Earn Extra Cash With Your Junior Web Developer Knowledge
As students of Turing, we’ve used Ruby to build functioning games and applications within our first few weeks of attending the school. We’ve experienced the joys of refactoring, test-driven development, and learning git workflow through weeks of repetition. We’ve been able to interact with the applications we’ve built and sat nervously as a teacher interacted with them. Another month later, we have have the tools to build a blog and fully functioning e-commerce platform.
More importantly, we now have the basic tools we need to find solutions on our own. Even though we don’t know everything, there will ALWAYS be more to learn, and it simply never ends.
EXPAND YOUR MIND… FAST… FOR CHANGE
A number of online resources provide a way for us to work at home, and simulate what it would be like working as a contractor. What better way to hone in on your developer skills than to work for a client with very real expectations? I signed up for several freelance sites online and searched with the key term Ruby. Some turned out to be promising:
- UpWork (formerly oDesk)
There seem to be quite a few RoR projects on this site than others. Some are reminiscent of Little Shop, or ask you to build a light-weight app using an API. Most jobs pay between $500–1000 and expect a task to be completed within 1–2 weeks.
Guru only has a few pages of Ruby-related projects. On the bright side, the site is gaining popularity, and the projects that were available appeared to be very concise and do-able from a junior web developer prospective.
The concept behind Fiverr is interesting — they showcase what people have to offer at the low cost of $5, yet you can set your own rate if you offer your services. A relevant way to use your Ruby developer skills would be to help debug another person’s code (don’t we do that anyway at Turing?), or showcase your abilities much like you would on a resume, and hope that you get hired.
BUT ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK
These sites do come with their set of problems — you may be competing with talented developers who work for less than one would expect out of this job market, and you have to weed through the jobs that come with red flags; projects that are not well-defined and are open for interpretation, and postings that appear to be managed poorly or by someone who seems clueless. If you’re feeling confident and competent enough to take on a job, sign up and give it a shot!
Really, the best way to find a secure developer gig is to get out there and network. Go to Meetups, reach out to other through LinkedIn, and work on projects that interest you and that you can share openly with others.
If you’re not quite there yet, browsing through jobs postings and freelance can give you a good idea of what goals you need to achieve before you begin the freelancer lifestyle.