Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Getting Started With Part-Time Development Work?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the stability-vs.-fulfillment dept.

Programming 262

fortapocalypse writes "I'm getting paid a good salary as a Java developer and the hours are great. It is also very stable, which means something in today's economy, especially with a family to feed. However, I'm very unmotivated both because of the work that I do, which is boring, and because the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability. I've done what I could to try to change things at work and have pretty much given up on that. I want to go out on my own, either starting my own company or just working as a contractor doing Java development, but I'm not sure of the best way to get started, and my family needs the stability of my current job. I'd really like to start out part-time at 5-15 hours a week to use it as supplemental income (which my family could really use at the moment), but I really don't know where to start. I doubt many contracting agencies would be interested in a part-time worker. What would you suggest for someone in my position?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Mix Fun and Fair (4, Informative)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302113)

First: keep your day job: it provides the cash your family needs. Second: forget about traditional part-time work, it usually either pays really low hourly rates, or the work consumes much more than the 5-15 hours you say you have.

Instead, look at fairsoftware.net [fairsoftware.net] (hey, if I invented it, I can brag about it). You won't earn immediate cash, instead you'll be getting equity into whatever fun software project you find. Or start your own and get more geeks to join you, also for revenue share, not upfront cash.

Financially, it's the right thing to do: have most of your base covered with salary, and an upside based on equity so that the sky's the limit. Plus it's fun.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (-1, Troll)

Manfre (631065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302197)

It's best to double check your site for errors before whoring to /.

HTTP Status 404 - /function.seam

type Status report

message /function.seam

description The requested resource (/function.seam) is not available.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302323)

This is about murdering innocent babies. Our society calls it abortion, but I call it what it is murder. Many Americans think our economy is failing because of the Bush Administration, but they are wrong, it is because of sin. We are a very sinful nation, therefore God is against us. The only quote I have is from God's word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 say's 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land'. We are suppose to be a civilized nation but we are practicing Barbaric behavior called human sacrifice. It is sad that we live in a county were it is perfectly legal to murder an unborn child for convenience, maybe the mother to be says, 'It's not the right time, I must further my career', or a mother may tell her teenage daughter, 'You must get rid of the baby because you are to young. You must finish school'. It is human sacrifice for one's own convenience. Senator Barack Obama said if he becomes president that he would intervene in the African countries where genocide is taking place. He will not however, intervene in Roe vs. Wade which is genocide that is taking place here in America everyday disguised as planned parenthood.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302787)

Uhmm, GTFO. Religion is a far worse cancer on society than abortion.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302867)

..or a girl gets sexually assaulted. Shame on her for not wanting to carry through with the pregnancy right? Besides, I agree with the previous poster. There have been more wars in the name of religion then I care to know about.

First thing... (5, Informative)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302859)

My advice, if you are seriously considering going free lance and contracting....INCORPORATE YOURSELF!!

This will help you out in many ways...after all, this is a business. With incorporation, you can protect your private assets legally. And if you are wanting to 1099 contract, well most places for tax purposes, are very nervous about doing that to an individual, but are more protected by corp-2-corp contracting. This came about largely from an old MS case, where contractors came back and successfully sued for employment benefits..etc.

Another reason...TAXES...with a corporation, you get to write off many, many, many things. For example...I have an "S" corp. With this set up, I pay myself a "reasonable" salary according to IRS guidelines. I only have to pay employment taxes (SS and medicare) on this portion of the money I bring in, the rest falls through at EOY to my personal income. This can save you a great deal of money. For example...say I bill out and collect $100K a year. I pay myself a reasonable salary of say, $40K (some go lower than this). Now, I only have to pay SS and medicare on that $40K....the rest of the $60K is only subject to state/federal taxes.

You also get to write off mileage driving to/from jobsites...and many many other things lowering your 'profit' and lowering your tax rate overall.

You can also do some neat things like for health insurance...get a private policy...if you get one with a high deductible ($1200 this year?)...you can set up a Health Savings Account...and this year, you can sock away $2900 PRE-tax...pay your normal every day medical needs with this money...and what you don't use...can be invested to grow, and it is not use or lose...this money keeps going for you, and can be accessed even for non-health related expenses at retirement.

And get a CPA you trust....they can show you how to do the paperwork...it is a PITA the first couple times, but, once you get it down...no big deal. Just use something like Quickbooks pro....and do your own entries...at EOY...just send a copy of your QB stuff to your CPA...and let them deal with it (you get to write off their fees too).

Anyway....that should be the first thing you look into. Do it now if you are just considering going indie...set it up now, you don't have to use it right away...my company sat essentially dormant for 3-4 years before I started seriously using it...and all the time, I took tax breaks (quite legally) for losses in those years without income from it.

The other thing...well, get contacts....networking is your best friend. Start NOW getting in good with people. You need to have people skills.

You might also look into being a contract employee first. This will give you the taste of both worlds...and with this if you are a US citzen, you might can get into govt/DoD contracting, which is gravy. You can get LONG term contracts this way...starting out with an established place as a contract employee (make sure you get paid hourly, not salary)..they often will pick up the price of getting you a clearance. THAT can help you later on for jobs, and pay.

Anyway, good luck. ONe thing...before you make the total leap to inde...save, save, save money! You need to have some serious "Fuck You" money put back...and keep it back while contracting, not only for dry periods....but, for times when you just wanna take off 2-4 months, to do fun things or be with your kids if you like.

Re:First thing... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303271)

Another huge benefit to self-incorporating (I am another Java guy who has done this) is the fact that your corp can have its own Solo 401K plan (assuming that the corp employs just you and your wife).

S401Ks allow you to stash away FAR more money than normal company 401K plans; its > $40,000/year if you are young, a bit more if you are in your 50s.

Plus, you can choose which provider to use for your plan (I recommend investing all your money in Vanguard index funds, using Sterling Trust as the S401K administrator).

This contrasts with most company's 401K plans which use expensive non-Vanguard funds which were selected because your firm's HR people were given booze and hookers by the fund family's salesman.

Re:First thing... (3, Informative)

banished (911141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303425)

Best advice you'll ever get is to hire a CPA, as cayanne8 suggested. Oh, and if you're talking about keeping your full time employ in addition to your proposed self employment, say goodbye to routine family time. It maybe OK for you, but not for them.

Re:First thing... (1)

BusinessHut (1143993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303505)

You DO NOT need to incorporate. Of course there are benefits to doing so. Mostly just in protecting your personal assets. Many judges are even poking holes in this because so many people are incorporating simply for the protection. You can write off all of the same business taxes as a sole proprietor that you can as a corporation. Either way, they have to be business expenses.

For example...say I bill out and collect $100K a year. I pay myself a reasonable salary of say, $40K (some go lower than this). Now, I only have to pay SS and medicare on that $40K....the rest of the $60K is only subject to state/federal taxes.

It's important to note that you can't spend any of that $60k on personal expenses unless you "pay" it from your corporation to yourself. In which case you DO have to pay all applicable taxes and whatnot.

In summary...Take tax and business advice on Slashdot with a grain of salt. Write it down and take it to your actual professional lawyer, accountant, priest, etc... and get their advice. Those are expenses you must plan for if you'll be starting your own business.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (-1, Troll)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302211)

...and your relationship to fairsoftware.net is?

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (4, Informative)

Unknown Relic (544714) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302469)

Uh... he did say: "hey, if I invented it, I can brag about it". Seems pretty clear what his relationship is to me.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302547)

Since when did bragging become /. spamming?

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (3, Insightful)

oskard (715652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302659)

Dude, he's just showing a website/service he made. He's proud of it, and it sounds like it would actually be helpful in this instance. Why call him out? Just get over it.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302825)

Oh really? [youtube.com]

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (3, Interesting)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302723)

Since when did bragging become /. spamming?

Um, since the very dawn of Slashdot.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303031)

spamming

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (2, Informative)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302435)

Your question is applicable to many other professions including graphic design. I'll make a long story short for you: Keep your day job. Part time work doesn't pay the bills unless you're getting more than about $35 an hour. The only area in which I've seen someone earn a living on part time work is as a field technician doing laptop repairs. And at that, only barely (and he is making $36/hr).

I'll say it again: Don't give up your day job. However, if you want a more realistic moonlighting job, consider medical transcription. It's also a work-at-home job and involves arcane technical crap, but there's always work there.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303309)

How does one get into medical transcription, asks the jobless and poverty stricken slashdotter?

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302915)

erm, having visited the site and registered - how do i delete my account?

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303023)

Along the same lines is Coder For Hire [coderforhire.net] that let's you freelance out for a set rate or bid by the project, etc... Good way to build a portfolio and make contacts, etc...

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (2, Informative)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303079)

replying to myself because I'm an idiot, wrong site.
RentACoder [rentacoder.com] is the site I was thinking of.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303471)

http://www.pocketgorilla.com/ [pocketgorilla.com]

It lets you search the projects at several different freelancing sites, including rent-a-coder.

No way. (3, Informative)

bigtangringo (800328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303515)

While I like the idea of RentACoder or Guru, the people posting jobs on those sites are mindbogglingly cheap rubes. For example:

You have been invited by the buyer to participate in a project on http://www.rentacoder.com/ [rentacoder.com] for the following bid request:

Title:Java web application, jdbc, jsp, payment integration.
Description:Type: Web app.; Using: Java, J2EE, JDBC, JSP, MySql, Javascripts, all browsers.
Requires completing a non-disclosure agreement, NDA, to obtain full project details and percentage of deposit held in escrow to hedge against and minimize project risk.

Some of the project deliverables are:
* Integration of live/real-time payment processing
* Multi-Account registration
* Various user groups with varying access levels
* Site navigation hyperlinks
* Region specific clock and news updates
* Content management interface
* Administrator console/panel
* Dynamically generated pages and panels with scrolling content
* Password reset utility/Account lockout security feature
* Directories
* Newsletter feature
* Triggers, Auto-notification, Stored procedures
* Built in Node-aware sniffer and product licensing
* Software update-deploy utility
* Packaged executable interfacing with web application
* Search, sorts, queries and data manipulation utilities
* Consistent page design and theme
* Database design normalized for optimal performance
* Language conversion utility
* Thorough documentation

Categories:Web, Microsoft Windows, Database, Language Specific, Java, Requirements, Operating Systems / Platforms, UNIX, Internet Browser, Security, Web Services, Linux, MySQL, Java Server Pages (JSP), Search Engine Optimization, Javascript, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Software Related (Includes Websites)
Max Bid:$250

Like hell. That's a representative sample. Don't even get me started on the requests for clone sites.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (4, Insightful)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303135)

Rent-a-coder is a joke. Crap developers writing crap code for clients who think $200 for a full CRM is a reasonable price. Hell no.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303143)

How'd this get up here? This was supposed to be a reply to this one [slashdot.org] .

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (2, Interesting)

minsk (805035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303281)

How long until someone finishes a project to fix the public fairsoftware.net site for users with Javascript disabled? :)

I find it downright hilarious every time I see <a href="#" onclick="...> used for a basic link.

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (2, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303373)

If software already sold itself, then sure, what a great tool, but software is hard to sell enough as it is. Heck, most software is free. Only a very few companies get our money.

Unless you have a platform like the iPhone, the internet is so abundant of generous programmers' contributions, that everything useful has already been done, done well, and made available for free. Even the big and difficult stuff like... operating systems.

So I'd say add tools for iPhone and Android sellers and build around those markets. The internet is not really a good market for software.

Just some thoughts...

Re:Mix Fun and Fair (1)

landonf (905751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303431)

Instead, look at fairsoftware.net [fairsoftware.net] (hey, if I invented it, I can brag about it). You won't earn immediate cash, instead you'll be getting equity into whatever fun software project you find. Or start your own and get more geeks to join you, also for revenue share, not upfront cash.

This is very, very cool.

Do you have any plans to support existing legal entities using FairSoftware? This would provide us with a low-friction approach to collaboration, allowing trust and more permanent relationships to form organically between independent contractors and our organization.

Also, do you have any thoughts on models where external billing is required, such as the iPhone App Store? Serving as a publisher could be one option here (and would be a fairly significant advantage given the difficulties individuals often have dealing with the app store). That's something I'd definitely be interested in collaborating on.

Lastly, a related project -- have you seen One-click Organizations? The information was here [circus-foundation.org] , but the the webhost has gone kaput today, so here's the Google Cache version [209.85.173.132]

Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302171)

Good luck & you can't have my clients.

Craigslist (3, Informative)

matthewncohen (1166231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302181)

Have you checked out Craigslist? Look at both the jobs and the "gigs" sections. I see ads for single-project development all the time as well as some ongoing stuff. I know a few people who do this sort of thing freelance full time and make a pretty penny too.

I live in one of the more tech-active areas in the country (Boulder, CO) so this may or may not apply...

Re:Craigslist (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302425)

You can also find jobs in the nsa sex section.

Re:Craigslist (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303033)

craigslist?! For IT work? Oh come on. Why not go to a specialised classifieds type of place that's actually professional and only for computer work. Rentacoder.com is where you want to go. I just decided to try it and it's pretty sweet. It's like reverse ebay for IT people. You bid as a contractor on projects that people post and then they pick the lowest bidder that looks decent (or the highest, it's totally up to them) and then you do the work and they pay you and tada. They even have a decent payment escrow and arbitration system so if something goes wrong, it gets resolved. And they have a TON of listing! It's like 2000 at any given time. Anything from programming in any language to graphics to audio and video can be posted there. The only downside is, I was very lucky to get the first contract I bid on because there were 37 other bidders. It's tough to beat out that many people and that's the usual amount of bids on any project. So if you want to do work for a respectable site where you'll actually get paid and there's a ton of available work, check it out.

Re:Craigslist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303073)

Rentacoder is full of shit jobs and shit developers. It's like Monster Jobs, but for freelancing.

I need java developers. (3, Informative)

Monx (742514) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302201)

My company needs Java developers. We're looking to build a list of available contractors to do work over the next year as demand for our services grows. If you want to work in S. Florida, e-mail me.

I'm sure there are similar opportunities elsewhere. You just have to find them. A recruiter might be a good place to start.

Re:I need java developers. (5, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303057)

Our company can also use more Java developers, the ones we have are relatively unexperienced, have issues with our management structure, and like blaming everybody for everything. Also, they seem to spend too much of their time on tech sites, and we suspect them of looking elsewhere for work.
...
...Wait a second!!...Jim is that YOU!?

Best of both worlds (4, Insightful)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302219)

As you're probably aware, Freelance Contracting can be quite profitable and allow you to get a decent wage and time off. I've heard of plenty of people that work 3 months, take 3 months off etc. If you were to go this route, you'd need to ensure the following:
  • Your qualifications match your experience. JEE developer? Get SCWCD at least
  • If you're not in a large city, or near one that has a decent size business district, be prepared to travel
  • Sign up with a large but respectable contracting agency

I'm not sure what part-time work is available in the IT industry: contracting would probably be the most representative of what you're requiring.

Failing that, try and get qualifications and see if your current employer will support you financially (training, certification, degree?). If you're improving your CV, they may be more inclined to give you different work.

Re:Best of both worlds (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302521)

As you're probably aware, Freelance Contracting can be quite profitable and allow you to get a decent wage and time off.

Funny you should say that, because when XP came out one of my more popular services was putting that damned search puppy to sleep. Folks would come in "I hate that damned search dog! Can you kill that stupid thing?" and I'd tell them that as part of my clean up and lock down package I'd happily put that dog to sleep. To this day I still get that request a few times a year. This provides me with ample side income.

Of course now I get more "I hate this damned Vista! Can you get rid of it and put on XP?" so you really can have your cake AND eat it, too.

urk. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302229)

First, rentacoder.com. Go, frolick about, have fun. Second, your question is equally applicable to the profession I'm jumping into -- graphic design. I'll make a long story short for you: Keep your day job. Part time work doesn't pay the bills unless you're getting more than about $35 an hour. The only area in which I've seen someone earn a living on part time work is as a field technician doing laptop repairs. And at that, only barely (and he is making $36/hr). Just so we're clear, his job is located in one of the top 10 major metropolitan areas in the country.

I'll say it again: Don't give up your day job. And don't expect to make much money. If you want a more realistic moonlighting job, consider medical transcription. It's also a work-at-home job and involves arcane technical crap, but there's always work there. Two semesters. And you won't have to argue with other people about the best implimentation, or this algorithm or that...

Re:urk. (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302795)

Part time work doesn't pay the bills unless you're getting more than about $35 an hour

Freelance PHP coders (of which I know several) can easily make $75 / hr, $125 with some experience and a decent customer base. I'd be surprised if java coders couldn't beat that quite easily. The trick is building a customer base, which starts to take care of itself after a while if you do a good job.

Don't. (5, Insightful)

Escogido (884359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302237)

Just don't.

What you're saying pretty much translates into 'I want to work more and get paid less.'

If that is exactly what you're looking for, then be my guest.

Otherwise... like I said, don't. If you're tired, get a vacation, for chrissake.

Re:Don't. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302529)

With your attitude:

Michael Jordan would have stopped playing basketball after he was kicked off of his basketball team
Abraham Lincoln would have become a drunkard after failing as a soldier and business owner
Walt Disney would have given up after being told by a newspaper that "he didn't have an original idea in his head"

You know, sometimes, taking risks in life can pay off. Who cares if he has to work more and settle for less money in the short term. Them's the breaks. Most small businesses don't turn a profit for a while. Does that mean that he should just skip on his dream of freelance coding?

Re:Don't. (3, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302961)

And let's not forget that Hitler would have given up and gone into bartending after the Kapp Putsch flopped. An ambitious, go-get-'em attitude could kill millions!

YEAH I WENT THERE

Re:Don't. (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302601)

First of all, while I don't have any firsthand experience, everything I've ever heard is that freelancing can be, at least somewhat, more profitable than working as an employee but you have the headache of handling your own insurance, taxes, unstable income, etc. Of course, it always depends on how good you are at selling yourself and, as the poster pointed out, the economy isn't good right now.

Secondly, his statement "the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability" suggests to me that he is working for a non-profit, not-for-profit, or similar organization. This I have some personal knowledge of and have family members in the same situation. They can be stable, but they also tend to be all the things he listed and, most importantly, they usually pay well below market value for their employees.

In the end, I would agree with your sentiment of "get a vacation" mainly because this isn't the kind of economy to risk your family's well being with a jump into a field as unstable as freelance software development. My suggestion would be to file this away in his head for a few years. When the economy, finally, turns around (web 3.0?), then take another look at the idea. Until then, just be happy you, and everyone else, aren't standing in a 30's era style soup kitchen line hoping to get you once daily meal.

Re:Don't. (4, Insightful)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302765)

Being self employed is, in many ways, the same as being permanently unemployed.

Non-profit? Well maybe unintentionally. (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302917)

>... his statement "the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability" suggests to me that he is working for a non-profit, not-for-profit, or similar organization.

Unfortunately, that quote could easily apply to a major share of American (if not worldwide) businesses. One legacy of the pyramid scheme that Wall Street has become is that many nice, profitable small businesses have been bought up by idiots whose only skills are to concoct a 'business plan' that makes sense to the bigger idiots that buy them.

Profit? Who needs it as long as the next great thing is always in development and just around the corner... and the company gets sold before the lies are uncovered.

Eventually you realize that you've been a bit of an idiot too - believing that rational arguments and good technology can win the day in what are essentially mergers and acquisitions firms, not software houses.

The company I work for has gone through this literally 6 times since I've been there. If it weren't for liking the day-to-day work, and the salary, I'd have been out of there years ago. But then, where would I have gone...

What remains to be seen is whether the current global economic collapse will topple these houses of cards too.

Re:Don't. (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302645)

An addendum to my previous post is that working part-time while keeping your day job isn't a bad idea and will make it easier later should the economy pick up and you make the full move. Either way, keep the info you dig up while researching the idea in case the worst happens and the choice is made for you...

Re:Don't. (2, Insightful)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302763)

What he says is "I want to work more and get paid less but be alittle happier".

Re:Don't. (3, Informative)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302815)

What you're saying pretty much translates into 'I want to work more and get paid less.'

You forgot one important part: "while not being driven fucking insane". Being able to actually get things done without a lot of bullshit is worth a lot of money to me, and plenty of others.

Sweeping up crap after one managerial elephant parade after another can pay quite well, because jobs like that suck and really good people rarely want to waste their time like that. Taking less money for more satisfaction and less stress is, for a lot of people, a great trade.

And if the original poster is one of those people who doesn't mind being a human pooper scooper, then he should certainly become a contractor or consultant. I know one contractor who for the last 5 years has been cleaning up other people's spaghetti code at a large internet company, and grossing over $300k/year for it. And he can do that as long as he wants, because the permanent employees can always tie things in knots faster than he can untangle them.

Re:Don't. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302883)

While I agree with parent and GameMaster's comments, I must also ask you to proceed with caution. Most companies have it in the contract you sign with them to not do outside work that is similar to your current work without permission. Talk to your boss about doing outside development work... just 'trying it out' can get you fired from the stable job you have now.

If you really want to try contract work, get in a contract company. If you live in the midwest, I can get you a job with my contracting firm. Usually the job is pretty stable, and they handle your insurance and other headaches that freelance work brings...

Be thankful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302243)

Well, for starters, be thankful you have a good-paying, secure job in the tech sector right now. Then start developing apps for one of the for pay app stores. The Apple, Google, and Xbox app and game stores aren't that bad.

Good luck (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302245)

.. I'm very unmotivated both because of the work that I do, which is boring, and because the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability.

You've just described every job I ever had.

[OT] "unmotivated by the work.. which is boring" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302295)

That's one big problem with Java in a nutshell. Coding Java (or dotnet) at the application level is boring and does little to inspire the best engineers.

How can we create and maintain a great design? Doesn't matter, just start with the IDE design patterns-wizard and fix the code until the bugs from QE and early customers have been worked through.

Not the best time (1)

slugtastic (1437569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302303)

As you said, today's economy is not at its best.
Its not the best time to try something which might fail.

Few ideas (1)

Torn8-R (1190051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302335)

- rentacoder - find a software product you like and offer your services - start your own software project (check balancer, budget maker, car maintenance helper - whatever, just do something that eliminates something very mundane that you do) - attend a local inventor's conference to inspire ideas - indentify a local business and walk in to ask them if they would like a customized solution: I had a farmer talk to me once about getting a database together of his cows so he could track them better (feed, growth, price when sold, injuries, sicknesses, etc)

Old question.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302367)

Firstly, this has been covered many times before in AskSlashdot articles; try search the site.

Secondly, striking out on your own is tough. Trying to do this whilst maintaining an existing job can be tougher - your quality of life will go down drastically (if you can find decent paying hourly work).

I'd say either find a more fulfilling job out there, or get a hobby to make life more interesting in general (non computer) if you really don't want to go job hunting.

Re:Old question.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302587)

I have found that the search feature of /. sucks ass. Why can't they get it to work worth a damn?

Re:Old question.. (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302667)

Buy me a Guinness and I'll ponder that one.

Re:Old question.. (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303043)

Tell you what. Your free pitcher of chilly Irish cream ale is hidden inside a certain /. article from the last 4 years, which includes the word 'vaporware', but whose comment section does not contain a single reference to Duke Nukem Forever.

aaaaand GO.

My experience: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302383)

a couple months ago, some part-time contract-work fell into my lap. A previous manager had a sudden need for some contract work (the guy he had lined up left last-minute). So a strong recommendation (and desoeration) is the key.

I think you should ask yourself: what's more valuable, time or money? Because 5-15 hours a week doesn't sounds like much, but you're really killing a lot of your personal time.

Re:My experience: (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303511)

I, too, had some part-time contract work fall into my lap. I agree with my AC parent that it can seriously kill your personal time, but if thats not a problem I encourage you to go for it.

What you have described as your goal is exactly what I've done. I maintain my day-job in order to keep benefits, and I work a couple hours every evening to supplement. My day-job currently pays around $44/hr and the supplemental is paying $62.50/hr. Its nice to have, and I could fall back on it for more money if I were to get caught up in some lay-offs at my day-job. I've actually found that this added security has made me a little more bold in my career decisions -- which has paid off for me.

Unfortunately, I don't really have good advice for you regarding how to get started. Mine sort of fell in my lap, coming from a friend of a friend. I guess my best advice is to network! network! network!

try odesk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302391)

visit odesk.com

Craigslist (5, Interesting)

StealthyRoid (1019620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302409)

Unless you're in Austin, and then stay the fuck out of my territory and keep your day job.

In all seriousness, I started, and continue to run, a moderately successful dev company on my own via 100% Craigslist clients. I began by building up a small, but consistent client base while still at my 9-5, and then, when the time was right, I struck out on my own.

I would advise against places like rentacoder and getafreelancer and elance, etc... More often than not, with those joints, you're competing against Eastern European or Indian programming companies that charge like $8/hr, and the client base on those sites is more cost-conscious than quality-conscious. You'll waste a ton of time.

Also, for what it's worth, _never_ utilize the services of a site that makes you pay for it. More often than not, they're not worth the money you spend on them.

Re:Craigslist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302687)

Q: Why do I keep receiving emails from an individual calling himself CmdrTaco?

A: You have been receiving unsolicited mailings from a certain Robert CmdrTaco Malda, owner of the popular technology website slashdot.org. Actually, its not a very popular site in the common sense of the word; the site is rife with pimply, antisocial geeks and hackers, zit-faced nerds, communists, dirty GNU hippies, and other societal rejects and outcasts. Its also home to one of the worlds largest suspected pædophile rings, the infamous Slashdot crew.

Whenever Mr. Malda gets bored (and who wouldnt, running a site like Slashdot all day), he roams through the user database, penis in hand, looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual activities with him. How he determines this is anyones guess; but if you have a homosexual-sounding nickname, or a nick with a letter of the English alphabet in it, youre a potential candidate.

This time, he found you. Lucky you.

Q: Mr. Malda seems to be speaking in some sort of code. Do you know what it means?

A: CmdrTacos code language is relatively easy to decipher. This pervert prefers to speak in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo (yes, thats right: he wants you) to evade the watchful eye of Slashdots parent corporation, VA Software. Mr. Maldas Commander is, of course, his penis: a small, withered little thing that lives in his pants and only comes out in the presence of other male geeks or at the beck and call of Maldas own lubed-up right hand. His Taco bells are the shriveled testicles that droop beneath his Commander, and his Taco sauce is his thin, runny semen. It should be more than obvious to you now what he means if he asked you to ring his Taco bells or taste his gourmet Taco sauce.

I would also guess CmdrTaco asked you to engage in a practice known as Taco-snotting and, if he was in a particularly depraved mood at the time, a circle-snot.

Q: Good Lord. And, yes, he did. What is Taco-snotting?

A: Taco-snotting is the term used by Robert Malda to refer to the depraved act of fellating another man (homo- or heterosexual; CmdrTaco is rumoured to prefer raping unwilling victims), then blowing the semen out his nose and back onto the face and body of his victim. Naturally, a long, bubbly stream of milky-white semen is left on CmdrTacos face, dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek: hence the term, Taco-snotting.

And if thats not bad enough: a circle-snot is a Taco-snotting circle-jerk, another practice common among the Slashdot crew. CmdrTaco, CowboiKneel, and Homos get together and snot each other with their gooey, sticky cum spooging their jizz-snot all over each others faces and pasty, white bodies, until theyre covered head to toe with their own and each others man juice. This vile, ungodly ritual can go on for hours. For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay, Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant; he owns a limousine service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to go.

To complete this perverted orgy, fellow faggots Michael, Timothy, and Jamie will usually join in, dressed in tight leather mock-S.S. uniforms, jack boots, and leather gloves. The homosexual shenanigans that follow are nearly beyond description. The whole group begins to snot each others spunk and whip each others pudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale, white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate, homosexual revelry.

Q: Ewwwwww. So, can I stop receiving these emails?

A: Hopefully, but I wouldnt count on it. To begin with, you most likely forgot to uncheck the Willing to Snot checkbox in your account preferences. CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad (do you have a homosexual-sounding nick?), and hes probably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera, some tissues and lube, just waiting to pounce and declare you his new bitch. Theres no escaping a geek in heat (trust me), so its probably too late for you, but you can possibly rectify this situation. To remove yourself from CmdrTacos sights, log into your Slashdot account, go to your user page, click on Messages, and uncheck the box next to Willing to Snot. Maybe hell ignore you. Probably not.

Q: I cant stop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco!?

A: If you indulge him in a Taco-snot or two, he might leave you alone. You might also want to look into mail filtering, restraining orders, or purchasing a heavy, blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat. Trust me, when they charge oh, the humanity. If he gets you, and you let him Taco-snot all over you, you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life (or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circle-snot).

Q: Have you ever been Taco-snotted?

A: Unfortunately, yes. I first met Mr. Malda at an Open Source Convention. He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some gourmet Tacos, but when I got there, the perverted geek jumped me and handcuffed me to his bed, stripping me. After taking his Commander out of his pants, Mr. Taco made me suck the withered thing six times, virtually nonstop. He then performed his vile Taco-snotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours, bringing me to orgasm after orgasm after sweaty, mind-numbing orgasm then he snotted my own thick, gooey jizz back onto my face out of his nostrils! He snotted me two more times, first into my mouth, then again on my exposed belly.

CmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source (or rather, Open Sauce man sauce) buddies over to continue their ungodly snotfest. European hacker and known überfaggot Linux Torvalds raped my ass with his monolithic kernel; his partner-in-crime Anal Cox used their network stack in a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice of my defenseless, tender, young body. Michael Sims was there in his leather Nazi uniform, caning my previously-virginal ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about all those Censorware freaks out to get him.

Q: That is so disgusting! How did you finally escape?

A: After about 16 hours of countless unholy, homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body, they all finally went to sleep on top of me, sweat-soaked and exhausted. I was left there, completely covered in bubbly, translucent jizz-snot, chained to the bed, with half a dozen fat, pasty-white fags lying around and on top of me. Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door (of the apartment, not their back doors). Im just glad I survived the awful ordeal. These sexually-repressed hackers had a lot of built-up spunk in their wads I couldve easily been drowned!

Q: Thats horrible. Does Taco-snotting have anything to do with CmdrTacos special taco?

A: No, thats a different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in. Mr. Malda is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face, he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games. WeatherTroll has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership about this vile practice (emphasis added):

You may be wondering what CmdrTacos special taco is. You will be wishing that you hadnt been wondering after you finish reading this post. To make his special taco, CmdrTaco takes a taco shell and shits on it. He then adds lettuce, takes out his tiny withered dick (otherwise known as his Commander), puts his special taco sauce on it which means he jacks off on the taco, and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious. Of course, the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten. Thus CmdrTaco force-feeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim. After all, who would knowingly eat shit and CmdrTacos jizz?

After the victim is unconscious, he is held against his will and used for CmdrTacos nefarious homosexual purposes. This includes shoving taco shells up the victims ass, Taco-snotting, and getting Jon Katz involved. Trust me, you do not want Jon Katz anywhere near your unconscious body. Also, rumor has it CmdrTaco is looking for a new goatse.cx guy. Dont let it be you!

Different ungodly perversion, yet no less revolting. It should be clear to you now that Robert CmdrTaco Malda is a very, very sick individual, as are most of the Slashdot editors.

Q: Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this? I thought he was a pædophile, not a homosexual.

A: Actually, Jon Katz is a homosexual pædophile. Hes also a coprophiliac, and, many suspect, a zoophile. Mr. Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesnt involve himself in the circle-snots, but that doest mean hes any less of a freak than the rest of the Slashdot crew. Katz often engages in a game called juicy-douching with a harem of little-boy slaves that he has collected over the years: yet another vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boys urine (forced out of them with a pair of pincers), spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag, then dribbling and slathering the goo all over himself and the boys chained, naked bodies. If hes in the mood, he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag from his distended anus and just squirt it from his ass onto the crying, terrified boys. Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pincers until they comply and allow Mr. Katz to juicy-douche them at will. A boy will usually last about two years before Mr. Katz either accidentally drowns them in diarrhea or kills them once they get too old, usually around 13 or 14.

Not content with being a pædophilic coprophile, Mr. Katz is also quite the zoophile. As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys arent enough, Jon usually enjoys his juicy-douches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goats anus. He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goats small, bean-like turds, and he often kills his older boys by letting his goats trample them.

Q: Are you getting hard writing this?

A: Why, yes. :)

Re:Craigslist (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303127)

This is disgusting!! CmdrTaco should sue you for libel.

Re:Craigslist (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302701)

In all seriousness, I started, and continue to run, a moderately successful dev company on my own via 100% Craigslist clients. I began by building up a small, but consistent client base while still at my 9-5, and then, when the time was right, I struck out on my own.

I'm curious, are you making as much as you did in your 9-5? Don't get me wrong, there's much more to a job than $$$ - like controlling your own time and actually having free time. I just want to know how it's working for you - upside, downside, etc...

Who is it? (5, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302437)

the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability.

You work for the Republican Party?

Re:Who is it? (1)

sholsinger (1131365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302681)

Don't you mean the United States Government? (Or DoD?)

Re:Who is it? (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302717)

Na... he works for the governors office of Illinois.

oDesk (1)

mistahkurtz (1047838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302483)

You might try oDesk [odesk.com] . I don't know much about them, but the site's been around for at least a year or so, and you seem to be able to choose whatever work suits you. Might be a good starting point, at least.

Don't quit (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302489)

We're at the beginning of the Second Great Depression. If you have a job that you think will survive the depression, keep it. Even if it sucks. Ten years ago, you could have moved to a hot job at a fun dot-com in a week. Not now. Google just had a layoff. Microsoft is rumored to be laying off 17,000 people.

US manufacturing activity is now down to its lowest level since 1948. That's right, we've lost 60 years of growth. It's going to be a long recession. Japan's housing bubble popped in 1989, and twenty years later, Japan still hasn't recovered. The Nikkei index is around a quarter of its peak in the 1980s. That's what a crash in housing looks like. Japan also has a better "safety net" than the US does in the post-Reagan era.

If you're bored, code something in your spare time. Read books on dealing with dysfunctional organizations; over time, you might be able to improve the place.

Re:Don't quit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302941)

We're at the beginning of the Second Great Depression.

And you know this ... how? Yeah, things aren't rosy. However, things were worse in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And Japan may not have recovered from its housing bubble, but it's hardly in the midst of a depression either.

Re:Don't quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303179)

Not likely. In the 40s we had only a manu. industry. I only know a few people anymore that work in manu. Although tough times ahead doing some parttime work can help create a network. Nothing is guaranteed anymore.

From the glass-is-half-full perspective... (2, Interesting)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303351)


We're at the beginning of the Second Great Depression.

The situation is actually a lot worse than you realize, although I don't want to go that far off-topic.

But even though the glass is half-empty, it's also half-full.

The greatest return on investment is always made from starting small, at the very bottom of an economic slump, just as the economy kicks in and begins to grow again.

And if you remember any of your college calculus, the economy actually starts to accelerate again after passing through that inflection point on the way down - which inflection point is probably not such a bad time to be starting a new venture.

What you don't want to do is invest a ton of money into some project right at the peak of the good times - that's what all the fools do [i.e. buy high and, ultimately, sell low].

Just do a little freelance work. (2, Interesting)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302495)

Though I've never messed with any of them, there are plenty of freelance, contractor type sites out there.

Also, and I know it must sound seedy, but sitting around in a (fairly upscale) bar that has frequent business travelers works pretty well. I know it is kind of "red-lighting" it, but I've scored a few software jobs just from sitting in front of a beer and chatting it up with complete strangers on Wed or Thurs nights (often, their free night before their flight the next day).

Like a previous poster said, don't quit your day job. It isn't worth losing your insurance because of boredom.

Best of Luck (2, Insightful)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302499)

All the independent work I've ever done has been because someone knew someone who knew someone. It started with a helping a friend out with some trouble they were having at their work, which lead to helping out more friends of friends, and then other businesses who heard friends of friends talking.

But trying to work a full time job and make time for my side work was sucking the life out of me. I don't like to leave work unfinished, which makes me a hell of a work horse, but only by pulling time away from every else. And once there was no time left to cut I just started sleeping less. So after only a few months I left my steady and well paying job to go solo for awhile.

If I were more motivated, I might still be trying to fly solo, but I really didn't like all the extra work. Not the extra development work, which I loved. It was all the other work. As a corporate drone I spent a lot of my time in development. Working for myself, I also had to be the salesdroid, and the accountant, and the business manager, and health care consultant, and all the rest of the hats that needed wearing. I also could never really enjoy my 'time off' since I was never sure where or when my next paycheck might be coming.

So after a few years I went back to a steady and well paying job. Which, right now, I'm pretty thankful to have. And these days I just actively work to fix some of those annoying bureaucratic problems. Which can certainly involve wearing a few of those extra hats I didn't like... but we all learn to pick and choose which battles are worth fighting. And I guess for me, it's in the corporate trenches.

The truth about side projects (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302553)

I tried for years to pick up side jobs, but here's what I discovered.

The people who are paying for the side projects, are looking for people to work for nothing. I currently make the equivalent of $70 an hour ($140k per year), I get to keep only 58% of that after taxes. Most of the people balk at paying $20 an hour, in their mind software developers already get paid an outrageous amount of money so making a few extra bucks must be a windfall, it's not. My time and sanity is worth far more than $11.60 an hour. And it's not even that clear cut, you can give these people an honest estimate and they act like you've padded the hours, then even if they accept it, they'll constantly change the requirements and pretend like that should just be part of the original agreement. When you stand firm as any one in their right mind should, they act like they were doing you a favor and pull out.

The only real way to make the jump from corporate slavery is to start your own project, and hence your own business. Otherwise you are moving from one headache to another type of headache, and you'll find yourself yearning for the corporate environment you left. With a product in hand you can develop a "need" in the market place, and you'll find that once they "need" you they can and will pay the kind of money you are looking for.

Before anyone speaks up, yes I know successful independent consultants. But guess what? I make more money then them even though they make a higher hourly wage, take for example a database admin friend of mine, he makes $85 an hour, but he has to pay his own health care, no 401(k) matching, no holiday's, no vacations, he also has a lot of paperwork to do and pays an accountant. With all of his overhead, and paying his own half of the employment tax, I'm ahead by $20k a year. Oh and I only work a max of 45 hours a week, he gets woken at 2am randomly any day of the week, and instead of racking in the overtime they ask him to leave early on the days he has to fix an emergency in the middle of the night. Some consultants might make the $125+ an hour that it takes to be worth it, but most do not.

Try Elance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302577)

You can try Elance.com.

You can make bids for contract work, or people can contact you directly. Work at your own pace, set your own schedule. Just make sure not to do the contract work at your company.

Check your employee manual first. (5, Funny)

zorkmid (115464) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302619)

Make sure you don't have a "no moonlighting" clause. I used to work for a company that had one and vigorously enforced it. And I mean Security goon standing next to your desk with a box for your stuff and a quick frog march out the door style enforcement. It's a real bad time to be trashing a steady paycheck.

Bad idea on many levels (4, Interesting)

$criptah (467422) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302631)

I have not done this myself because some of my friends have. When I saw what they were going through I decided to avoid the idea altogether for several reasons.

First of all, if your job is stable you may want to read the contract or the NDA that the company had you sign when you became employed. Many companies forbid you from working for profit or working at all. Wanna risk your well paid job? Be my guest.

Another good reason for not accepting the second job is because it is not going to be a second job for you. In the eyes of your client, your second job is going to be his primary or the only job. This means the client will not expect less from you by any means. Calls at work during business hours, meeting during weekends and weekdays, etc. Are you ready for it? And if you for some reason manage your time well and actually get both of the jobs done then say good-bye to your free time.

I have observed a friend of mine who made a good hourly rate at his part time job. No time to relax led to constant family troubles which are NOT worth anything in the long run. The extra money that he had made on the side essentially went to family therapy of the 21st century: Shopping sprees, vacations one can barely afford, etc. The net income was zero if you don't count the lost nerve cells. That's why I recommend you to look the other way and if you do need to save some money review your family budget.

Finally somewhere in your post you mentioned that your current organization is not the best fit for you. Are you sure you want to get a part-time gig? It sounds like you are bored and you'd like a new job. Why not get a new position that pays more? I know that we are in a recession but if you're any good I am sure there will be a job opening. If anything, I'd consider doing some Open Source development work and that way you can put something on your resume later on. At least that way you will have to work on your schedule without having to answer to a pissed off client.

Re:Bad idea on many levels (0)

geoskd (321194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303005)

Finally somewhere in your post you mentioned that your current organization is not the best fit for you. Are you sure you want to get a part-time gig? It sounds like you are bored and you'd like a new job. Why not get a new position that pays more? I know that we are in a recession but if you're any good I am sure there will be a job opening.

Have you been living on another planet? The economy didn't just go into a recession, it tanked... The only jobs posted anywhere are the type of posting you see when a company needs to justify the H1B they have on staff. They aren't really looking, but have to post the job to keep their cheap employee... Otherwise, it's basically NULL program right now. If you don't like your job, and want something else, then you are going to take a significant pay cut to do it.

-=Geoskd

Leverage current job (1)

mikedeanklein (1052254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302643)

Spend as much time as you can on your current job trying to improve your skill set in valuable areas and this will improve your lot at current employ in addition to making you stronger for your next gig. Read and do as much technical stuff offline from your job as you can (setup linux, dns, etc.). You may find that your lot at your current gig has improved and you don't need to leave. Then again it may be time to go and you'll be in a better position to do it.

What would your employer think? (5, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302647)

Many employers do not want their people to moonlight. They may even fire you over it. And these days, with all these folks who are out of work doing exactly what you're thinking of doing, you will have plenty of competition - meaning, your rate will suck unless you have experience doing some very specialized work.

This is NOT a very good time to take risks with your employment.

Go for the easy solution! (0, Flamebait)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302663)

Get a divorce!

Ok, sorry: No real input from me.

Welcome to the real world (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302699)

However, I'm very unmotivated both because of the work that I do, which is boring, and because the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability. I've done what I could to try to change things at work and have pretty much given up on that.

Well, that pretty much sums it up for the rest of us.

Anything new here?

Re:Welcome to the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302837)

Ditto. It gets worse too as organizations become infested with consultants (once they are in the never leave). Does it really take a team of a PM ($125/hr), BA ($105/hr), Dev ($100/hr), and Tester ($80/hr) 7 months to deliver 200 lines of SQL code? Yes, sadly, it really does.

lots of contracts don't permit moonlighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302709)

and, I fire developers who I find moonlighting. The issue is that, although the work week is 40h/week, I want 40h when your brains are on, not 40h after you've spent 16-24h on your own projects. Chances are your IP contract means your employer owns everything that is even remotely related to work -- done on your "own time" or on your "own equipment" it doesn't matter if you're an exempt employee. If they don't have a contact like that -- they should.

If you don't find your work fulfilling, engage in an open source project that's interesting to you (and let your boss know about it). Learn, take classes, work out more , er... get a "well balanced life"

Re:lots of contracts don't permit moonlighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302955)

Too many employers think they own the employee. It is none of your business what I'm doing the rest of the week. If my brain is functional after 16-24 hours working on my own projects what do you care? If my brain isn't functional (for whatever reason) fire me.
My current contract (in fact none of my contracts) specify they own everything I do in my life. Bullshit contracts like that just get you unmotivated employees who won't go the extra mile when it's needed because you want the extra mile all the time.

Friends and family (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302713)

You are absolutely right to keep your day job for now, and kudos to you for getting motivated to make a change before you go postal.

Two vital warnings: do not quit your day job until you have so much other work that you can't possibly do both. It will take a while to build up enough of a network to do that. And you should also have at least six months expenses in cash. There will be ups and downs, and you and your family must be financially and emotionally prepared to ride them out.

As far as finding work, start with your social network, especially friends and family. There is somebody out there who needs something simple built. As long as the job is of modest size and the money is more than pocket lint, take it. You'll need to build up a portfolio, collect references, and learn how to run your own business. Practice all that on small, easy jobs.

The way you get more business after that? When somebody needs you, you must be the person they hear about. The best way to do that is by doing great work for people socially connected to them. And that's great on their terms, not on yours. So study what people really want, and practice setting aside your personal taste in technology. Also study how they are interconnected, and how they decide whom to trust. Being in a service business is all about people, even if you're using technology to provide a service.

Personally, I love being independent; it doesn't mean you can do as you please around the clock, but being able to tell any one client that they're too crazy to work with is a pearl beyond price.

Welcome to software development (1)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302721)

"However, I'm very unmotivated both because of the work that I do, which is boring, and because the organization I work for is highly political, disorganized, and lacks accountability."

Big reasons I no longer do it.

The other reason is maintenance. Most "software development" is dealing with crap laid down by others who moved on years prior. If not within the company, then mentally.

Frankly, software development is severely overrated. Getting a CS degree and going off to do it is sort of like watching some episode of Nova dealing with some science topic lending some interest to whatever scientific branch that is involved but then when you get that chemistry degree you realize a monkey could work at a lab eventually (think Darwin).

Likewise, creating some "neato" web page isn't exactly indicative of what software development is like in the real world. Sure web development is not the only kind of software development but it sure is the majority nowadays.

-M

Re:Welcome to software development (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303489)

Sure web development is not the only kind of software development but it sure is the majority nowadays.

Seriously? For real and true?

NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Well that pretty much confirms my notion that I need to prepare another possible career for myself than in computing.

Another job is suicide (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26302821)

If you want more money you can work more or you can work better. Think about the future because years pass quickly. Everyone can use some extra cash, but once you get them, it's hard to turn back.

find part-time gigs on craigslist for your city (1)

Biffers (1115111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302861)

go to http://www.craigslist.org/ [craigslist.org] (select your city) I live in NY and find loads of part time gigs when I search the jobs for "part-time" or I search "gigs" Good Luck

Don't do it (1)

palmerj3 (900866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26302943)

As someone who has done freelance development for a few years, I can honestly say that it ALWAYS consumes more time than you expect and it is NEVER worth the money. My two cents.

We're looking for Java developers for part-time (1)

m00gl3 (1416643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303117)

For mobile development. You choose your own hours, and how much you want to work on the project. I know it sounds "too good to be true", but it's not. I've been working on it for 3 years now and we have a lot of developers who are working with us. Contact me at my user's email address for more information.

Part-time contract work doesn't work out (2, Interesting)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303133)

Speaking from experience. Get another non-IT related job. Pet sitting. Working at Radio Shack. Washing dishes. You'll make more money and it may be a good way to blow off stress from IT/programming work. It will also have better defined work hours and working conditions. Once you punch that time clock, you're done for the day and can go home.

Also, consider the fact that if your employer catches programming you they may fire you for competing with them or conflict of interest. If the boss finds you working at the local Radio Shack or book store, it looks a a bit better, you can say "I'm just paying off a few Xmas bills. Hey! Check out this signed first edition we just received!"

Re:Part-time contract work doesn't work out (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303233)

Damn tags didn't get through the last paragraph should read:

Also, consider the fact that if your employer catches programming you they may fire you for competing with them or conflict of interest. If the boss finds you working at the local Radio Shack or book store, it looks a a bit better, you can say "I'm just paying off a few Xmas bills. Hey! Check out this signed first edition *insert bosses favorite author's name here* we just received!"

But basically, there is no such thing as a part-time IT job either.

Sounds familiar... try guru.com (1)

jmors (682994) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303243)

The place you describe sounds like the company I work for. A former telecom related company that went through a bankruptcy due to fraud and then was bought out and merged with another big player who shall remain nameless for the purpose of this post.

At any rate I understand your position completely and would recommend to you that you check out guru.com . They post requests for freelance development work and you can post your qualifications as a freelancer there as well. They also help with setting things up to make it more likely you will actually get paid, which is always a good thing when you are doing freelance development. They have varying levels including a free account which is all I have ever needed to use.

Hope this helps, happy hunting.

java developers group in your town? (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26303359)

I attend them occasionally to hear something interesting (not just for the free pizza). Headhunters swarm them all the time offering about three times as many jobs as there are attendees.

Freelance.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26303483)

Check out freelance.com they always have work out there just be cautious who its for :)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?