Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

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TravelGeek
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:31 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
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.
Read this thread :)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=192008

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

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:57 pm

dave_k wrote:
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.

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.
I do have Visual Studio at home. I could try to come up with a relatively small project and try to figure out how a project is started. I could go to the library and see if I can find something that walks through creating a small game or something interesting.

As for my mortgage, I'm paying more in interest than I was paying in rent. After retirement and taxes, my mortgage is my biggest expense. Maybe I'll feel better about it when my interest portion falls to less than what my rent was and when I reach the eventuality of having more money in my retirement accounts than I have outstanding on my mortgage. Right now, it's just stressful because I could lose my job and then still have that $825 payment hanging around my neck. I've only made 16 payments so far and it just feels like it's going to take so long to pay this off. I know when my retirement accounts are finally more than my mortgage balance, it's going to take me monumental strength not to pull it all out and pay off the mortgage. It's also going to be a massive temptation, when I get $20k of the principal paid down, to do a free recast in order to lower my PITI.
thx1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:47 pm
So as an aside, can you say why you became a software developer?
Good question. It was pretty much the only thing in the middle of the Venn Diagram between "pay is at least pretty good", "I can manage to be at least mediocre at it", and "I wouldn't be completely miserable doing this job". If I could have whatever job (throwing out the ridiculous like "ice cream taste tester", etc), I think I would want to be a bank teller. That seems fun. But $10/hour isn't going to get me anywhere.

AerialWombat
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:08 pm

Find a local CPA to do data entry for. Or, hang out a shingle and do simple tax returns yourself if you’re not in CA, OR, MD, CT, NY, IL (states that regulate tax preparers). Learn how to wholesale real estate. Get a real estate license and collect referral fees doing lead generation online for other agents. Take the Series 65 exam and start doing basic financial plans for the masses.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:13 pm

Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

JoeRetire
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:18 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:58 am
Anyone have better ideas for a menial job that can be done if and only if I have time and feel like doing it?
Do you have any skills or hobbies at all? Lots of folks make extra cash doing things they enjoy.

I know a woman who taught herself to make glass jewelry. She eventually turned it into a business lucrative enough to quit her 6-figure software job and work on it full time.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:19 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:57 pm
dave_k wrote:
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.

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.
I do have Visual Studio at home. I could try to come up with a relatively small project and try to figure out how a project is started. I could go to the library and see if I can find something that walks through creating a small game or something interesting.
The library?? what's a library :) Just go to YouTube. I just taught myself ASP.NET Core quickly from some great tutorials on YouTube.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:27 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
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.
I'm curious what sort of environment/culture this creates. Seems like a productive environment but not that fun of a workplace and you may be dismissing some talent.
Last edited by ThankYouJack on Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gvsucavie03
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm

My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.

TravelGeek
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:42 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:27 pm
I'm curious what sort of environment/culture this creates. Seems like a productive environment but not that fun of a workplace and you may be dismissing some talent.
I wouldn't have made the cut because my passions for family and adventure sports comes above spending more time programming behind the computer (especially for free). Yet, I enjoy working with people of different personality types and a fun engaging environment. I enjoy what I do and learning and growing, but work life balance is very important to me.
Most people don’t just have one interest. Just because I sometimes worked after hours on a personal software project (say, instead of watching TV) doesn’t mean I am not passionate about family or travel or personal finance or reading books or ...

And yes, I am sure I have missed on some great talent. But when you get a hundred resumes for a job post, that’s hard to avoid. And filter was the wrong term anyway (sorry); some mention of open course contributions or other independent projects or an active Stackoverflow profile would simply stand out, but not be an absolute must.

My wife is a physician. It is a requirement for her to continuously learn (continuing medical education), and it often happens after work. I feel the same is necessary for other fields (such as software engineers), and it’s not necessarily happening in the workplace.

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LiveSimple
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiveSimple » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:55 pm

Our bathroom cleaner makes $45 per hour and 100% busy. Has to make appointment, two weeks ahead.

dave_k
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by dave_k » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:01 pm

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:57 pm
dave_k wrote:
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.

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.
I do have Visual Studio at home. I could try to come up with a relatively small project and try to figure out how a project is started. I could go to the library and see if I can find something that walks through creating a small game or something interesting.

As for my mortgage, I'm paying more in interest than I was paying in rent. After retirement and taxes, my mortgage is my biggest expense. Maybe I'll feel better about it when my interest portion falls to less than what my rent was and when I reach the eventuality of having more money in my retirement accounts than I have outstanding on my mortgage. Right now, it's just stressful because I could lose my job and then still have that $825 payment hanging around my neck. I've only made 16 payments so far and it just feels like it's going to take so long to pay this off. I know when my retirement accounts are finally more than my mortgage balance, it's going to take me monumental strength not to pull it all out and pay off the mortgage. It's also going to be a massive temptation, when I get $20k of the principal paid down, to do a free recast in order to lower my PITI.
thx1138 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:47 pm
So as an aside, can you say why you became a software developer?
Good question. It was pretty much the only thing in the middle of the Venn Diagram between "pay is at least pretty good", "I can manage to be at least mediocre at it", and "I wouldn't be completely miserable doing this job". If I could have whatever job (throwing out the ridiculous like "ice cream taste tester", etc), I think I would want to be a bank teller. That seems fun. But $10/hour isn't going to get me anywhere.
I'm having a harder and harder time believing you're actaully being serious. But just in case, here are a few more thoughts:

As someone else said - library? How about the internet? A game could be a good project if that interests you, but something reasonable of course, don't set out to create a 3D shooter the first time out.

If your rent was less than the interest portion of an $825 mortgage payment, you had very low rent. And that mortgage payment is easily handled on your salary, with it being your biggest expense. Yes, mortgages take a long time for most people to pay off, but interest rates are pretty low by historical standards, so it's sensible focus on saving and investing, rather than aggressively paying the mortgage down. Pulling money out of retirement accounts early (with penalties) to pay off a mortgage would be a terrible move. Just make sure you have enough of an emergency fund to last a year or so without a job, and hopefully that will be enough comfort.

Sorry, but your reason for being a software developer is depressing. The thought of someone who really thinks being a bank teller would be fun going into software development is mind boggling. Those are such very different things. Makes me think you're trolling.

As someone mentioned above, if you're being serious, please consider seeking counseling/therapy if you haven't already.

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whodidntante
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm

gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm
My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.
Bank bonuses, brokerage bonuses, and credit card bonuses have been very good to me. Even though I've been at it a while I can still net 5k with a modest effort, and more if I push a bit. Beginners have the most fertile bonus soil, although they may not know how to work the land.

mw1739
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by mw1739 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:27 pm

I started doing surveys for cash (or occasionally iTunes or Amazon gift cards) while I watch TV or am otherwise not busy. I make $10-$12 an hour. Not life changing money, but I would normally be earning $0 for that time.

I plan to start doing bank account bonuses this year.

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Riley15
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Riley15 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:35 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm
My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.
Bank bonuses, brokerage bonuses, and credit card bonuses have been very good to me. Even though I've been at it a while I can still net 5k with a modest effort, and more if I push a bit. Beginners have the most fertile bonus soil, although they may not know how to work the land.

I've always been curious about people who are able to do this. How do you do it??

Are you constantly opening new credit cards and bank accounts for bonuses and then closing them when you get the bonus?

Wouldn't it wreak havoc on your Credit reports and Chex systems reports?

Tech
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Tech » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:48 pm

Riley15 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:35 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm
My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.
Bank bonuses, brokerage bonuses, and credit card bonuses have been very good to me. Even though I've been at it a while I can still net 5k with a modest effort, and more if I push a bit. Beginners have the most fertile bonus soil, although they may not know how to work the land.

I've always been curious about people who are able to do this. How do you do it??

Are you constantly opening new credit cards and bank accounts for bonuses and then closing them when you get the bonus?

Wouldn't it wreak havoc on your Credit reports and Chex systems reports?
Yes, pls. How is it done ?

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whodidntante
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:49 pm

Riley15 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:35 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm
My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.
Bank bonuses, brokerage bonuses, and credit card bonuses have been very good to me. Even though I've been at it a while I can still net 5k with a modest effort, and more if I push a bit. Beginners have the most fertile bonus soil, although they may not know how to work the land.

I've always been curious about people who are able to do this. How do you do it??

Are you constantly opening new credit cards and bank accounts for bonuses and then closing them when you get the bonus?

Wouldn't it wreak havoc on your Credit reports and Chex systems reports?
I only do the best offers myself, but it's pretty easy to scare up some money. It helps tremendously if you are very detail oriented, and either very organized or have excellent recall.
The /r/churning wiki is a decent primer for the credit card side of the three things I mentioned.
https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/wiki/index

I have not experienced problems opening bank accounts at all despite being in the game a while. Certain issuers won't consider me because of too many recent accounts. Chase and Capital One will not open a new card for me at the moment, but the cards I have work fine.

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leeks
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by leeks » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:11 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...
From your other posts it seems that you have a family. I had mistakenly assumed this post was from someone who is single. With a wife and toddler, and a first job that requires working "as much as necessary" and "even staying until midnight", are you really considering something that gives you even less family time? How does your wife feel about that?

Unless you had high-interest consumer debt, or trouble paying for basic expenses, I would probably not take on something else just for a small amount of extra money. Maybe it would be worth it if it was income from some hobby you truly loved or possibly extra education/training that was going to make a significant difference in your career. But that doesn't sound like what you are describing.

Maybe you could at least find something (like re-selling stuff on Amazon/Ebay) that is something you and your wife could do together.

IowaFarmWife
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:16 pm

Teach English as a Second Language on the side.

https://www.teachaway.com/blog/8-amazin ... -from-home

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LiterallyIronic
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:22 pm

leeks wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:11 pm
From your other posts it seems that you have a family. I had mistakenly assumed this post was from someone who is single. With a wife and toddler, and a first job that requires working "as much as necessary" and "even staying until midnight", are you really considering something that gives you even less family time? How does your wife feel about that?
To be clear, I have never had to work late at my current job. I've usually left by 4:15. My previous job, though, there were absolutely days where I'd text my wife in the afternoon and tell her not to expect me until 9pm or later. But I want to be available to work until midnight or whatever it takes to keep my job, if there is a day in which that is necessary. I'm not going to risk a software development job in order to make it to a McDonalds job, for example.

quantAndHold
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:30 pm

I'm sorry. I'm just baffled by the whole premise of this thread. Someone in one of the best career paths going at present is looking at low paying side jobs because they can't be bothered to learn how to write a program from scratch, and they're worried about an $825 mortgage? I'm starting to agree with the people who think you're trolling.

Dottie57
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:46 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.

If he spends all day fixing bugs he's already more useful than a lot of developers who spend all day writing bugs.
Love it. ( former software engineer).

gvsucavie03
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gvsucavie03 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:02 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:05 pm
gvsucavie03 wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:28 pm
My lucrative hobby is bank bonuses. About $5,500 last year. Another $2,500 in cc sign up bonuses. In the first 45 days of this calendar year I've made about $700. Nothing to sneeze at. Not making me rich either, just hitting some goals faster as you stated in your original post.
Bank bonuses, brokerage bonuses, and credit card bonuses have been very good to me. Even though I've been at it a while I can still net 5k with a modest effort, and more if I push a bit. Beginners have the most fertile bonus soil, although they may not know how to work the land.
My wife and I both got targeted for the Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 point bonus even though we are both LOL/24. This will be $1,250 towards our first family Disney vacation.

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leeks
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by leeks » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:12 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:30 pm
I'm sorry. I'm just baffled by the whole premise of this thread. Someone in one of the best career paths going at present is looking at low paying side jobs because they can't be bothered to learn how to write a program from scratch, and they're worried about an $825 mortgage? I'm starting to agree with the people who think you're trolling.
OP is not a troll with 1,000+ posts on bogleheads! I'm in NYC so the numbers also looked odd to me at first too, but it is a good reality check to remember how different everything adds up in a lower cost of living area. I believe it is Utah. And OP, I'm very glad that you moved up from renting the cold basement mentioned several years back. And that you don't actually work ridiculous hours.

Maybe try out some stand-up comedy gigs?

But really it sounds like maybe you just need some more hobbies or social activities to distract you from thinking about the mortgage. I hope you get babysitters (if cost feels prohibitive, trade date night sitting with other parents in your neighborhood) so you and your wife get to go out sometimes without the toddler.

gavinman
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gavinman » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:06 pm

fareastwarriors wrote:
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.
I know two people who retired and bartend part-time for extra money and something to do. They were both surprised about how much money they make and most of it is cash. If you’re in the right area it is a lucrative side job.

gotester2000
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gotester2000 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:43 am

It is not surprising that most of the software developers lose passion after 15-20 years of working in the industry. Working for 70-80 hours a week for years - the stress takes its toll. Plus add the uncertainty on the job front and no wonder that the priority is to become FI and do your own thing.
There should be a survey of people opting for second careers in life - software developers will be in the top percentile!

biturbo
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by biturbo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:02 am

Side work as a software developer is kinda funny. You'd think it would be easy to pick up a bunch of extra work and make easy money on the side doing it, but it is usually a lot harder than that - there is a lot of effort in finding clients, setting reasonable expectations, working with clients who don't understand how expensive things are, and finally, collecting money. If you are skilled in front-end development and have some connections with people who need small jobs, it is a lot easier, but "software development" covers a much larger field than making small websites for local businesses.

I have relatively specialized skills that companies are willing to pay a high salary for, and I could probably do long-term contracts for fairly high hourly rates, but nobody is going to be interested in my work 5 - 10 hours at a time. And if I were to try to do something like small websites or wordpress sites for people I know, there are people who are way better and faster at it than I am who will do it for 1/4 of my effective hourly rate at my day job.

That being said, OP... I think you could still build some stuff for yourself and come out way ahead. It sort of depends on where you live, but your salary seems to be on the low end for a software developer - it looks like you are in Utah, and if so and you are in the SLC-Provo area, you have a ton of room to grow salary-wise. Given the field you have some experience in, it is really hard to think of anything that would even come close to the ROI of improving your skills. You claim to not be a very good developer, and that may well be true now, but you most certainly can improve and improve your earning potential. A lot of people have started out with less experience than you have now and do really well for themselves after a relatively short amount of time.

Pick something simple - I'd caution against trying to build a game right out of the gates. Sure, it is kinda fun, but it is also a lot more work than people realize upfront, the skills are less immediately transferrable, and a lot of people get frustrated and give up. Given your background, maybe think of a small web application to build. Maybe a website for people to review the viability of panhandling on certain street corners, like how much $$$ per hour or hassle from the police? I don't know, it doesn't really matter.

Start with technologies that you know, and slowly branch out. Maybe this would be a good place to start? It shows you how to setup a project from scratch and is using technologies you have some experience with. Keep adding features to whatever you build. Think of new ideas and build them too. Every time, you'll get faster. Every time, you'll find more things you need to learn.

I've built probably 50 side projects over the last 20 years, each time thinking I'd make a bunch of money off them. I'm terrible at marketing and design, so they always are sad failures. I've maybe made $200k off them over 20 years, which is abysmal - for the time invested in them, I'd have made almost as much working at McDonald's. But, the skills I learned from them have been invaluable for my career - not just the technical things I learned, but it also puts you in a spot where you have to figure stuff out for yourself and solve problems on your own, because there isn't anyone to fall back on, which is a pretty valuable skill to have.

It really can't be overstated - if software development is something you are intending to do for the next decade or two, there is (at least where you are at now) almost nothing that has a payback in the same ballpark as improving your skills and working to find higher paying jobs.

biturbo
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by biturbo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:15 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:43 am
It is not surprising that most of the software developers lose passion after 15-20 years of working in the industry. Working for 70-80 hours a week for years - the stress takes its toll. Plus add the uncertainty on the job front and no wonder that the priority is to become FI and do your own thing.
There should be a survey of people opting for second careers in life - software developers will be in the top percentile!
None of this seems obvious to me? Certainly some people do get burned out at some point and there are a few industries (game development springs to mind) where punishing hours are common, but for the most part, I don't see what you are asserting as an accurate portrayal of the industry. I think the percentage of software developers working 70-80 hours per week with any regularity is a rounding error. There are some bigger, well-known companies who do tend to push developers to work longer hours, but if you are working at one of those companies, you have a lot of other options too.

Freefun
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Freefun » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:53 am

Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

gotester2000
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by gotester2000 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:38 am

biturbo wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:15 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:43 am
It is not surprising that most of the software developers lose passion after 15-20 years of working in the industry. Working for 70-80 hours a week for years - the stress takes its toll. Plus add the uncertainty on the job front and no wonder that the priority is to become FI and do your own thing.
There should be a survey of people opting for second careers in life - software developers will be in the top percentile!
None of this seems obvious to me? Certainly some people do get burned out at some point and there are a few industries (game development springs to mind) where punishing hours are common, but for the most part, I don't see what you are asserting as an accurate portrayal of the industry. I think the percentage of software developers working 70-80 hours per week with any regularity is a rounding error. There are some bigger, well-known companies who do tend to push developers to work longer hours, but if you are working at one of those companies, you have a lot of other options too.
My point is one cannot remain as an average developer for many years in the industry - either he has to be tech savvy or be able to move into managerial roles or work as a contractor/consultant. The passion fades for the majority of the engineers past 40 due to indefinite hours, meetings and deadlines, stress of adapting to new technologies and the fear of layoffs.

If it was all so lucrative why would people think of side gigs instead of investing time to be better in their day jobs?

waitforit
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by waitforit » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:48 am

Shaking my head!

You have a valuable skill that has potential for high earnings and you'd rather take on 'side jobs' than learn a new skill? Crazy to me. We live and work in an economy of specialists and you would always make more money in your specialty than trying to be a generalist, or worse, compete against no-talent individuals in a no-requirements job.

So you say you are terrible. Boo-hoo, improve. I am in healthcare, with no programming background, and I have two side businesses in my history built around launching a website around an idea. Anyone can hook into some basic knowledge and to the untrained masses your boring Bootstrap template site will look amazing. Were my sites 'coded properly'? I used a modern backend framework which facilitates secure development, I didn't have to be an expert at every aspect of systems engineering. Had my sites been high traffic, I would have been consulting a DevOps person to help me scale resources... as it is, that isn't currently necessary but if and when it is I can address it. I certainly don't need to have all that knowledge / skills up front.

I currently have a long list of ideas that I think could be viable businesses and my excuse is that I lack the time to execute on them as a one-man show. Your excuse is a simple knowledge barrier - never before in human history has it been easier to learn a new skill and practice it.. so many resources online, many for free, and many more for a low cost of $10-30 for an online series. Most of them even test you along the way so you get immediate feedback on your knowledge. Stop making excuses, level up to get a better job or level up to start a business or level up to gain knowledge to do side gigs for someone like me who needs to hire out certain parts of a project.
Last edited by waitforit on Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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djpeteski
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by djpeteski » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:48 am

A great side hustle for a person in your situation is flipping and scrapping which I do occasionally.

My local Ross and TJ Max store sell items that can be flipped on Ebay for a profit. They are not always there, and I have to hunt to find them. If I don't no biggie, if I do they may not sell for what I expect. So I just return them. No real risk and some profit.

People in my hood throw out things all the time. Recently, a home was being remolded and I went dumpster diving. I pulled out a ceiling fan and an ugly light fixture. I cut the wires out of both and harvested the motor from the fan. Those will go to scrap. Each light had those small light bulbs that cost about 2.5 each. I harvested those and 5 worked. So for a few minutes effort yielded about $20 and it is the kind of thing I like doing. I get to turn my brain off, work out, in the garage and use my hands.

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Shackleton
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Shackleton » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:51 am

robphoto wrote:
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.
While I agree that the OP should look into come courses (pluralsight or linda.com along with the others mentioned would be good), I don't think that using Wix or Squarespace can be compared to what an actual software developer does. Wix and Squarespace require the user to simply have the skill to fill out templates. Actual development from scratch is a different beast, but not really hard for someone of average intelligence and just a little bit of initiative (which is what the OP seems to be lacking.) When I was a software developer and solution architect, I once worked for a megacorp that hired lots of people out of college. They were hired at the "Associate" level, and usually got promoted to the next level in 1-2 years if they were average, or <1 year for the stars. There was one guy that sat at the Associate level for 8 years. EIGHT YEARS!!!! And for good reason. When I read the OP's comments, I think that is the type of person we are dealing with (notwithstanding his recent promotions.)
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton

lostdog
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by lostdog » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:01 am

I worked as a Systems Engineer/Network Engineer managing servers, routers and switches. You could look into this side of IT. The downside of this is the on call hours if something goes wrong with the network and patching servers after hours etc...

I am always interested in the software development side of IT and I might take some classes at the local tech school.

Would the networking side of IT interest you?

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LiterallyIronic
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:10 am

dave_k wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:01 pm
As someone else said - library? How about the internet? A game could be a good project if that interests you, but something reasonable of course, don't set out to create a 3D shooter the first time out.
No, I much prefer a book over an Internet-based tutorial (YouTube or otherwise). I find books to be much more straight-forward and complete. I can look at a code example that takes up an entire page and walk myself through it at my own pace. Plus books don't have a hard-to-understand accent.
biturbo wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:02 am
Pick something simple - I'd caution against trying to build a game right out of the gates. Sure, it is kinda fun, but it is also a lot more work than people realize upfront, the skills are less immediately transferrable, and a lot of people get frustrated and give up. Given your background, maybe think of a small web application to build. Maybe a website for people to review the viability of panhandling on certain street corners, like how much $$$ per hour or hassle from the police? I don't know, it doesn't really matter.
I'm going to do a game. But in a way that the skills are transferable. Not using Unity or anything that is typical for making a game, but instead just using WPF and XAML (which is what we use at my current job) to make a game that is really more of a "form," if you will. Just text on the screen describing what's going on in the game and buttons and textfields for the player to make choices. No actual game-like graphics. That would make it much more transferable. Obviously it's not going to make me any money directly, but if it makes me a better developer, then that's good. Then when I've finished that, I can do it again in ASP.NET, which is what my previous job used, to make a web-based one. Though I don't have the slightest clue how people actually host websites, so I'd only be able to run it locally. I think it'd be more helpful to improve at the technologies I'm already familiar with rather than try to pick up some other ones. I'm going to start this weekend.
gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:38 am
The passion fades for the majority of the engineers past 40
Oops, I'm already 35, so I really need to develop until I'm 50.

waitforit
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by waitforit » Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:14 am

Asp.net, no wonder you are miserable!

GCD
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by GCD » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:21 pm

IowaFarmWife wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:16 pm
Teach English as a Second Language on the side.

https://www.teachaway.com/blog/8-amazin ... -from-home
Beat me to it. Here's another site. $14-$22 per hour, teach English online, set your own hours.
https://www.vipkidteachers.com/?utm_sou ... gLgz_D_BwE

CobraKai
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by CobraKai » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:29 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:43 am
It is not surprising that most of the software developers lose passion after 15-20 years of working in the industry. Working for 70-80 hours a week for years - the stress takes its toll. Plus add the uncertainty on the job front and no wonder that the priority is to become FI and do your own thing.
There should be a survey of people opting for second careers in life - software developers will be in the top percentile!
Anyone who works that many hours and isn't adequately compensated for it is a sucker.

CobraKai
Posts: 207
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by CobraKai » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:32 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:38 am
My point is one cannot remain as an average developer for many years in the industry - either he has to be tech savvy or be able to move into managerial roles or work as a contractor/consultant. The passion fades for the majority of the engineers past 40 due to indefinite hours, meetings and deadlines, stress of adapting to new technologies and the fear of layoffs.

If it was all so lucrative why would people think of side gigs instead of investing time to be better in their day jobs?
waitforit wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:48 am
Shaking my head!

You have a valuable skill that has potential for high earnings and you'd rather take on 'side jobs' than learn a new skill? Crazy to me. We live and work in an economy of specialists and you would always make more money in your specialty than trying to be a generalist, or worse, compete against no-talent individuals in a no-requirements job.

You two are contradicting each other. Who's right?

DonIce
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by DonIce » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:50 am

Gonna have to agree with the people who recommend putting the time into improving you software development skills. The potential payoff there is far greater than any side gig.

core4portfolio
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by core4portfolio » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:58 am

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.
You need lot of guts to admit this - you only do copy paste. I have a suggestion for you...try to become Business Analyst or a Scrum Master use your domain knowledge if you have one. Otherwise study AHM 250 for healthcare to get some knowledge
Allocation : 80/20 (80% TSM, 20% TBM) | Need to learn fishing sooner

noco-hawkeye
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by noco-hawkeye » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:36 am

core4portfolio wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:58 am
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.
You need lot of guts to admit this - you only do copy paste. I have a suggestion for you...try to become Business Analyst or a Scrum Master use your domain knowledge if you have one. Otherwise study AHM 250 for healthcare to get some knowledge
Agree 100%. And if you improved on or learned any of these skills your upside would be pretty high. If you are already kind-of-sort-of a software engineer, it seems like just learning a bit more would be the easiest path imo.

ddurrett896
Posts: 962
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:29 am

Construction. Most trades are in need of reliable people and if you can do basic work or willing to learn (Youtube) you can make a killing. No kidding, I had someone pay me $6,000 to knock down a non-load bearing wall and touch up paint where the walls intersected. Took maybe 4 hours.

Buy from government auctions and resell locally. Most are turned off by the watching and bidding and once purchased, you have to complete forms, etc. (no big deal). Bought 65 fire extinguishers for $35, sold 50 of them for $500 the next week.

ohai
Posts: 211
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by ohai » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:53 am

Start a moving service. All you need is 1-2 strong buddies and a rental truck.

StandingRock
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by StandingRock » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:36 am

Shackleton wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:51 am
When I was a software developer and solution architect, I once worked for a megacorp that hired lots of people out of college. They were hired at the "Associate" level, and usually got promoted to the next level in 1-2 years if they were average, or <1 year for the stars. There was one guy that sat at the Associate level for 8 years. EIGHT YEARS!!!! And for good reason. When I read the OP's comments, I think that is the type of person we are dealing with (notwithstanding his recent promotions.)
I started my career in the late 90's, and there have been many a lot of changes not just in the tech stack(s) but in organizational and management styles. None of them good, in my opinion. There used to be at least SOME form of training or mentoring for new hires, with someone showing them the ropes and getting them started and then letting them run with it.

I rarely see that any more. It comes in varying degrees, but I've seen some bad scenarios. Typically it comes from managers with no background in software development (much less the particular tech stack) trying to build a team and simply not having the experience to do that. I have seen them hire someone(s) and put them in a distant cubicle or a conference room and just leave them sitting there for months on end with no instruction or guidance at all. And it's a vicious cycle, because the good ones will leave in short order, and the lower to mid tier ones will just hang around collecting paychecks.

Then you get into the ridiculous scenarios, where some megacorp is trying to convert to Agile or Scrum or << Flavor of the Day >> methodology, and every morning they have a "stand-up" meeting where the one or two developers on the team report to the three BA's, the two PM's, the manager and the architect on what they did the day before.

There are a people in every organization that are loaded with potential, if they just had the proper guidance and a nudge in the right direction.

TooOldForThis
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by TooOldForThis » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:42 pm

Many state high school organizations are in dire need of officials.

During the spring, I can make ~$1000 a week, working 6 days officiating track and field for middle and high schools. Pass an open book on-line test on the rules, buy yourself a gun and some rudimentary equipment (whistle, etc...), and the work is out there.

Find the sport you enjoy and the money is definitely there (as a side gig...one couldn't really make a living doing this).

TBF, this fails the OP requirement of the gig not being scheduled.

jharkin
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Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by jharkin » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:56 am

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.
+1000

Either you need to work on skills, or you just live in the wrong area for developer jobs. Dont take this the wrong way - but is your degree really in Computer Science, or is it another field? I ask because mine is mechanical engineering.... I only took 3 courses that involved programming in the 90s (C, C++ and embedded control systems coding), read some books and *I* can fix code bugs. To get a CS degree you would have had to take classes like data structures, algorithms, compiler and OS design, and developed multiple complete programs from scratch for major course projects. There is no way you could not have picked up some of those skills and graduated.

This is literally the best job market for tech in our lifetimes. I lived though both the dot com and housing crashes and finding a job right now is cake by comparison.... companies, including the one I left last year and the new one I joined this year are borderline desperate for talent and simply cant fill every position.


Tip: I know you have been though some rough patches, but you have to put on a confident face in the interview anyway. Don't walk in there assuming you wont get it, because that shows no matter how you try to hide it and is a big turnoff to recruiters.

stoptothink
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:43 am

jharkin wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:56 am
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.
+1000

Either you need to work on skills, or you just live in the wrong area for developer jobs. Dont take this the wrong way - but is your degree really in Computer Science, or is it another field? I ask because mine is mechanical engineering.... I only took 3 courses that involved programming in the 90s (C, C++ and embedded control systems coding), read some books and *I* can fix code bugs. To get a CS degree you would have had to take classes like data structures, algorithms, compiler and OS design, and developed multiple complete programs from scratch for major course projects. There is no way you could not have picked up some of those skills and graduated.

This is literally the best job market for tech in our lifetimes. I lived though both the dot com and housing crashes and finding a job right now is cake by comparison.... companies, including the one I left last year and the new one I joined this year are borderline desperate for talent and simply cant fill every position.


Tip: I know you have been though some rough patches, but you have to put on a confident face in the interview anyway. Don't walk in there assuming you wont get it, because that shows no matter how you try to hide it and is a big turnoff to recruiters.
My BIL who dropped out of high school as a sophomore and has been doing under-the-table construction work, making (no joke) like $10k/yr and kind of living on the couches of friends and family for ~15yrs just finished a few certification courses through a local state university extension program. Within a matter of weeks of finishing he had a job with a starting salary of $68k and was offered further part-time work with the certification program at like $35/hr. This is a 30yr old who has literally zero (legal) work experience and I don't think he has a portfolio of work. 5yrs ago I had a PhD, almost a decade of experience, and was the director of a program overseeing ~40 employees, and I was making a whopping $4k more a year than his base starting salary. He could realistically make $90k/yr this year if he does some work for the certification program. Man did I pick the wrong area of study.

Bobby206
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by Bobby206 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:53 am

Garage sale runs every Saturday/Sunday morning, cherry pick a few choice items, and sell on Ebay. Easy money! Small money for the most part but pretty easy. Become an "expert" at a few things like DVD's which might be 25 cents at a garage sale if bought in bulk and many sell for $5 + postage on Ebay. You do not need to find hidden treasures like 1950's baseball cards to do this. Just some simple stuff like DVDs, kitchen gadgets, tools, etc.... Easy money and you work when you want to work.

Also, I was recently in a 2007 car on Uber or Lyft so not sure about that 10 year rule you mention. It was a 2007 Camary. The guy had it dialed in. He bought the car specifically for the job. The only way to make money is to have an old car like that. He even had a big dent on one side. Nice guy and he got us to our destination!

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prudent
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Re: Side gig ideas with minimal requirements?

Post by prudent » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:02 am

GCD wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:21 pm
IowaFarmWife wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:16 pm
Teach English as a Second Language on the side.

https://www.teachaway.com/blog/8-amazin ... -from-home
Beat me to it. Here's another site. $14-$22 per hour, teach English online, set your own hours.
https://www.vipkidteachers.com/?utm_sou ... gLgz_D_BwE
This must be a booming field. My neighbor's son got a degree in cybersecurity (one of today's hottest tech fields) and he ended up moving to Taiwan to teach English instead! Works 2-8 PM weekdays. Most of his students are from wealthy families who want their kids to be fluent in English when they come to the US for college educations. They treat him like royalty. Huge "tips" at the end of each school year. One family took him along on their family vacation to Europe all expenses paid,

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

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:08 am

jharkin wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:56 am
Either you need to work on skills, or you just live in the wrong area for developer jobs. Dont take this the wrong way - but is your degree really in Computer Science, or is it another field? I ask because mine is mechanical engineering.... I only took 3 courses that involved programming in the 90s (C, C++ and embedded control systems coding), read some books and *I* can fix code bugs. To get a CS degree you would have had to take classes like data structures, algorithms, compiler and OS design, and developed multiple complete programs from scratch for major course projects. There is no way you could not have picked up some of those skills and graduated.
I guess someone revived this old thread, but to answer your question, yes. I have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. Graduated cum laude with a 3.7 GPA. I took all those courses of which you speak. The capstone class was to write a compiler. The class has about a 33% fail rate. I got a B. Doesn't mean I don't suck at software development. I was just willing to put in the time. Invest four times as long on a project as my classmates and I could get the same grade as them. Stay on campus all day in the computer lab? Sure, no problem. Stay awake for 40 hours straight to work on a project? You got it. Whatever it takes. If you want effort, I'm your man. If you want skills, you're barking up the wrong tree.

As for location, I'm in one of the best locations in the country for developer jobs.

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