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The Best 5 Side Hustles for Software Developers

With the rise of the Gig Economic system all through the late 2010s, the phrase “facet hustle” has firmly planted itself in our day by day vocabulary.

Contemplating that 37% of Americans already have a side job, nothing is stopping you from additionally stepping as much as the plate. On this article, I’ll be overlaying the 5 finest facet hustles for software program builders, detailing how you need to use your current skillset to generate extra cash every month.

If you happen to’re a software program engineer, you’ve a useful ability set you can mobilize to create a facet hustle that lets you generate income on-line, domesticate a further stream of revenue, and make progress in the direction of monetary freedom.
Listed here are the subjects I will be bearing on on this article:

- What are the very best facet hustles for software program builders?
- Freelancing
- Bug Bounty
- Mentoring
- Promoting Customized Themes for Shopify as A Aspect Hustle
- Constructing a Micro SaaS Software
- Remaining Ideas
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You’ll want to learn to the top, as I’ll be discussing the very best facet hustle final!

What are the very best facet hustles for software program builders?

Whereas there are a lot of facet hustles {that a} software program developer can determine to pursue, every of them supply their distinctive set of execs and cons. The 5 facet hustles I’ve chosen vary throughout energetic and passive revenue sources, letting you choose whichever works finest.

I’ll be discussing the next facet hustles:

  1. Freelancing
  2. Bug Bounty
  3. Mentoring
  4. Promoting code/themes
  5. Micro-SaaS Apps

Let’s check out every of those in additional element.


There’s a cause that the entire variety of freelancers within the US has elevated from 53 million in 2014 to over 59 million in 2020. Particularly over the latest pandemic, increasingly individuals are flocking to this versatile facet hustle.

Freelancing is without doubt one of the best facet hustles to start, and one that may scale right into a fully-fledged profession.


Contemplating that freelancing has no minimal or most hourly cap every week, you’ll be capable of do as a lot or as little of this facet hustle as you’d like, permitting you to suit this into your weekly schedule. If you happen to’re in search of an additional few hours of labor after your 9-5, or possibly to even fill your Saturday with freelance tasks, you’ll have the pliability to take action.

As a contract software program developer, you’ll primarily be discovering tasks by way of Freelancing job websites like Upwork and Fiverr. These let you shortly arrange a profile and promote your companies. Relying in your specific ability set, the precise content material of the duties you’re concerned in might range.

Advantages of freelancing as a software program developer:

  • Versatile schedule – select your hours.
  • Location impartial – work from anyplace.
  • Mission selection – expertise plenty of completely different know-how stacks working for plenty of shoppers.

Downsides of freelancing as a software program developer:

  • Cash is capped – paid per hour work, revenue constrained by obtainable time.
  • Shoppers– discovering new contracts will be troublesome, particularly within the early days.
  • No work, no pay – in case you’re sick or unable to work as a result of household points, you don’t receives a commission.

Bug Bounty

Bug Bounty is a facet hustle through which a software program developer will search for bugs inside an individual or firm’s code. Your main intention will likely be to uncover any vulnerabilities within the code, in search of exploits or errors.

You’ll be paid for any bugs that you just uncover, working shortly to find as many as doable earlier than different software program builders discover them.


There are a selection of Bug Bounty packages, each private and non-private. Nonetheless, in case you’re simply getting began with this facet hustle, I’d suggest you check out Bugcrowd.

Advantages of Bug Bounty:

  • Probability for substantial pay outs – one hacking occasion garnered over $1 million in pay outs to several hackers.
  • Location freedom – so long as you’ve web, you’ll be able to work from anyplace on the planet.
  • Moral Hacking – your work goes to enhance software program safety and ensures that tens of millions of customers’ accounts are safer and safer in consequence.

Downsides of Bug Bounty:

  • Instability – in case you’re not the primary to discover a bug, you don’t receives a commission. This generates a substantial amount of revenue instability.
  • Comparability and Burnout – you’ll be working in opposition to different hackers, seeing once they uncover bugs earlier than you. This may result in burnout and frustration.
  • Schedule issues – if these bug bounty competitions have a begin/finish date that don’t give you the results you want, then it’s seemingly you’ll miss out on the revenue alternative.


It’s plain that software program improvement is a useful ability. Identical to some other ability, it have to be cultivated over time, a developer refines their skillset till they’ve thorough data and expertise of the sector.

If you’re notably expert in an space of software program improvement, you’ll be capable of supply your companies as a mentor, serving to individuals study or enhance their very own expertise. There are a number of platforms to mentor on. If you happen to’d like to remain on-line and enhance the comfort of this facet hustle, then CodeMentor or SuperProf are nice locations to get began.


Advantages of Mentoring:

  • Charges – you determine your personal price.
  • Time – you determine while you’re obtainable to mentor.
  • Constant – after discovering a pool of scholars, you’ll have a steady further revenue.

Drawbacks of Mentoring:

  • Educating Expertise – irrespective of how improbable you’re at coding, in case you aren’t a very gifted instructor, you could battle.
  • Gradual starting – you’ll have to seek out college students and get opinions beneath your belt earlier than having a steady revenue.
  • Unpredictable demand – sadly, mentees in want of a mentor along with your skillset aren’t obtainable on faucet. As such, you’re finest to not depend on this as a main revenue supply.

Promoting Customized Themes for Shopify as A Aspect Hustle

With the unbelievable boom of eCommerce during the last a number of years, customized themes for Shopify have by no means been in greater demand. If you happen to’re in search of a profitable supply of further revenue, then constructing these templates and themes can work fantastically.

The spine of Shopify themes is the programming language Liquid. When you have data of Liquid or discover ways to code on this language, then you’ll be able to start to construct customized Shopify themes.


There are two most important methods you’ll be able to go about this. The primary is creating themes after which itemizing them on the Shopify retailer for others to purchase. This can create a recurring supply of passive revenue, as you create one thing as soon as and promote it many instances inside the listings.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to mix these expertise with freelancing, providing your companies on a contractual foundation and coding customized themes for companies that request them. Both of these can work splendidly as a facet hustle, permitting you to realize a further revenue stream alongside your day job.

Advantages of Promoting Shopify Themes:

  • Excessive Demand – many individuals search a solution to have their retailer stand out.
  • Construct It As soon as, Promote to Many – this can be a true supply of passive revenue in case you listing your builds on the Shopify retailer for customers to buy.
  • Straightforward to get began – there’s nice documentation for Shopify’s programming language Liquid and you’ll have your first theme knocked out in just some hours.

Drawbacks of Promoting Shopify Themes:

  • Unsure – there’s no assure that customers will purchase your theme, which in flip would imply you’ve wasted your time.
  • Copycats – individuals might copy your themes after which undercut you. It’s troublesome to guard your mental property.
  • Ecosystem reliance – think about in case you’d invested months into constructing and sustaining a number of themes just for the Shopify platform to lose recognition or worst nonetheless, go bust!

Constructing a Micro SaaS Software

Lastly, we arrive on the crown jewel of facet hustles for software program builders. Micro SaaS apps are subscription-based apps that customers purchase to resolve a selected downside of their area of interest. Identical to SaaS (software program as a service), they profit from the idea of “construct it as soon as, promote to many”.

By making a Micro SaaS software, you’ll be capable of listing your product in the marketplace, gathering recurring funds as your userbase is billed month-to-month or yearly. Micro SaaS apps are fully scalable, that means you can begin this out as a facet hustle, earlier than then turning it right into a stream of passive revenue that’s massive sufficient so that you can give up the company 9-5 (that is precisely what I have done!).

Micro SaaS

One of many core characteristics of a solid Micro SaaS application is that it immediately solves an issue. On account of this, individuals will proceed to subscribe as your software actively makes their life simpler, offering them worth on a continuous foundation.

Whereas the seeds of constructing a Micro SaaS app start as a facet hustle, this pathway can grow to be a lot extra, ultimately main you to finish monetary freedom.

However that’s not all; there are a number of benefits of micro SaaS apps you can capitalize on. That is by far one of many best methods of incomes further revenue as a software program developer.

Advantages of Micro SaaS Apps:

  • Disproportionate Earnings – you’re not being paid per hour, however reasonably for the results of your efforts in constructing an ideal product. As such, it’s not unusual for solo builders to generate disproportionately massive month-to-month incomes ($10k – $100k month-to-month recurring income).
  • Compounding Outcomes – as an alternative of beginning at zero every month as you do in different facet hustles, you construct upon each the present subscriber base and the app’s options every month.
  • Minimal Begin-up Prices – it’s simply your spare time you’re risking.

Drawbacks of Micro SaaS Apps:

  • Reliance on Ecosystems – If you happen to construct your app on a platform, your personal success is tied to that platform’s ecosystem. If the system fails or declines in recognition, your app will even endure the results. If you happen to’re simply constructing your personal app reasonably than a plugin you then’ll be shielded from this reliance.
  • CopyCat Potential – if individuals see your app gaining recognition, they might launch a competing product. Minimise the consequences of copycats by obfuscating your code and providing an ideal buyer expertise so that they received’t have to look elsewhere.
  • Multi-tasking Mayhem – you higher be good at multi-tasking as you’ll have to put on many hats. Starting from programmer to challenge supervisor, marketer, help agent, finance supervisor, and so on.

Remaining Ideas

If you happen to’re trying to earn further revenue as a software program developer, then any considered one of these 5 facet hustles is price pursuing. You’ll be capable of generate income on-line, obtain a recurring revenue, and even perhaps make sufficient to give up your 9-5 software program engineer job.

Out of the 5 software program developer facet hustles I’ve listed, I extremely suggest you look into creating Micro SaaS apps. It’s by far probably the most rewarding facet hustle because it utilises the coding expertise you’ve and presents the extra advantages of location, time, and monetary freedom. What extra may you want!

Undecided the place to get began? Check out my comprehensive guide to building and monetising Micro SaaS apps, which is able to stroll you thru the method proper from the preliminary phases all the best way as much as launching and scaling your Micro SaaS app.

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