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Bart Karalus
Bart Karalus

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What's the story behind your first money made with software?

Can you remember the very first person brave enough to pay for a piece of code made by you? ๐Ÿ™†โ€โ™‚๏ธ

What was it that you have done?

Was it really bad?
...or were you bursting with pride? Both perhaps? :)

You simply cannot be bothered with material goods and never made a single penny with software? I want to hear from you too.

My first time took place roughly around 11 years ago - can you remember when these money-management, space-war browser games like OGame were on fire? No? Well, that's fine. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

I was learning PHP at the time and eventually I conceived a dream - my very own OGame clone, only better! ๐Ÿ’ช
I spent couple of weeks putting together a truly horrible codebase and went on to publish it on a free hosting.
Needless to say, it was not resembling anything like a completed game.

Spamming various message boards I managed to find around 100 players to join the game (and put the free server down as a result) but what happened next shocked me... (no clickbait)

I received an email from someone offering to buy the game from me as it seemed "promising"! ๐Ÿคฏ
Now, that was something new to me - I thought for couple of minutes and accepted the whopping offer of the equivalent of $40...

...hey, for a regular teenager from Eastern Europe that was a pile of cash at the time. It went quick from there - I got paid by wire transfer, sent the source files via email (who would have thought one can have a git repo) and that was it - never heard of it again. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐ŸŽผ ๐ŸŽท ...Money for nothing, and chips for free... ๐ŸŽง

Tell me your story! ๐Ÿ”ฅ I am sure there will be a few fun, brutal or unusual memories to share.

Top comments (8)

minhlengoc profile image

11 year ago I got my first software job from GetACoder site. Itโ€™s a color picker app for Windows written in C#. I made it with Windows XP PC while Vista was the latest Windows version :))

Honestly I didnโ€™t know much about C# when I got the job, thatโ€™s why I had to learn day by day while working with new features client gave me each week. I even spent a week to learn PHP - because I didnโ€™t know it before - just to understand a sample code I need to convert it into C#. Too many white nights and I was only about 52kg !!

Anyway it was a great job, the client paid me $60 per week in about 6 months. After that time a friend asked me to join his Joomla project and then I moved to web development.

These days Iโ€™m working mostly with Wordpress, Laravel, Vuejs. I still use the color picker app I made to pick some values on my Windows 10 desktop :))

P.S. This is my first comment on And sorry for my bad English :)

valmiremini profile image
valmiremini • Edited

I fell in love since i saw a computer for the first time in my life. When i was about 12 old (1999) i had a teacher (my main teacher in school ) he was maintaining and repairing computers for free in the community. He teach me anything i could ask in severals years, one of those questions was, what is this Visual Basic 6? About 7 years ago i started as a 1st level agent for one of the biggest telecommunication company in Switzerland. Literally during my training i programmed a tool, in this 15 year old visual basic 6 studio for my self, because i thought it was better then the favorite links in my browser for all the tools i needed to do my job. It had a special vertical Form factor with buttons that opened the tools in de default browser and stayed on the front of all application, i named webremote. After my training in my second week at that job, the other agents started to ask me where they could get this tool. Accidentally i got in a little intern contest and won the 200.- Swiss franks plus 40h for my work that i could cash out. I have no CS degree or such a technical/engineering stuff, i was never good at school, but i love to create things in tech. Now i am working at the same company as java developer, i think I'm quite comfortable in coding now. In this severals years i learned LAMP Stack including Laravel, OOP, bootstrap, some how javascript a bit of react and angular, i am currently learning phoenix (elixir) now and listing at the same time to #indiehacker, jason cohen from WP engine and Patrick McKenzie. It is also my first comment ever on any platform. thanks for reading.

hellovietduc profile image
Duc Nguyen • Edited

"Can you remember the very first person brave enough to pay for a piece of code made by you?"

I remember! Very very much! We were both university students back then, but not in the same country. Somehow he got my email and contacted me to talk about the project idea, using a demo video and some straightforward words: "I want to build a website like this. I'll pay you $200."

It was a uploading website, which saves files from the Internet (using their URLs) to the user's Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. $200 was a big deal back in the days for me. The excitement urged me to take the chance right away.

I was given a month to finish it. He was a typical non-tech client, so I decided everything, from what technologies to use, which host do deploy to, even what domain name to buy. I tried to mimic the exact UI/UX of the website in his demo video.

It was an interesting experience. Besides school time, I spent all my spare time for it. I felt like it was a product of my own more than one I did for a client. I delivered the website 3 days before the deadline and still often visited it for a few weeks after.

Now I'm a full-time developer but I have plans to do freelance projects in the future.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

My first software development project was a fantasy sports website when I was in junior high school, and I actually monetized it pretty effectively.... Through online gambling affiliate programs.

I certainly was not old enough to gamble, or really do any of this, I made a few hundred bucks here and there through affiliate checks. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

chaos0815 profile image
Christian Wolf

When I was in university a friend asked me to update an Excel worksheet heavily macro cladded to the next version. It was used by a company of his fathers friend. He had no time to do it.
I accepted and got 400 Deutsche Mark (yes, I'm that old). For fiddling in Excel.
It was basically the moment I threw my economics classes and went into business.
Haven't looked back since.

mendoza profile image
David Mendoza (He/Him)

My first real website was a complete website made in react, for a famous company in tech (in Honduras), the thing is that while we where building the site out of the blue he asked for a deploy in his domain...
so we did.. I mean the CEO asked for it... but then the guy who was in charge of talking with us asked us to remove it, so that was going on for like a week.

almost at the end, the site went down... since we didn't got the 100% payment as our TOS asked for before deployment, the site went down...

so we asked for the money and let them know that the site is up, we didn't we where finishing the site and out of no where he said, give me the money back and scram off, we told him that our TOS especify that we don't return money after deploying.

so he said he will sue us, and we just told him "Ok, we wont develop anymore the site, Good Luck in the demand" finally he didn't sued us...

ojas360 profile image

5 years ago during my graduation, we made a static website for a friend's Mother. It was just a website to display items and their price. We used HTML, CSS, bootstrap and PHP for creating the website. It had an admin login page that can add items to the website, so we used PHP and Mysql for that. We previously never had experience with creating websites in PHP.
We used Github for code sharing which was probably free for private repositories at that time.
We were 4 people, we used to work after our class. We got around 45 USD(4000 INR) exclusive of hosting and domain charges.
Since it was our first project that gave us money, It was the best feeling.

Now I am a full-stack developer (Java, Angular) working as a Software Engineer.
P.S This is also my first comment on

jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ • Edited

Probably about 27/28 years ago (aged 15) myself and a friend did a paid conversion of some kids maths software to the Commodore Amiga - programmed in AMOS Basic