IT work from home
June 8, 2008 3:14 PM   Subscribe

How can I make money in the IT industry working from home?

For various reasons I am now living in a rural part of Wisconsin and I will be here for at least another year. I have over 15 years of experience programming on the AS/400 (a.k.a iSeries, eServer iSeries, System i, IBM Power Systems)

Does anyone know of a way to get short term contracting jobs on this platform? Barring that, I can pick up another language fairly easily if need be, but are there any places I can find short term contracts that I can do completely from home?

Barring THAT, is there ANYTHING (i.e. not programming) one can do from home if you have IT skills to make any sort of money? At this point even minimum wage would help me out.
posted by Bonzai to Work & Money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Barring THAT, is there ANYTHING (i.e. not programming) one can do from home if you have IT skills to make any sort of money?

I have an acquaintance who works from home (in SE Wisconsin) as a software tester. I don't know what it pays or if it's applicable to your skillset (apologies if it's beneath you), but I know it's not programming.
posted by desjardins at 3:33 PM on June 8, 2008

Maybe take a look at and bid for jobs there? I've not had good luck with the site but I'm a PR guy, not a programmer.
posted by fenriq at 3:35 PM on June 8, 2008

If you're not involved with COMMON, now is as good a time as any. Your local mid-range user groups are fertile fields of contacts, too, as are application user groups that have large populations of iSeries users, like J.D. Edwards/Peoplesoft. If you don't have an iSeries of your own, maybe be willing to provide at least a copy of Baby400 yourself. Get out and talk to banks, farmers and other iSeries users in your area, too. You may find that there are more of these systems right around you, at work in small and medium sized businesses, than you imagine.

You might also consider becoming a contributor to, as a showcase of your talents.
posted by paulsc at 4:03 PM on June 8, 2008

i know that at my job site, they're in the process of decomposing old cobol code--i think the idea is so that they can have a good understanding of the layout of the (undocumented) system to make the transition to a newer language easier. it's not mainframe, but i doubt you'd have a hard time grasping something like that.

also, i've done tech writing for years. i work onsite, but i know that lots of folks can do that remotely. good luck to you.
posted by msconduct at 5:38 PM on June 8, 2008

Response by poster: applicable to your skillset (apologies if it's beneath you)

Nothing is beneath me.
posted by Bonzai at 8:04 AM on June 9, 2008

IT Recruiting can be done from home. Find a job that needs filling on one of the job boards, find someone to fill it, and you're on your way. Ask for 20% (many will negotiate this down, where you end up is up to you) of the first year salary, or, if the position is paid by the hour, take $x/hour until you've made what you feel you earned.

posted by lockedroomguy at 8:56 AM on June 9, 2008

Pick up a new technology, such as a piece of open source software that is used by businesses, and become an expert in it. Write about it, blog about it, make contributions to the project, and to promote yourself based on that. Companies will seek you out as a consultant for that type of software. That's more of a long-term plan, so if you're there for only a year, I'd try to look on Craigslist or other programming gig boards for jobs that can be done 'anywhere'. Most of these won't be for AS/400 but for technologies such as Ruby on Rails.
posted by lsemel at 9:26 PM on June 11, 2008

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