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Max Ong Zong Bao
Max Ong Zong Bao

Posted on • Originally published at

Be a Farmer & Not A Hunter

The original post was on Be A Farmer & Not A Hunter - Reading Time: 3 Mins and cover image by Jed Owen on Unsplash


I'm writing this so that it gives you a perspective of thinking on why you should learn to start side hustles instead of side projects. I am sure you had heard of people, who has been hurting due to the covid19 and has lost their jobs for it. As a developer, if your company has any practice that involves some form of remote work or asynchronous communication. There might not be alot of upheaval besides the issues related to the closure of shops and the social gatherings to keep us sane.

Build Side Hustles Not Side Projects

I feel that it is not talked by alot of developers. On the importance of having a side hustle. I know, there's a perpetual hiring practice in us to look at a prospective developer's digital footprint for your company.

To find out what has the person done in their free time. Like, say side projects, blogging or contributing in an open-source project or the developer community. As a form of vetting in the part of the hiring process. But not in the realms of focus to build a side hustle.

Which provides economic benefits. While it helps in honing your skills or exposing yourself to things that are outside of your work. Which can not be founded in your day to day job. For example, a personal network of people & insights into the industry. You can take Software Engineering Daily, which the show's host does his own preparation work as a beginner. When getting ready to interview a person in a specific technology or industry giving him the insight to apply it back into his work.

Side Hustles as Safe Haven

In bad times like this, you might be made redundant or salary cuts to tie you over through these bad times. This might require you to depend on it to survive. Until you can secure a job or projects that can tie you over.

This is why learning to build a side hustle, along with upgrading your financial intelligence reduces the economic shock that happens to you.

I'm being serious about this. Which has shielded me in some form. Due to what I had been doing before the covid19 had happened. Which you are into an investment, I'm sure that you had heard the news. In the rising price of gold/silver or cryptocurrencies. Amid the covid19 as a recognised source of safe heaven and storage of value by many now.

Exploring Creativity & Honing Your Skills

The other reason for building a side hustle along with economic benefits to survive this winter. It is to help you to cultivate your own creativity & honing your skills while you are holding a job. Which could directly or indirectly benefit you for career growth.

Which requires what you had learnt in your side hustle. Say like developer advocate roles through your time spend as a content creator. Data science-related roles because you had built tools to make it easier for data science work. Which tons of examples can be founded in IndieHackers that shares what they had learnt from it.


I had touched on the importance of why learning to side hustle can provide personal development for yourself in your own career. It could shield you from a shock like covid19, health reasons, job lost. Besides helping you in your own career development directly or indirectly.

As a developer, we need to be strategic in securing our income sources. With the mindset of a farmer. By learning to select & cultivate the best seeds with multiple different side hustles. Instead of just focusing on only hunting for a larger or bigger animal that can feed us for just x amount of day.

Lastly, are you looking to specialise yourself as a developer? If it's a Yes. I'm giving away my free ebook called "Picking Your Specialisation as a Developer" for anyone interested to command a higher salary or do the work that you like.


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