Moonlighting as a Software Developer: Getting Started

I think I’m now on enough of a roll to stop lavishing praise on myself for sticking to reader question Fridays.  So I’ll just get right to business.  Today’s question is about moonlighting as a software developer.  It’s short but sweet.

Any tips for finding moonlighting opportunities?

Sure!  Let’s do that.

Defining Moonlighting

First, though, I want to make it very clear what we’re talking about here.  Moonlighting isn’t a synonym for freelancing or contracting.  Instead, it has a very specific connotation.  You can look to the dictionary for the technical specifics.  Emphasis mine.

Paid work that you do in addition to your normal job, especially without telling your employer.

To unpack, we have a core component and a second, common one.  You do work in addition to a salaried job, and usually without informing your primary employer.

For the rest of this post, I’m going to assume that you don’t want your primary employer to know that you’re doing this.  I’m also going to assume that we’re talking about moonlighting related to your software development work and not you getting a cashier’s job at the local bodega.  You make a living as a techie and want to earn some additional cash, also as a techie.

A programmer moonlighting... literally.

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