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Max Ong Zong Bao
Max Ong Zong Bao

Posted on • Originally published at

Side Hustles for Developers

The original post was on Side Hustles for Developers - Reading Time: 5 Mins and cover image by Zachary Keimig


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As developers, there's a school of thought to look for a developer. Who is writing a blog or building side projects in your free time as a way of hiring? Which most of the time, the developer does not start out to look for ways to generate income from it. Besides with the purpose to hone your craft & gain experience doing something outside of your daily grind.

Therefore I would suggest any developer who plans to start a blog to seek to turn it into a side hustle. To create one with an initial investment of $100 or less to start a side hustle. Which your side hustle has to generate income to keep it going. So that you can use it for other things in life. Say pay for a more expensive vacation or just to knock off your student loans at a much faster pace.

Once your side hustle is generating a substantial income. You can choose to do it full time or continue with it. While taking breaks to recharge and think of growing further or start a new side hustle. Here are some of the side hustle ideas that I had tried. Do note that it is encouraged to set aside some amount of your free time to do it consistently without affecting your work.

If you encounter, an employer with a policy of not allowing their employees to do a side hustle for non-legitimate reasons. Do seek a new employer or be silent till your side hustle has grown to be lucrative. Which replaces about 50% or more of your salary. With your own emergency savings of 3-6 months of more salary/expenses.

Becoming a Teacher, Mentor or Coach

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There is tons of reason why teaching/mentoring/coaching can be a good side hustle due to the low upfront cost for it. Besides just spending the time and effort to seek clients. Market yourself & building a profile page in mentoring/coaching platforms like CodeMentor to allow you to gain clients.

The great thing about either teaching, mentoring or coaching. There is a different tier of prices you can add. Based upon your available time or help & support they need. While helping you to become a better leader or manager while you do it. Below is a rough guide for you, when you are thinking of either of these options from lowest to highest in price point & time taken from your end.

1) Teaching - It is usually conducted in a format of one to many within-session through online/offline or hybrid model for the students. It can be live or prerecorded scaled from a small classroom of 20 to thousands of students depending on the format. Which you could help a student to learn a skill, concept or implement what they had known.

2) Mentoring - It can be a one to one or to a small group of 20 or less. Which they can talk to you in a live session or 1 to 1 session to bounce ideas, advice, provide insights or recommendations or to formulate a plan to help them in their lives. To solve a problem or actionable steps to help them from point A to B.

3) Coaching - This requires the most time investment from yourself in a long term or short basis. Which you discuss with the coaching client to know & understand more about them. As an accountability partner to hold you accountable by asking probing questions. In every step of the way with adjustments to the plan with feedback from you and the client. To reach the intended purpose or overcome an obstacle they had encountered.


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Blogging allows you to add value to developers with a specific niche. This can be used for building your portfolio that is beyond your GitHub account, CV or resume. Seek to commit to doing it for 5 years. Before calling it quits and reevaluate your time or effort spent to it.

Usually, in less than 5 years, HR with high-quality jobs, potential employers, sponsors or people with product or services will come to you. Knocking at your door to give you a high-quality job or place sponsorship to their product or services in your blog if it helps a niche audience.

Writing a Book

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It takes a long time to write a book. It can be a frustrating and tiring process. Which involves significant time investment in your part to seek out a publisher or through the self-publishing route.

One of the great things about publishing a book is that it can generate multiple revenue sources. Seek to earn the bulk of your revenue from book sales or endorsements from the book. Not just through speaking at conferences or consulting projects. It could also be your name card. That anyone can look at you to ask you for their help in specific problems.

In this day & age, it is much easier to self publish or work with an established book publisher. Which as a writer, you should focus on promoting or marketing your book by going onto podcast channels, your email list, large developers websites like CSS Tricks or Simple Programmer. You can also learn to use crowdsourcing to help in marketing your book. Like progress update or funding your book sales through your own following.


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These are some of the types of side hustles that I had tried and had some modest success in it. For more inspiration, you could always look at either IndieHackers & Side Hustle School for inspiration. Which can be very interesting & wacky in an implementation like a Revenge cake.

My suggestion for you to move forward is to brainstorm ideas that are simple and easy for you to create, sell & market the products or services without much effort. With only an investment of $100 to start. You can also focus on building up an audience or following in a niche that you are serving.

If you like this article do sign up for my Adventurer's Newsletter. Which contains interesting content I stumble across over the week in the area of Python, Web Development, Startup and articles that I wrote.

You can also follow me to get the latest update of my article on Dev.

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.


Top comments (2)

karllhughes profile image
Karl L. Hughes

Good list!

Re: blogging: I've been working with a couple other devs to build a list of places that pay for software engineers to write blog posts:

Payouts range from $100 to $500 per post, so it's not bad money.

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Wow that's a consolidated list. I love I shall try out a few of them.