer, and I've had a few side jobs doing it as well, including what became the company I co-founded. Even as CTO, I find the farther I stray from software development or architecture, the less happy I am. All along I have often had software side projects of my own that were just for fun. When hiring a software developer, I try to find people who are clearly passionate about it, because I know what a difference that can make. I think the OP falls squarely in the "just a job" camp. Maybe he'd be happier in a career he's more passionate about, or maybe some software side projects could lead him to be more interested as well as more skilled in this career.
Well said, dave_k. When I reviewed resumes for candidates worth interviewing, side projects, open source contributions and other indicators of the candidate "being a software engineer because it's interesting and fun" were usually filter criteria for me.

gotester2000 -- I would think most developers don't need/want a second job that requires coding because they are busy enough at their actual job and it pays enough. I also think that most good software developers recognize that it's easier to make more money in their field of expertise than to drive Uber or sell stuff on eBay on the side. When I was a manager, the people in my team who always had some low-paying side hustle going were also the ones who got the lowest bonuses or option/RSU allocations because they were the least valuable team members.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:03 pm

dave_k wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:54 pm
Epsilon Delta wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:46 pm
Programming skills have little to do with what a software developer gets paid. The bang for the buck is improving marketing and negotiating skills.
There's some truth to that, but if he already feels like he's faking it, this will only push him further in that direction.
While I am cynical, I'm not entirely cynical.

Non-technical skills help you do better job. They can also help people better understand their role in an organization which can make them feel like less of a fake. You don't have to move to manager to use those skills. A continuing development engineer who can be left alone in a room with field service people and come out with a prioritized list of the bugs he will fix is valuable, and probably gets more job satisfaction than somebody who is just completing tickets from the bug database.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:12 pm

Epsilon Delta, agreed. I hope the OP is getting the picture that working on the skills useful for his primary job, one way or another, is a better option than panhandling. And, more seriously, that his attitude reflects some issues that he needs to work out.

Cookie Dough
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Cookie Dough » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:43 pm

Software engineer with high wages thinks of panhandling in a public park to pay mortgage faster.

Things that make you go hmmm.... :sharebeer

thx1138
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by thx1138 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:47 pm

So as an aside, can you say why you became a software developer?

I ask because I know certain "hot fields" that are "in demand" end up with many folks learning to do them - or at least get a degree in them - because they are perceived to be safe or lucrative careers by either them or their parents. Long term this is a problem because it tends to be something they don't have a passion for. The solution is usually to pivot to something else.

I know for instance a number of engineers who went into engineering more or less because their parents told them to and quickly realized they really didn't have what it takes to do that long term not because they weren't smart enough but just because they really weren't interested enough. But many organizations have a good out for this - transitioning into other related positions be it program management, personnel management or business development. And I know a bunch of so-so engineers who turned out to be excellent in these other positions. Which ironically is often different from the actual good engineers interested in engineering who get forced into the same roles and suck at it for the very same reason - they aren't interested in their new roles as non-engineers.

Anyway if that is akin to your position maybe some of this other time would be better spent exploring different career paths.

Oh - and a word of warning - nothing is more poisonous to finding these next career paths than hanging around with "good" programmers or engineers. In general since they love what they do in programming/engineering they disparage everything else including all your alternative career paths. That cynicism will wear off on you and you'll potentially overlook some great opportunities for you just because your cubical mates are constantly making fun of them...

quantAndHold
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:58 pm

In the long term, big picture, for any college educated professional, spending time and energy on career development is going to pay better than pretty much anything else. This goes double if that career is software development.

To be honest, most software devs that I’ve known over the past 30 years that were trying to make money on side projects that were unrelated to software development were not very good at their jobs. They all eventually ended up changing careers, usually to something that paid less well, often because they got squeezed out of software development.

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rmelvey
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by rmelvey » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:05 pm

Are you already churning credit card bonuses? That can be an extra $1k per year when you are just starting out. Not a ton but very easy for the amount of work involved.

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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by fposte » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:12 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:23 pm
I hope you don't take this as coming across too harshly.

For a long time you have posted about your unhealthy obsession with your mortgage balance. I would seriously consider seeing a counselor or therapist. Your situation is enviable to a vast (90% of the world, I would hazard to guess) majority of humanity and you don't have the emotional/psychological framework to see why that's a better starting point to your day than "my mortgage is $x."
Agreeing with this. You're worried that it'll take you years to pay off a mortgage, but that's how mortgages work. Are you going to deliver for UberEats to get out in ten years instead of twelve but not see your kid awake for four years? If your anxiety level says that's a good trade, that's something to talk to a professional about.

Your mortgage isn't large, you live in a LCOL area, and your income is enough to cover some significant areas of discretionary spending in addition to your mortgage and mortgage prepayment. The money in this scenario isn't the problem.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:20 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:54 pm
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:45 pm
I mean, my job title is Software Engineer. I am a software developer. But I'm terrible. I fix bugs and that's it. You want something started from scratch? Can't help you. I just find where the bug is and fix it. If a new feature needs to be added, all I can do is find something similar that already exists, copy it, and make adjustments as necessary. I can "do" web development, sure. I can write HTML and CSS to make it look a certain way. And I can write JavaScript and JQuery to make it behave a certain way. I can write the back-end code in C#. But I can only add code to existing files - no idea how to start a project. That's why I can't do a side project for someone.
Become a better software engineer (take online courses, work on open source projects, build stuff for yourself, ...). That won’t earn you any money in the short term, but in the long term would not only be monetarily rewarding but hopefully also more satisfying than driving Uber meals for tips and pennies.
+1
I quit programming because I was tired of the work and developed carpel tunnel syndrome. But my coding skills were always above average.

I think you should learn how to create websites using WordPress or some other off the shelf product and use that to enhance your technical skills.

In the long run, technical skills will provide the most name for your buck. Everything else is a waste of time.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:21 pm

rmelvey wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:05 pm
Are you already churning credit card bonuses? That can be an extra $1k per year when you are just starting out. Not a ton but very easy for the amount of work involved.
How? Can you elaborate please.

corysold
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by corysold » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:21 pm

Look at EasyShift, GigWalk and Field Agent. All apps that provide opportunity for side gigs, mostly at local stores, Walmart, Target, liquor stores, etc.

Doesn't pay much, $5-10/per job, but they only take a few minutes each and if you are in the area/stores anyway. Jobs are sporadic, but can be picked up and completed when you want, as long as they are available.

TaskRabbit might be another thing to look at, I think you can farm out your software skills on there.

aristotelian
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:29 pm

Can you play an instrument? You will bring in a lot more spare change if you have a talent.

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