Ways to make money as a developer

Florin Pop on August 02, 2019

Below you can find a list of ways you can make money as a developer. I've wrote these items a while back and I thought that people might find it va... [Read Full]
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what's interesting is that you'll probably find your favorite dev influencer on Twitter doing one or more of these things to make extra money on the side :)

The thing about being a developer, is that, there are many ways of 'monetizing' your experience. It's not quick cash and whatever you do will take a lot of work, but the opportunities are there.


Indeed, there are a lot of opportunities but you have to put in the effort 😃


1) I just started with open source. I mostly report bugs and issues. I don't know if I can ever reach stage where I get paid by github for open source contribution like that.

2) YouTube requires 100K subscribers for anything serious in terms of earning.

3) Podcast & Streaming not for beginners. Need to have solid experience to share for longer duration.

Many options require you to be in shoes of seller than just a developer. I am learning. I hope I get there someday :)


1) you don’t get paid by GitHub. You get paid by other developers who are using your open source projects - but yes, you need to be pretty good at it and the project has to be popular

2) true, but you have yo start somewhere. No one started with 100k subs

3) I believe you don’t need to have solid experience to start streaming. You can have a “build/learn with me” type of stream.

Yes, selling is a valuable skill, but with all of the other skills, it can be learned ☺️

Good luck on your journey!


1) I just started with open source. I mostly report bugs and issues. I don't know if I can ever reach stage where I get paid by github for open source contribution like that.

The bug bounty programs are different than reporting bugs on GitHub.

2) YouTube requires 100K subscribers for anything serious in terms of earning.

I've made money in the thousands of USD having under 100 subscribers but excellent SEO on my videos promoting a good affiliate product.

3) Podcast & Streaming not for beginners. Need to have solid experience to share for longer duration.

Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about sharing your journey and you can find a lot of people doing this successfully online in various industries.


Hi Mahesh! For the Youtube, you can use not only their Creator tools for earnings, but other affiliate programs.
For example, templatemonster affiliate team has Youtube Manager, who can help you with links, ready-made videos and other stuff you need for earning.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it was helpful to know newbies experience.
Wish you good luck!


I’ve made a trading bot as you suggested but I can’t solve a bug. It shows this error: “give me the money!!!”


This is a common bug among trading bots! 😂


Did the same thing. Mine came back with the message "...and it's gone!"


Out of all these, I think creating an online course and selling is the best option. You won't need a newsletter, a blog, a twitter handle with thousands of follower, and a Youtube channel with 100K subscribers.

It's also a one-time effort and you will keep earning. I have been suggesting this to many of my friends and readers and even blogged about it on my blog, here is the link, just in case if you are interested to know more:

Why every programmer should create an online course in 2019

It's an awesome thing to do.
All the best, keep learning, and keep EARNING :-)


Agree, I think this is one of the best things developers can do. And I think you don't have to be super proficient, you just need to know the subject you are teaching well and be able to explain it.

However, I wouldn't say that newsletter, blog and twitter with thousands of followers is not needed. Although, it is optional, I believe they can give a good boost to your course, in terms of marketing.

And yes, in your post you said it is easy to create a course. I partially agree, in terms of technology and equipment, you don't really need to much investment, however, in terms of effort, I would say it is a huge effort. I started recording one course a year ago, but did not finish :) Now I started outlining another course and strongly decided to finish whatever it takes me to finish it :)


I agree, its a huge effort for the first course but once you do it, you will create a lot more.


Yes!In China,many developers have already to create online course to make money.


Great list!
I think, many developers underestimate what they're capable of.
Maybe it will inspire someone, I know a guy, self-taught developer, who is literally a one-man company, developing and successfully selling software for musicians since he was 23 (voxengo.com/about-voxengo).


Nice post! But how many do you know who really make money with their own trading bot? ;)


Well, to be fair, people who have analysed trading bots have something different to say. As it turns out, the vast majority of people using trading bots lose money, while a tiny handful who tweak their trading bots constantly actually make money.

There are also a growing number of places where trading bots are banned, esp. areas where someone has made money off trading. As it turns out, the people making money with trading bots often run multiple bots on multiple servers, with a few running entire facilities, which has led to excessive energy consumption. A trading bot facility in a small town can double or triple the power consumption of that town (apparently it's not just small towns anymore, according to the article I just found), and it's not the facility paying for it all; it's the residents. Higher power bills, higher taxes, and the extra pollution created by creating all that extra power has actually tanked more than one small town's economic stability.

On the surface, it sounds great, making money by doing basically nothing, but in truth it's more likely you'll lose money, and if by some miracle you do start making money, you'll probably be contributing to the decline of the economic and physical health of your community.


Don't misunderstand; the idea of easy money is tempting (I'd considered it myself, once), but the reality is a sordid mess.


Nice and straightforward 👍 Thanks for respecting our attention spans haha


Hi, great post - such post desires to be bookmarked!


I've begun blogging a couple months ago and I'm enjoying it but I feel like its going to take a long time to see any real monetary benefit from it. At least so far my numbers are pretty low and I've been blogging consistently each month and sharing across social media channels, using google analytics, search console, etc.


Bug bounty programs aren't even mentioned, are they not profitable at all or you just skipped them?


I forgot about them! Thanks for reminding me ☺️


My name is Elad, I'm the CMO at xs:code,
Soon we are going to lunch billing and licensing platform for open source projects,
I would love to hear you think about our solution.
visit us at xscode.com


Something that really scales but would not provide instant reward will be creating a webapp or a mobile app that solves a problem. It can be done with a group of friends or independently. And... It can fetch you a fortune if the idea and solution works out.

In most of other things, developers will actually end up doing a lot of non tech stuff.


You forgot to mention "hack websites to get user accounts and sell the data on the dark web".

Oh! you meant "legal" ways ?



It's still life. Just life "on the run" lol


You forgot to write about a bank robbery - this also works.


Thanks for sharing the list. Which of these worked for you? Of all these, which do you think can you earn a lot? :)


The company is almost 100% SaaS. We're just not cutting-edge enough for anything else and both of us have demanding "First Life" commitments.


Florin, it awesome!
I tried a several of the ways you defined here, everything works as expected!
Just need to start working on it.

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