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8 Top Side Gigs for Software Developers

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Computers make the world go round these days. If you work in the industry as a software developer, you and your skills are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, pegged the median annual pay for software developers at $110,140 and expected the number of jobs to grow by 22% between 2020 and 2030.

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If you have extra time after your workday for side gigs — or if you want to quit the 9-to-5 routine and start your own business — you have plenty of opportunities to sell your skills elsewhere. Consider these options for side work as a software developer.

Blog About Your Work

As an experienced software developer, you undoubtedly have much insight to share with those just coming into the industry or with other professionals looking for new ways to do things. Put your thoughts into words and create a blog. Pass out business cards at networking events in your industry or tease your blog on your LinkedIn page to advertise.

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Depending on the site you use to host your blog, you can generate revenue through paid ads. Or, turn to a platform such as Substack, which has a paid subscription option. It estimates that if you have 200 subscribers at $7 per month, your monthly gain would be $1,159.

Write an E-Book

Or, use those writing skills to author an e-book. Choose a niche topic instead of a general one to appeal to readers looking for specific information in your field. The American Association of Publishers said e-book sales totaled $892.5 million and accounted for 7.5% of book sales during the first 10 months of 2021. You can sell your e-book through your own social media and keep all of the profits or turn to professional sites, such as Amazon, Shopify, Google Play or Gumroad.

Freelance

Today is all about the gig economy, and software developers can take advantage of freelance opportunities, too. Startups, for example, need software developers who can write code or create apps, and established companies can use temporary help when they’ve exceeded their staff’s bandwidth. Other potential clients can be found in the finance, insurance and manufacturing fields, for starters. Websites such as Gun.io help to match software developers with clients. Gun.io says hourly rates range from $75 to $150.

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Tutor

Students, and even professionals, can use a tutor on a one-time or recurring basis. Sign up with a site such as Wyzant to offer your services. The amount you will earn depends on your background and experience, but the rate for several tutors in the computer field on Wyzant exceeds $100 per hour.

Create a Course

Learners who want to supplement or replace a college education these days are turning to online courses, as are people in the workplace who want to brush up on their skills. Online courses became a lifeline in the pandemic, and they appear to be here to stay.

Codecademy, which offers a variety of computer science courses, says it has 50 million learners in more than 190 countries. Create an online course, record your video content and post it on a site like Udemy, which will help you get started and market your course — for a cut of the profits, of course.

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Mentor

More advanced than tutoring is mentoring, where you work one-on-one with people in the field to help them iron out problems with their current projects or even brainstorm future ones. Sites such as Codementor can help you find work, and you can set your own rates and hours.

The work, of course, is done remotely, and you interact with those you mentor through online chats, screen sharing or even text messages.

Build Apps

Even small businesses these days have apps, and they need someone like you to create them. If you work with Shopify, for example, you can make money in two ways. First, you can create a custom app for a client’s specific Shopify store. Next, Shopify has an app store, and you can build a generic public app that customers can buy for their businesses and sell it that way.

Go Outside Your Day Job

ZDNet, which provides news and content for information technology professionals, said a study of more than 36,200 IT professionals around the world showed that two in five workers in the field were at high risk of burnout.

So, maybe working in software development in your spare time isn’t the healthiest thing to do. Instead, take some of the suggestions offered here and tailor them to a different money-making skill or hobby. Are you fluent in French? Tutor students who need help. Are you an expert at gardening or landscaping? Create a course about drought-resistant plants designed for those with desertscapes.

Your skills as a software developer are marketable outside your day job, if you’re looking for a side gig. Some of them take more time, while others present opportunities for passive income, such as an e-book. Either way, with a good marketing plan, you could enjoy a lucrative business on the side.

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