Back in the day, software engineers were a misunderstood group of geeks, who spent all their time bashing away on a computer.
Nowadays things couldn’t be more different. They’re responsible for maintaining the digital systems that we all rely on, and make a pretty penny doing so.
And outside of day jobs, coding skills can also be used to generate extra income, to which there are endless possibilities.
In this post, we’ll give you some great software engineering side hustle ideas, and how you can get started. So if you’re a developer, and you like the sound of this, read on!
Create A Course
Creating and selling a course is an excellent side hustle, which will also give back to the programming community.
First you need to decide what you want to teach, and this could be based on passion or market demand. But whatever you choose, make sure you’re an expert. People only want to buy from knowledgeable teachers, and bad reviews will tarnish your reputation.
Once you’ve decided on the course topic, it’s time to get creative. You could do it all through established platforms such as Udemy and Udacity. They walk you through content creation and take care of marketing, but also charge commission.
If that isn’t ideal, then creating everything yourself is the way to go. You’ll need to design a course UI, content, and a website to host it all. It’s much more work, but you’ll have full control over your earnings.
Whichever way you create your course, it’s going to be hard work. Don’t cut corners, and be willing to interact with students over the long-run. This will increase the chances of attracting more students, and more passive income.
Live streaming coding sessions is a simple and fun software engineer side hustle.
The cool thing is that you only need to come up with topics. You can be as creative as you like, solve a common problem, or even take suggestions from viewers. You could even build a mini series of sessions based around a single topic!
YouTube and Twitch are the best streaming platforms. Not only are they the most popular, but they also have built in tipping. Viewers can send you donations at the click of a button, at no extra work on your end.
The key to streaming is to make your sessions entertaining. Viewers come and go at a click’s notice, so the longer they stick around, the more chance of receiving a donation.
Freelancing can be a great side hustle for software engineers to wet their toes with. You decide how much work you take on, and what kind of money you earn.
For a small fee, well known platforms like Fiverr and Upwork will help you to advertise your services. Or, you can go it alone and approach potential clients yourself. But if you fancy the solo route, then rugged determination is a must have. Expect many no’s before you land your first client, and be patient.
Early on it can be tempting to market yourself at a high hourly rate. But in the competitive world of freelancing, your reputation does the talking. Get a few happy clients under your belt, and as your reputation grows, so can your prices.
To build your reputation, stick to what you’re good at. A lot of the time clients hire freelancers for their specialist skills, often paying more than they would with an agency. And for the higher price, they’re counting on you for a top service.
To provide this, stick to what you’re good at and enjoy. If building databases is your speciality, then offer it. Whereas if you love building web pages, then become a freelance front-end developer.
Once you’ve honed your skills, you might even begin charging by project. But for now, focus on the basics. Happy clients means money, and good reputation means more money.
Create An App
Another potential side hustle for software engineers is to create an app. This is no easy feat, and will test your skills. But do it right, and there’s potential for limitless earnings.
Apps are all about fun or usefulness. So make sure your idea either puts a smile on people’s faces, or provides a handy service.
To make money you’ll need to either charge for downloads, offer a subscription fee, or place in-app adverts. But unless you develop something sophisticated, charging for downloads or a subscription fee will likely scare away customers.
If that doesn’t bother you, go forth and work out your price. Otherwise, place an in-app advert or two.
Creating a programming website is a smart side hustle for software engineers, as you can generate income in several ways.
To make any sort of money, you’ll need to pick a niche and then create quality of value to your readers. Fail to do this, and you risk losing your audience before it even grows.
Once you’ve gotten to grips with content creation, start thinking about adverts. A few well placed ads can earn you a small passive amount without spoiling the visual experience. And the beauty of this is that as your viewership grows, so does the potential to earn more.
A more subtle way of making money than with visual ads is through affiliate marketing. By hyper-linking out from your content, you can point readers in the direction of related products and services. And depending on your affiliate deal, each click and subsequent sale will make a small commission.
Once you’ve built a community through your website, use Patreon to capitalise on it. Create a Patreon subscription service for your loyal readers, and provide them with with premium content and services like:
- Extra helpful blog posts
- Help with finding a software developer job
- Project ideas
- Code reviews
The list goes on and on…
Picking a side hustle based on passion, as well as money will give you the best chance of sticking at it. And with consistent effort, it could turn into a full blown business. Good luck!