Software runs our modern world. Almost every industry utilizes software,making the need for software not just a necessity for progress but also a must to survive and thrive in this era as a business or firm. So you have become a software developer, but how can you earn money from your skill-set which is a highly valuable skill.
There are several ways you can make money as a software developer or programmer. We will be listing the most important ways that anyone – whether you are a beginner or advanced programmer or developer can utilize. We will divide them into 2 main ways.
- Active Stream
- Passive Stream
Active Stream of Making Money as a Developer
Although you are building and developing software that makes work easier and free up time, you can end up not having enough time by yourself when you do not utilize this method intelligently. This method for making money requires you to be part of the system that generates the cash flow. Once you stop, the value you are adding stops, the money and the cash stops, in a way You are the engine in the cash flow machine.
Having A Local Job : This involves the method in which you get hired by a company and you trade your time and skill for money. This demands that you follow a schedule and stay in a particular place in person.
Having A Remote Job: This involves working for a particular group of clients or a company but in this case you do so remotely from anywhere. You are hired by the company and you still trade your time and skill for money but you are not required to be in the office physically. This is very useful for developers who live in places far away from the startup or company but due to certain circumstances cannot relocate. There are several websites that offers such services eg
Having A Contract Job : This can either be local or remote,but you are hired to work on contract bases not as a permanent staff of the company. Most freelancing platforms operate with this kind of method. Websites like freelancer.com,upwork.com, fiverr.com, legiit.com ,peopleperhour.com ,craiglist.com,indeed.com, usually work with this approach. You offer your services and trade your skill,knowledge and time for money per contract after contract. You may have to create an account on these platform and bid or be sought after for your gigs.
Freelancing : This is another method you can use to earn money as a developer or programmer. You offer your services as a freelancer. You are not attached to a company or a firm rather you bid for projects and jobs on an established platform. It is a form of contract job. You can use sites like
Teaching Workshops and Seminars,Lecturing : You can also make a living from teaching and training people via workshops and seminars for companies and corporations. You can even opt in to be a part-time lecturer although these methods requires some level of professionalism and time.
Bug bounty and Coding Competitions : This method involves you finding bugs in other peoples code and software for money and fame/reputation that can improve your perceived value in the developer and programming sphere. You can also making some side cash via coding competitions organized by several companies.
Passive Stream of Making Money As A Developer
This refers to the method in which you actively build a product,service or system maybe once or a few times and then what you have developed or built works for you around the clock to help people and generate revenue.
In this case, you trade your energy,time and skill once but the returns comes constantly 24-7 without you having to everyday repeat the same trading of your time and skill for money. Hence you are no more an active worker but a passive worker who earns a constant flow of cash from the work you did previously. You still have to do some work of maintenance, updates and innovation to keep the system of cash flow and value flow active.
The basic idea is to develop and build a product and a system that works for you more than once without you actively trading your time and skill every time. In this method when you stop working , the value you are providing continues and the money continue to flow, the cash comes in – so you are no more part of the machine. You have created a substitute system in the cash flow machine that takes your place and works like bees for you 24/7.
Let us see the various forms of this passive stream of income.
Building and Selling A Software Product: Since you are a software developer that means you have the ability to build your own product – it can be a website, a mobile app, desktop app, CLI, or enterprise apps. You can design and develop your own solutions and sell it to others. You can either sell your products as
- Free /Free Trial : You should have a plan to use this to get email leads and feedback to build one that you can sell.
- Subscription-Based: The user pay a one-time subscription fee to use your product or service.
- Freemium-Based : Comes as free but for more features you will have to pay for them to have access.
- Premium-Based: These are enterprise solutions customized for companies that pay huge sums for the product.
You will have to market your products in order for you to generate income. In this area, visibility and discoverability matters a lot.
Building Your Own Business
The next stream of income which is both active and passive is building your own business. This is the most difficulty but once you are able to get the foundations and scale it up to a point, you can then hire others to keep it running whiles you manage it.
Most developers are well paid, but you are not to spend it all, you will have to invest it into yourself and into places that will produces profitable returns.
Creating A Blog
This is one of the easiest with a low level of entry, but it is truly passive. It capitalizes on the media and the press. At the start, your level of consistency, type and frequency of content and traffic will set you apart and turn this into a passive stream of income . It is quite useful in that if you know how to utilize it well, you will not only be generating passive income but you will be passively helping people.
There are various types of blog which include
- Written Blog
- Video Blog : Vlogs
- “Audio Blog” – Podcasting
So how do you make money from blogging ? You will have to monetize it by
- Using Ads (Adsense,etc)
- Using your blog as a marketing channel to your products.
- Selling niche products related to your blog.
- Using Affiliate links in your written products.
Having A YouTube Channel
This is the not just a means of generating passive income via ads but also a powerful way of helping millions and improving your brand value as well as networking.
It acts as a means of helping you develop your teaching and learning skills. This is because you will have to keep on learning and updating your channel with relevant videos and content. You will also responsible to answer questions and engage with your audience to keep your channel interactive and helpful. In a way it is not just passive but it is also an active stream of income and impacts since you have to keep on delivering contents. Howbeit you can generate income passively from you previously uploaded contents.
Building A Software As a Service and a Platform
This is just like building a software product but in this case you are operating it like a SaaS app or a platform in which you offer a particular service.It can be as simple as a directory app or search app or a coding platform. This takes more time to maintain as the traffic increases but it is worth it.
Mentoring and Teaching Others
This involves the process of teaching others what you know . There are several way you can add value to other people as well as generate income via this method.
The various ways include
- Writing Tech Articles and Tutorials for your blog and other tech websites
- Book Authorship
- Course Creation
- Pair Programming
- Teaching at Workshop & Seminars For Trainees
Let us take some of them and dive in to details
Book Authorship: As a developer you can convert your knowledge and your experience into a book (e-book,paperback) and sell it on Amazon,Okada or your own website. This can serve as a source of value adding and revenue generation once you are able to market it well. You can even write a book about a technological product or software you built. An example is Mitchel Hashimoto ( co -founder of Hashicorp) – he build vagrant and then wrote and publish a book about Vagrant and how to use it. The same with Francios Chollet creator of Keras who also wrote a book about how to use Keras and more.
Course Creation: This approach offers several benefits in that you are converting your knowledge and teaching service as a product that will continue to help people and generate revenue daily provided you are able to market it well. It may take time and several hours to plan,record and develop a course, but after that the cash flows in and the value continue to increase. It is an excellent way of saving your time as well as helping people learn what you know. You can sell your course on websites like Udemy, Thinkific, Teachable, Tabletwise,Skillshare , Pluralsight and your own website.
There are other ways in which you can make a living as a developer or programmer, but these are the most common and useful ways you can both add value to others and generate income for your skill and time.
To wrap up, you will need to upgrade your knowledge base and your skill-set as well as how to be able to utilize these to solve problems and build products that you can sell. You need to be discoverable and be able to market if you want to reach more people in value and revenue generation.
Thanks for your time.
By Jesse E. Agbe(JCharis)