Code for Cash: 22 Best Side Hustles for Software Engineers

With the ever-changing job landscape, software engineers are looking for creative and lucrative ways to supplement their income. From freelancing to online teaching, there are several side hustles available that can help you make extra money while still pursuing your passions. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best side hustles for software engineers, including how you can make use of your technical skills to make money on the side.

22 Side Hustles for Software Engineers

Here are some of the best side gigs you can start as a software engineer:

Freelancing

Freelancing is a great way for software engineers to make extra money. With platforms like Upwork, Toptal, and Fiverr, software engineers can easily find freelance projects in their field of expertise. These projects may range from web development and coding to designing user interfaces or building mobile apps. 

Consulting

You can also offer consulting services. Consulting provides you the opportunity to use your expertise and experience to help companies solve complex problems and optimize their systems. You can work with clients on a project basis or offer services on a retainer.

If you earn at least $600 or more from a client, you are typically provided with a 1099 form. If you are looking at lowering your expenses, you may want to consider establishing an LLC. Contact a qualified expert like doola for further information.

Online Courses

With the emergence of online learning platforms such as Udemy and Coursera, software engineers can also make extra money by teaching courses on various topics. From web development to machine learning, you can create your own courses and share your knowledge with the world. This is a great way for you to use your technical skills to help others while also earning an income from the comfort of your own home.

Startup Opportunities

You may want to consider joining a startup or founding your own. This could range from creating the initial design to developing the code. You can also join accelerator programs such as Y Combinator or Techstars, where you can get hands-on experience in launching a startup. This is a great way for you to test your ideas and make extra money at the same time.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another great side hustle for software engineers. This involves promoting products and services online and earning a commission in the process. With platforms like Amazon Associates and Clickbank, you can easily find products to promote and start making money from their efforts.

Blogging

Software engineers can also use their technical knowledge to create a blog. This is a great way for you to share your insights and experience with a wider audience. By building an audience, you can monetize your blog through sponsorships, affiliate links, and ad placements. You can also offer consulting services or product creation to your readers.

Mentoring

By connecting with other software engineers, you can share your knowledge and help others troubleshoot issues or reach their development goals. Companies are always looking for experienced mentors to help guide their junior developers, and this can be a great way for you to build your network as well.

Create YouTube Videos

With the rise of video content, software engineers can make extra money by creating educational videos on their favorite topics. This is a great way for you to share your knowledge and experience with others in an engaging and entertaining way. You can monetize your videos through sponsorships or ad placements. By providing valuable information in an enjoyable format, you can build a loyal audience and make extra money in the process.

Sell APIs

API selling can be done in a variety of ways. One way is to create an API from scratch and offer it for sale on various online marketplaces. Alternatively, you can create custom APIs for specific clients and charge a fee for the service. By selling APIs, you can bridge the gap between businesses and developers, and make money at the same time.

Business Development

By leveraging your technical knowledge, you can provide valuable insights on how to optimize website performance or create an effective marketing strategy. Businesses rely heavily on tech talent to drive innovation, and you can capitalize on this need by offering your services as a consultant or an advisor.

Research Projects

Companies often need experienced software engineers to help them develop new products or test existing ones. This is a good opportunity for you to gain valuable experience while also earning an income. Additionally, you can use your skills to help academic institutions conduct research and even publish their findings in journals or conferences.

Coding Bootcamps

Software engineers can also make extra money by teaching at coding boot camps. By utilizing your skills and knowledge, you can help others become proficient in the development of applications and websites. You can even create your own customized boot camps to better meet the needs of your students. You can act as a mentor for those who are just starting in the field and help them find success.

Sell Code

If you’re a software engineer, you can turn your expertise into a side hustle by selling code. This could include creating and selling plugins, themes, libraries, and other web-based applications. For example, if you are creating plugins for WordPress or other popular content management systems, you can list them on the official plugin repository and charge a fee for each download. Similarly, if you are selling code libraries or applications, you can use marketplaces such as GitHub Marketplace or CodeCanyon to sell your products.

Teaching or Tutoring

With your technical skills, you can easily transition into becoming a teacher or tutor. Teaching or tutoring offers the opportunity to share knowledge with students of all ages and backgrounds, from elementary school to college. With the rise of online teaching and tutoring platforms like TutorMe and Chegg, you can easily find opportunities to teach remotely or even in person.

Write a Book

Writing a book can provide a great side gig for software engineers because it allows them to share their expertise and make money while doing so. It is an excellent way to showcase your skills and experience in software engineering. It also provides an opportunity for you to discuss topics such as coding techniques, best practices, and industry trends.

Open an E-commerce Store

By leveraging existing e-commerce platforms, as well as customizing and developing components to build out a unique online store, you can use your coding skills to launch and maintain a successful e-commerce business. The first step in getting started with e-commerce is determining the niche of products you’d like to sell. After that, you can research and choose e-commerce platforms, create product listings, establish payment processing services, and start marketing to your customers.

Technical Writing

As a software engineer, you can leverage your technical writing skills to make extra money. Companies are always looking for writers with technical expertise and software engineers can easily fill that need. Freelance websites such as Upwork, Problogger, and Guru have many jobs available in the tech writing space.

Remember that clients who pay freelance software engineers $600 or more may issue a 1099 form. If you want to reduce your expenses, consider forming an LLC. Talk to an expert like doola to guide you on what to do.

Create a Virtual Community

Whether it’s an online forum, chatroom, or other social platform, software engineers can leverage their development know-how to create a space where people can come together to talk about topics they’re interested in. You can build the technical infrastructure necessary for such a platform, customize it, and manage the community. By doing this, you can create a space where people can come together to share ideas, discuss topics, and even connect with like-minded individuals. 

Earn with Canva

Canva is an online graphic design platform that allows users to create stunning visuals using their easy-to-use tools. With Canva, users can create engaging designs, including logos, posters, invitations, cards, flyers, and more. 

Canva offers a variety of options for earning money through their platform, including creating and selling templates to other users, or becoming a Canva Pro member for access to exclusive features. As a software engineer, you can develop your own Canva applications that integrate with the platform, or create tools and services for others to use.

Start a Podcast

The first step to starting a podcast is to come up with a concept. What kind of topics will you discuss? Will you focus on coding, open-source projects, or something else? Next, you’ll need to acquire the necessary equipment such as a microphone and recording software. Once that is taken care of, you can begin recording and editing your podcast episodes. You can then promote your podcast on various platforms and start making money through sponsorships or donations.

Sell Templates on Notion

Notion is an all-in-one workspace where users can create databases, write documents and manage tasks. Creating templates for Notion is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require a lot of coding. All you need to do is create the template, upload it to Notion, and start marketing it. You can then list it on Notion’s marketplace or use an external platform such as Gumroad or Sellfy.

Become a Web3 Developer

By leveraging blockchain technology, Web3 developers are revolutionizing the way we interact with digital assets, smart contracts, and other distributed systems. As a Web3 developer, you have a unique skill set as you must be well-versed in traditional web-based technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well as a variety of blockchain protocols. Here are four ways of becoming a web3 developer:

Crypto

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that uses encryption to secure transactions. It is decentralized, which means it is not regulated by any central bank or government agency. As a software engineer, you can jump into the world of cryptocurrency trading as a side hustle. Some exchanges will allow you to buy and sell crypto coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. You could also start mining for various coins, or develop software applications to help others with their own crypto investments.

Defi

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is an emerging financial system where all transactions occur on open blockchains like Ethereum. This form of finance allows users to access a wide range of services such as lending, borrowing, trading, and more without the need for intermediaries like a bank. For software engineers, DeFi is an exciting and lucrative way to get involved in the flourishing cryptocurrency industry. You could develop Ethereum applications for DeFi platforms, build automated trading bots, or create other tools and services for investors in this space.

NFT

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are crypto assets that represent unique digital items such as artwork, videos, music, and other digital collectibles. As a software engineer, you can create your own NFTs to sell online or use them to build virtual worlds like Decentraland. You could also develop NFT marketplaces, digital wallets, or other tools related to the NFT space.

Virtual Lands

Virtual lands are 3D landscapes built using blockchain technology. They are similar to virtual worlds like Second Life and can be used for gaming, social networking, education, and more. As a software engineer, you could develop virtual lands for users to explore or create applications that run on the platforms. You could also create plugins or tools that extend the functionality of existing virtual land platforms, or even build your own from scratch. 

How to Start Your Side Hustle as a Software Engineer in 5 Steps?

Starting a side hustle as a software engineer can be an excellent way to explore new opportunities, gain additional income, and develop new skills. Here are five steps to help you get started:

1. Identify Your Skills and Interests

Take some time to assess your software engineering skills and identify areas that align with your interests. Determine what type of side hustle you would enjoy and what market needs you can address with your expertise. This could involve developing mobile apps, building websites, creating software tools, or providing consulting services.

2. Define Your Target Market

Once you have identified your skills and interests, narrow down your focus and define your target market. Research potential clients or customers who would benefit from your software engineering services. Consider industries, businesses, or individuals who could benefit from your skills, such as startups, small businesses, or entrepreneurs.

3. Create a Portfolio

As a software engineer, having a strong portfolio is essential to showcase your skills and attract potential clients. Develop a portfolio website or a dedicated GitHub repository where you can showcase your previous projects, coding samples, and any other relevant work. Include detailed descriptions and highlight the technologies or languages you used.

4. Market Your Services

Start promoting your side hustle by leveraging various marketing channels. Utilize social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or relevant online communities, to showcase your skills, share your work, and engage with potential clients. Attend networking events, industry conferences, or meetups to connect with like-minded professionals and potential clients who may require your software engineering services.

5. Manage Your Time Effectively

Balancing a side hustle with your full-time job can be challenging, so it’s crucial to manage your time effectively. Create a schedule that allows you to allocate dedicated time to your side hustle. Prioritize tasks, set realistic goals, and establish deadlines to ensure you can meet the commitments of both your primary job and your side job. Also, be prepared to adjust your schedule and make sacrifices to accommodate both responsibilities.

Remember, starting a side gig as a software engineer requires dedication, perseverance, and continuous learning. Stay updated with the latest technologies, trends, and market demands to remain competitive and provide value to your clients or customers.

Unleash Your Inner Hustler and Dominate the Coding Game

There are many side hustles for software engineers like you that can be both profitable and enjoyable. From creating N FTs to selling APIs, you have a multitude of options for earning extra income. Whichever route you choose, make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about and can commit to in the long run. With the right knowledge and motivation, you can turn your software engineering skills into a profitable side gig.

Once you become profitable and established, you should formalize your side hustle. The first step is to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Here at doola, we can help you in setting up your business structure, as well as in opening your business bank account and bookkeeping. Call us right away!

FAQs

Can I pursue a side hustle while working a full-time job as a software engineer?

Yes, you can pursue a side hustle while working as a full-time software engineer. Side hustles provide the opportunity to make extra money and add to your skills.

How much time do I need to invest in a side hustle as a software engineer?

The amount of time you need to invest in a side hustle as a software engineer depends on the type of side hustle you’re looking to pursue. 

What are some common challenges software engineers face when starting a side hustle?

Some common challenges that you may face when starting a side hustle include limited time due to your regular work hours; the need to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends; and how to market yourself and your services.

Is it necessary to pursue a side hustle as a software engineer, or can I simply focus on my full-time job?

As a software engineer, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should pursue a side hustle or simply focus on your full-time job. 

How can I identify profitable side hustles as a software engineer?

You can find profitable side hustles by researching potential markets, using your network, and testing the waters. 

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