Author Topic: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?  (Read 285 times)

TwoWheels

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Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« on: January 10, 2019, 05:30:35 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians! I am in a rather interesting spot at the moment. My girlfriend and I just broke up and she moved out, so my rent has doubled. Five years ago I left a full-time job as a software engineer to pursue a career as a classical pianist. It has been a crazy journey with much more craziness to come, I'm sure, and right now I feel pretty good about where I live and how I'm spending my time. So I am looking into dusting off this old skill of mine and using it to supplement my life as a musician and give me more options.

I'm poking around for stuff online but I thought I'd ask here too. Any resources or tips would be much appreciated. I'm looking for short-term or part-time stuff I can do from home. I am not particularly picky about pay at this point, though I've heard bad things about the "rent-a-coder" type sites where a ton of people bid on a gig: I'm willing to look into them but not if it means fighting with people from overseas for 8 bucks an hour.

Another tricky bit for me is how to market myself. Programming has not been my focus for the last few years, but it's something I'm damn good at. I'm quite confident in being able to quickly learn new things, which is why it's so annoying to see that job postings usually require multiple years' experience in whatever specific technology they happen to use. Programming is something of a craft to me, a general skill that maps equally well onto different languages/systems/whatever. I can definitely provide some good references from my old job.

If anyone has any ideas or would like to share their experience, I'd love to hear it. Thanks!

2Cent

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Re: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 07:08:30 AM »
Short term work means you should do something you already know. No one hires a software engineer for a single project. They always look for a Java software engineer, or a C# expert or Python etc. Also software has changed a lot. Most demand right now is for cloud stuff. That is not just languages, but also frameworks and cloud environments that you need to know. Your best bet for getting remote work is picking one framework that is in demand and making a few projects using that. Then you can sell yourself as expert and hire yourself out as a remote worker.

If you don't have much time to invest an easier thing to learn is developing android apps. However, easy to learn means more competition. Especially for remote jobs which can be done from India.

TwoWheels

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Re: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 10:11:25 AM »
Hmm...good point. I do have a lot of C# experience; I'll think more about specializing. My perspective is skewed by the fact that my old job required working with some very eccentric and old stuff - we all came in knowing nothing and learned as we went. But of course nobody is going to pay for training if you're just a contract worker. Thanks for the input.

Edit: Also, from what you're saying it sounds like I would do well to pick my specialty carefully with some research. I definitely don't want something easy like Android development. I think it would suit me better to be good at something in demand but kind of obscure.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 10:15:17 AM by TwoWheels »

2Cent

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Re: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 01:58:57 AM »
If C# is your language, maybe look into Azure cloud development. You should at least be familiar with the Microsoft IDE and cloud is in high demand right now. Also it is naturally suited to remote working as everything is in the cloud anyway. It would take quite some effort to learn though. You probably need to know ASP.net, some database (probably MSSQL), Docker and something about hosting things on Azure.


Linda_Norway

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Re: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 02:04:40 AM »
Do you have an extra bedroom in your house that you could rent our to a room mate? That would lighten your financial burden immediately.

Unique User

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Re: Anyone have experience finding short-term software work?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 04:50:57 AM »
I work for a consulting company that is primarily EMR focused, but there are plenty of companies that focus on tech only or in addition to EMR work.  If you are willing to travel to the client site weekly, then your options open up considerably.  Check out Teksystems, I think they do a lot of plain IT work, but I could be wrong.  Many times you will need to do client interviews before being hired so you have to know what you are doing and have recent relevant experience.