New to the freelancing world (programming)
September 23, 2012 4:43 PM   Subscribe

What is the quickest way I can obtain programming gigs from odesk/elance/etc?

About me:
- Finishing up my associate's in science after next semester, then going to get my bachelor's
- I know C pretty well (took 3 courses in it), some python/django and java. I've messed around with Obj-C, Android development, PHP/MySQL, but wouldn't say that I am proficient at any of those.
- My MBP's video card (I'm assuming...) died a few weeks back. No chance to do any iOS development for a while...
- I've been offered a position as an intern for a social media startup, but it's unpaid (and I need to pay rent/gas/bills somehow...)
- My MBP has a few small projects that I've done on Fiverr. I quit going on that site because all it takes is one troll to squander five bucks to ruin your 100% feedback rating. I would have to rip it open to retrieve my hard drive and copy pasta the code over to my working PC. However, I'm not entirely sure if I can do that as I've set the /home directory to be under 128-bit protection. Plus, I am not 100% sure if my hard drive is working anyways, so I'll just let it be for now.

So what should I look for in terms of programming tasks? Should I look for web development? If so, what is in highest demand? Wordpress? PHP?
posted by RaDeuX to Work & Money (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Getting comfortable in a LAMP or WAMP environment seems to be something of a hot ticket lately.

Java always seems to be in demand as well.

I never did find any worthwhile gigs on Odesk, by the way. You're competing with India and most employers I came across were looking to pay $3 an hour or less! (your mileage may vary, of course)
posted by ShutterBun at 6:42 PM on September 23, 2012

A lot of low wage but experienced competition on those sites. Since you don't have a lot of experience, you can't stand above that pack.

There's a Computer Help section on TaskRabbit, perhaps that might be worth checking out.

Wordpress and PHP are always in demand and should be pretty easy for you to gain some mastery with.
posted by Dansaman at 8:12 AM on September 24, 2012

My last experience with Elance was some years ago, but what I saw was similar to what the other replies have described: very low bids from countries where average income is relatively low.

This isn't to say you can't make money on Elance: once you have built up a reputation, you can start competing on quality rather than price. But to build that reputation you'll need to do some loss-leader projects at rates which probably won't pay your bills.

As to languages, C and Java regularly rank in the top 3 on various popularity metrics, so you're probably on the right tack there.
posted by pont at 5:00 PM on September 24, 2012

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