Running a Shop
For those like me, without any education, from an impoverished family in a third-world shithole there is no way to secure a nice and easy (for me - easy) programming job which is reserved for Ivy Leagues PhDs or those top-performers, who spent their childhood and youth in front of PC brought by caring parents.
The fucking HR departments will never even talk to you without an appropriate degree. Competing on online sweatshops, like Upwork, with the whole third world for $5 per hour is counterproductive and soul crushing. There is no demand for knowledge there, only for selling your time very cheap doing boring, tedious tasks which no one else wants to do (which, by the way, is the definition of an unskilled labor).
Well, the only way out is to run a gray (mostly legit) software shop, specializing in anonymous sub-contracting in a shady (at least from the government point of view) projects. It is not that you will code Windows trojans, but shady payment or gray fintech solutions is the reasonable specialization.
Another very real possibility is to use technical and programming skills to bootstrap a business system - a semi-automated online business for selling whatever crap it is in demand or whatever fad is current. This requires the special ability to prototype fast, really fast, to make a minimal viable product to test your assumptions. (I have made 4 websites and they all fail because of my unreasonable assumptions about what these people want).
Here is how to bootstrap and run such an internet business.
Knowledge is power
Webshit is the worst part. You better outsource it.
The tech stack
In order to be able to compete you have to use the best tools and invest less time and other resources.
This implies that your initial solutions must be very well-researched, with every detail well-defined so you could bootstrap a minimalist implementation using the best tools available for the task.
One could advocate to do prototyping in Languages/Python3, which is very reasonable due to excellent libraries and limitless community support, but Go solution is a production-ready copy-and-run (and forget) - no fucking Docker is needed.
You will be surprised how much stuff could be packaged in a single shitty $10 qemu "server" when you are not using fucking Node or Java or PHP.
This will be you leverage. Your mostly static solutions would need zero maintenance and would not require devops with Kubernetes or any other fucking abomination. Just
./configure ; make ; make install.