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Developing Software

Projected Income $5,000-$15,000/ project
Costs to Start $200-$2,500
Time to Start 1-3 months
Category Freelance Digital Marketing

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

Software development is the intricate process of ideating, designing, and crafting digital solutions. Skilled software developers are increasingly becoming invaluable as the world leans towards automation and digital platforms. The job requires technical know-how, problem-solving abilities, and the passion to create tools that improve user experiences.

cons-icon Cons

  • Lengthy Development Cycles: Some projects can be long-term, taking months or even years to complete.
  • Constant Learning Curve: With ever-evolving technologies, there’s a need for regular upskilling.
  • Debugging Challenges: A significant amount of time can be spent identifying and rectifying errors, which can be mentally taxing.

pros-icon Pros

  • Ever-growing Demand: The increasing reliance on digital platforms ensures a steady demand for skilled software developers.
  • High Earning Potential: Given the specialized nature of the work, developers can command attractive prices for their expertise.
  • Problem-Solving Satisfaction: Developing software often presents intricate challenges, offering immense satisfaction when solutions are devised.

The high demand for software engineers is no secret. Many people get a degree in computer science and take online courses to chase the prospects of a high-paying full-time job and a lucrative career path.

But did you know that developing software also opens doors to incredible side gigs? Read on to learn more!

An Overview of Developing Software: A Primer

Software engineering stands out in the world of side hustles for being one of the most promising ways to make money on the side. It involves learning coding skills and then applying them practically to create applications for your clients or yourself.

It’s an incredibly diverse endeavor, with many fields under it that all share the same basics: using software engineering skills to solve problems. That can include anything, from creating mobile apps to web development, building user interfaces, working on open-source projects, and everything in between.

Many software developers also create projects that can generate passive income, such as building applications or code components and selling them or offering them on a page with paid ads.

How Much Can Developing Software Earn You?

It’s widely known that working as a software engineer can be an extremely lucrative and successful career, and many young employees can make six figures while still in their early to mid-twenties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean national wage for software engineers is $132,930 per year, or $63.91 per hour.

As a side hustle, software engineering includes numerous subfields with attractive hourly rates. For example, according to Upwork, you can make up to $30 per hour doing web development. But these rates can also be as “low” as $15 per hour.

Note that hourly rates vary greatly based on the field you’re working in and your level of experience. Another good example is cloud engineers, who make between $30 and $68 per hour via Upwork.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Developing Software Side Hustle?

One of the best things about software development is that it doesn’t require a hefty upfront investment to start doing it as a side job. Many software engineers will tell you that they learned the basics via free YouTube tutorials and that you don’t need more than that to earn money.

Unfortunately, though, it’s usually not that simple. If you’ve never written code before, then it’s true that there are many high-quality free resources to teach you the basics, but they’ll only take you so far.

To get a higher quality education, you don’t necessarily need to take out a loan to enroll in a bachelor’s program. However, you might need to pay for premium courses or bootcamps, which can go from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Books can also be an excellent learning resource, and they’re much cheaper than courses, often less than $60 per book.

Apart from that, you’ll need a reliable computer for work. If you don’t have one, then expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500+ for a decent business laptop or to build a computer.

But if you have those two bases covered, then starting this side hustle would be practically free. You can even consider creating a software business later.

Where Can You Find Developing Software Gigs?

Now that you have a decent introduction to working as a software engineer on the side, the important question is: where exactly can you find clients?

There are two main ways: either by searching by yourself or going through gig economy platforms. Here are the two options in more detail.

Where to Independently Find Developing Software Gigs 

Many developers will attest to two factors that can help you find gig opportunities with more money than via freelance websites: a strong network and portfolio.

Having a strong network can act as an automatic marketing tool since people you know will refer you to potential clients they meet who need someone for their freelance projects.

A portfolio is also priceless in this field since potential clients will feel easier coughing up extra money to hire you if you have something to show your capabilities.

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Developing Software Gigs 

Even without a network, you can rely on freelance websites to find clients. Here are the best platforms for hustlers:

Why You Should Consider Developing Software as a Side Hustle

Here are the three most attractive prospects for software engineering side hustles:

  • Lucrative earnings: Programming careers and side hustles offer countless lucrative opportunities to earn possibly more money than in your current job.
  • Flexible schedules: Many programming-related gigs can be done flexibly at home as long as you can stick to client-set deadlines.
  • Versatile field: There are many subfields within the world of programming. If you’re not good at a particular one, you can try out another.

Problems With Developing Software

In contrast, here are three common drawbacks people face when working this gig:

  • Learning curve: Although learning how to code isn’t difficult, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
  • High competition: Because of the relatively low barrier to entry, the supply of software developers far outweighs the demand.
  • Uncertainty: Working as a freelance developer can lead to periods of abundant work and others of drought.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Easy to Develop Software?

Developing software isn’t necessarily a difficult job, but developers often find that its difficulty depends on the complexity of the task their clients assign them.

Some subfields are also inherently more difficult. For instance, most people will agree that cybersecurity and data science are harder than web development.

What Is the Main Skill for Software Development?

Becoming a software developer requires problem-solving skills above anything else. Learning a programming language is fairly simple, and most of the time, you can use Google if you forget parts of the syntax. But being able to come up with efficient and effective algorithms is the main skill.

Ask a Question About Developing Software?

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