Which programming language to learn to make extra income?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jc0481, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. jc0481 macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2005
    My wife and I both work full time and go to school full time. We have in the near future big hospital bills coming our way.

    I would like to learn a programming language so that way I can make some extra income on the side besides getting a job delivering pizzas. I went to my local bookstore and was overwhelmed at all the different programming languages out there to learn.

    I understand it might take me a year or so to learn but I am willing to make the time to learn a programming language. I would like to put a local ad in Craigslist for example and other websites when I am ready to take on jobs.

    But I'm not sure what kind of programming is in demand right now. I hope you guys can help me out with this. Thank you.
  2. foidulus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2007
    Sorry to be a downer, but I doubt you will get very far trying to freelance program without any experience or projects under your belt, companies can go to sites like rentacoder and find talent relatively cheaply.....

    That being said, if you are at all artistically inclined you probably could carve out a niche doing web design/programming. By being local(so you can meet with the customer and get their input), and be able to offer the whole package, front end, back end, interactivity etc. you may be able to carve out a profitable niche for yourself. If you go that route then javascript, PHP, and Ruby would be safe bets.

    Sorry if I sound kind of grim, but thats the reality of the situation....:rolleyes:
  3. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    No, it's a pain and only works for very low level programming such as video games, OSs and heavy productivity programs.

    Like foidulus said, you have to pick something else. Freelance programming will mean your starvation unless you work for a software company or IT department in a company.
  4. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
    Objective c... Programmers for ios are very much in demand right now.
    You can gain a freelance job doing iOS apps fairly easily. Plus you can it your skills to use on your own time and make an app of your own and make some money with it (if it is good).
  5. (marc) macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2010
    the woods
    If you want to get money quickly, I recommend learning web development. If you would like to learn how to program and maybe later get a job as a programmer, I recommend learning Java and / or C++.

    I know plenty of people who get paid for programming, yet struggle to implement a linked list in Java (further reading), so I think it's definitely possible for a self-learned programmer to get a job.
  6. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    Like stated above, Java or C++. They are Object Oriented and are good springboards for learning a whole bunch of languages.
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    I'd suggest Objective-C and Python.

    Objective-C because then you take advantage of the demand for iPhone applications (and to a lesser degree Mac OS X applications) and Python for website programming (using the Django framework). In combination they should allow you to do all kinds of interesting projects.

    Both languages are pretty easy to learn.
  8. wpotere, Dec 27, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011

    wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010

    This is the best advice.... Programming is not something that you can just sit down and do on the side to make money. You might make a little doing side web projects, but regular programming will take up a lot of time (not just a few side hours) and finding clients for side jobs will not be easy. If you do want to learn a language, any OOP language is probably the way to go.

    FYI, I have been coding for over 4 years now and I am still learning. Programming is not something that you can quickly learn and I am bewildered why people think it is easy. You might be able to code a small cheesy app after about a year, but to do anything with substance to it will take many years of studying. Most of us never stop learning.
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Why don't you try to make money doing what you are studying full time?

    Sorry but I think it is unrealistic for someone with no programming experience to make any money coding. There are so many unemployed programmers right now with years and years of experience.
  10. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    Whatever you feel like really to learn the principles, I find myself that skills are largely transferable between languages and once you have the basics it's fairly easy to map a learned paradigm to a particular syntax.
  11. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    I completely agree.

    Besides, there is a lot more to implementing a system than just coding it and it's not a skill you are going to be able to learn and put towards making money quickly.
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks

    I was going to suggest Machine Code, but only crazy people can do that. ;)
  13. acidfast7 macrumors 65816


    Nov 22, 2008
    this makes sense. why would someone NOT want to do this. and why on earth, would one deliver pizzas while studying? study hard, get an internship (paid or unpaid), and turn that into a real position.

    pizzas/learning new code don't really fit in here.
  14. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    What makes you think any programming is in demand right now for freelance type work?

    Look at the ads on your local CL and the project descriptions on freelance sites like http://www.vworker.com/ to get a feel for what languages and types of project are conceivable.

  15. lewis82 macrumors 68000


    Aug 26, 2009
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    Learn Brain****. It's the best out there, and there is even an IDE available!

    But seriously, I suggest you start with Python, as it's very easy. Then, move to C++, ObjC (if you want to program on iOS/OSX), C#(Windows) or Java, as they are the most widely used in the industry.

    There's also web programming, in which case you might want to look into PHP/SQL.
  16. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    Sorry but I also think it's not a good idea. There are so many coders (and good ones) from India and many places working for very cheap on Rentacoder or Guru...
  17. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2008
    It sounds like your goals are misaligned with what you're trying to do. The idea behind taking up programming is fueled by the desire to make money to pay hospital bills in the near future. I've been trying to learn Java for the past 3 months outside my full time job and have barely cracked the surface of what I'm doing. No one would hire me right now.

    Maybe as others have said you can learn HTML/CSS (and a dash of Javascript if you pickup the others quickly). These languages are much easier to learn, and you could realistically create a good enough looking website in a few months. Position and market yourself as a low-cost web developer to local small businesses who have basic web design needs (think places that don't need/have e-commerce, but who would need a web presence to be found on search engines).

    This might get you smaller payments, but they would start rolling in sooner. Then, if you're still motivated to learn a real programming language, go with Java or Python as others have said.

    Above all, good luck!

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