Being a developer in this century is not as shallow as just getting into development, working on projects, sitting for interviews, getting a job, and working in it for the rest of your life. It was the case a decade ago, but not today! No, not in a mile.
I too started my college with the same motive and I kept believing in it throughout my college life. I studied all the subjects, got enough marks, learnt enough DSA, and sat for placements. I even got a job as a Salesforce Developer! But then, I began to understand that I was wrong. This is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. That 9-to-5 underpaying job could never make me happy, neither it could suffice my needs.
I’m pretty sure it is/was the same for you. I get it and this blog post is about how I went on a rampage and built a side-hustle for myself with my developer skills and knowledge.
If this sounds interesting to you. Let's hop in -
When I passed out of college, it was COVID and everyone was trapped at home. People had more time than ever. More time to learn, earn, think, revamp, and whatnot. This is when I consciously wanted to devote my time to better places. I already had much stress over my underpaying job and I desperately wanted to change it. Hence, I got active in the developer's community.
It was June 2021, I joined Twitter, started talking with other developers, and learnt about their stories. I came to realise that the world is not just about jobs anymore. I was amazed and fabled! One of my friends advised me to learn trending development skills and create content around that. With a hard knock of reality and a boost of motivation, I started my content creation journey.
I had three things in my head and I focused only on those. The below-mentioned three factors helped me create side-income streams for myself:
I started tweeting about the topics and concepts I learned, the projects I made, and the resources I used. It was like learning and teaching at the same time. A few months passed, and I kept revamping my content around different topics, frameworks, and technologies.
Creating and consuming content on Twitter helped me gain confidence, polish my writing skills, and of course my frontend development skills. The urge to compete with other developers, improve my skills, and build a side income helped me stay consistent. One of my networks on Twitter, Muthu referred me to a freelance job that earned me thousands of dollars.
I couldn’t help but notice that many developers were publishing articles online. My talks with a few of them established that writing and publishing technical articles online brings in a load of opportunities. Without any further delay, I started writing technical articles and published them on various platforms like Dev Community, Hashnode, and Showwcase.
I wrote on a variety of topics, from web development and blockchain to Salesforce and development tools. Months passed and it was November 2021, knowingly or unknowingly, I had a portfolio of tens of articles and thousands of tweets published online. I was sitting on a decent Twitter following, developer networks on Twitter, and a portfolio of published technical articles.
Having a portfolio of articles fetched me a lot of freelance technical writing gigs. I started taking up work and soon my bio stated “Technical Writer”. Those writing gigs allowed me to learn different technologies, write about them, code in them, and develop with them. I was only increasing my knowledge base and filling my bank account.
Besides all the networking, content creation, and writing, I was upskilling myself during the job. I was delivering tasks, learning new things, and collecting certificates. It was December 2021, and I became a 2 times-certified Salesforce Developer. I posted about Salesforce concepts and my learnings on LinkedIn. People started recognizing me as their potential Salesforce freelancer.
I even got a high-paying offshore client because of my knowledge and portfolio in Salesforce. It involved development and content creation both.
Alongside my full-time job, I got the opportunity to perform the same tasks as a freelancer with much better money and work-life balance.
This is August 2022 and I’ve been in this side-hustle race for more than a year now. I followed some specific steps that fetched me my side income and I know for sure that this framework has helped thousands of developers.
I’d followed this religiously and I’ve seen results. Many have seen growth manifolds and several made their fortune. This is a 3-step framework - Upskill, Create, Network.
Recognize your skills and polish them to a certain extent. Side hustle never meant easy money, it means ‘more money with more skills’.
This is the digital era and the world is online. If you’re not online and if you’re not creating content (text, pictorial, or video graphics), you’re missing out. Start creating content online. Pick platforms like Showwcase, Twitter, Hashnode, there are plenty.
Network with like-minded people and people in the same industry as yours. You never know who’s a God-sent Angel. We are humans and humans are social beings. So network as much as you can.
I’ve done many jobs and worked in multiple sectors. But the following are my favorite:
Technical Writing: I’ve been a technical writer for about 6 months and these six months have made me more money than my one-year full-time job at an MNC. No matter what tech stack you have, technical writing will always find a way if you just start.
Freelance Projects: If you are confident in your skills and can get the job done, picking up freelance or contractual jobs can fetch you more money than a regular job.
DevRel and Community work: This particular sector is on fire! Imagine getting paid for helping and connecting with fellow developers, creating content, writing code, and of course getting paid for it!
To conclude, if you are a developer, and can come online, and make yourself visible to the world, the opportunities are endless for you. It worked for me, it worked for many, and it shall work for you as well. This was my story of side-income as a developer and I’d love to hear yours in the comment section.
And oh! If you feel you’ve got any value from this blog, give it a like. I’ll know I’ve been of help.