I have wanted to take on more short-term, side projects for many years, but a couple of concerns have held me back.  This article addresses those concerns head-on.

  1. No "under the table" work.
    If there is one thing I want to avoid in life, it is drama with The Government.  I fear that when some people think of "short term projects," they think of "under the table" work.  I actually had a close friend do some "under the table" work one summer, and the IRS eventually found out about it.  That is not something I am willing to go through.
  2. Side projects must not interfere with full time work.
    Another reason I have been a bit reluctant in the past to take on side projects, is I am concerned that they will interfere with my full time work.  Jobs today take a lot of energy, and it can be difficult to switch from one development environment to another.

Number 1 should go without saying, but I want to put it out there anyway.  If you pay me for work, I will report it on my taxes, regardless of whether you send me a 1099.  Because that is how I roll.

Regarding number 2, this is why I am most interested in small side projects.  Different jobs require a different level of commitment, often at different times.  Sure we can always pull an all-nighter to crank something out, but often that results in a low-quality project or next-day-grumpiness at best.  I want to avoid that as well so it is best to be upfront about how I feel I need to set priorities.