One software developer with two jobs

Posted on September 26, 2022 · 7 mins read · tagged with: #remote #work

A few months a ago I had a conversation with a friend. They mentioned that their colleague, a software developer, was working 2+ jobs at the same time. The professional life was split between doing 2 jobs and searching for more in case of one of them defaults. I don’t recall if I asked how is it possible to work 16 hours a day. Still, it made me think, how on Earth it’s even possible.

A few weeks after that conversation another person mentioned working two jobs. Again, it was two software developer jobs. This time FIRE was mentioned, which means Financial Independence, Retire Early. I hadn’t heard about FIRE before so I read about it using the mighty investopedia.

Some time after this, the third conversation happened. The schema was the same: a software developer, working 2 jobs, dreaming of getting rich soon. At this point, I started to think whether I missed some evolutionary steps that changed the way people work. I wanted to know more so I asked a question using the Twitter poll.

Twitter poll

Phrasing the question took me a while. I wanted to probe for a few things. The first was about folks being ok with having two jobs. The second, was whether they knew about this schema, that software developers work 2 full time jobs. The last, was about the fact of squeezing them together, meaning that working 2FTE was done in more than 8h and for sure much less than 16h. The pool results were astonishing to me.

Out of 371 votes, over 60% of responders heard about folks squeezing in 2 jobs! I’m aware that my followers are biased and its only 370 responses. Still, over 60% being aware of it? Also, over 40% were ok with this approach towards things if tasks are done.

The poll resulted in several responses and exchanges which added a few interesting points.


One of the comments mentioned a site called Overemployed (intentionally not linking it). The site provides a description and a very methodical approach how to work two jobs at the same time. The longer you read it though, the more interesting it gets:

  • Do you want to show that you work in the other job? Use a mechanical mouse jiggler.
  • Do you want to attend two meetings at once? Use an audio mixer so that you can switch between the calls.
  • Do you think that having 2 jobs is hard? Read success stories of a person having 5 jobs at the same time!

At this moment you may think how to keep it hidden from other folks. Is it even possible? The site will provide you with 12 Rules For Working Two Remote Jobs or 10 commandments. They make you aware that you Don’t Talk About Working Two Remote Jobs and that you should Be Average. It also encourages to not use social media or LinkedIn. Otherwise, you may be noticed.

Time vs Impact

The other comment mentioned being paid for time vs impact. This can be the case and they are jobs whey you are paid for what you achieve, not how long it takes you to make it happen. At the same time one could ask is it possible to have a really good impact with 2 jobs or more, especially if you squeeze them in 8h. Are you refreshed and ready to make that big thing?

You vs company

Any company would love to have their employees engaged and thinking about the company only (beside family and having some leisure time). And this can work really cool if goals are aligned and you can make the impact. Is this approach dead though, should one think solely on their own business, even if reaching FIRE means that some potential lines are breached?

Open Source, speaking, small startups

What about doing OSS after ours or speaking. Or even participating in a small startup. Is it ok or maybe it also creates some moral breach? Where’s the boundary?

Is it ok to work 1h a day on another thing (billed outside of the regular job)? Is it ok to spend a night on the other thing?

The future of work

One of the comments mentioned that short contracts, focused on the impact, might be the future of how people approach any work. It might be true. My concern was not about thinking how the future of the employment works but rather where is the line.

There’s a fine line or not

As usual, using corner cases is easy to manipulate one’s or other’s minds. How about picturing companies as evil corps that squeeze the life out and make you miserable? That would definitely help in making the decision to pull 2 or more jobs. You’re brave, fighting for your own and you do something for the world!

On the other hand, one could tell that anything you do outside your job that drains energy might be bad for your employer and potentially, should not happen.

There’s one more thing to consider though. Think of yourself as a coworker of such a 2in1 person. Do you think you’d be impacted in anyway? If yes, would that be positive or a negative impact? How would that work from the communication point of view? What about others?

The final question, that I encourage you to consider, is what’s your personal on one software developer with two jobs.