What do you do when you’re not programming? What do the coders on your team do when they aren’t programming?
There’s a good chance that you (or they) are moonlighting. There are many reasons why someone would come home after spending 10 hours in front of the office desktop’s IDE, have a quick dinner, then fire up the home laptop and spend another four or five hours in front of another IDE.
Perhaps you (or your developers) have a great idea for an app, and are inspired to get it into the app store and make some money.
Perhaps you are more altruistic and are writing software for a non-profit, a house of worship, a school, or a youth sports league.
Perhaps you thrive on coding competitions and can’t wait to enter the next Hackathon.
Perhaps you are working to master a new language or a new platform, and find hands-on coding to be the best way to learn.
Perhaps you are attracted by the money, either to help pay the bills or to earn a little extra cash.
Not every professionally employed programmer is also a moonlighting programmer. However, a lot are. According to new research from Evans Data Corp., fully 69% of professional developers in North America work on projects outside their employment. In the Asia/Pacific area, 64% of developers moonlight. (The results are inverted in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where only 47% of developers say they moonlight.)
Not everyone moonlights, of course. Some may need to spend time with friends of family. Others may need to do childcare, or take care of a sick relative. Some might moonlight in non-development jobs, like driving a taxi or working retail. Some might volunteer at the local food bank or teach yoga. And some folks might simply flop in front of the TV or dive into the gaming console.
I wouldn’t surprised, though, if the reason why so many professional developers also moonlight as developers is because—quite frankly—we love love love love it. We can’t get enough. (That’s something I touched on in my column, “Coding: Unleashing creativity or managing complexity.”)
Do you moonlight as a developer? If so, what type of work do you do—and why? Write me at email@example.com.