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Making money as a developer

Mads Brodt ā€¢ June, 2021

3 min read

As developers, we have many unique opportunities to make money that simply don't exist in other, more "traditional" industries. I think this is a huge advantage, as it allows you to carve out the exact path that works for you. You can even mix and match different strategies to create a nice side income for yourself, or to earn more money than you ever thought possible. Below are some of my favourite ways to do just that:

1. Working in a company. This is what most developers do, and it's a great way to reliably make money over a long period of time. You have co-workers, bosses, a steady salary, and a stream of work coming in automatically. It can be hard to land that first job when you're starting to learn coding, but it's also a great way to improve your technical skills. I personally work in a digital agency as a front-end developer, and that's where I make about 80-90% of my monthly income.

2. Freelancing. Freelancing is another awesome strategy to make a lot of money. The idea is similar to working for a company, except that you're on your own here. It's up to you to find work and deal directly with clients - figuring out their needs, building the right solution, invoicing etc. There's a lot of responsibility and things to be aware of, but there's also room to make a lot more money than as an employee. I do a bit of freelancing on the side to make some extra money, and definitely recommend it!

3. Teaching online. The market for teaching other developers is huge, and there's lots of ways to go about it. You could write technical articles for publications, create a YouTube channel, sell info products like an ebook or a course, run a paid newsletter or even do sponsored tweets. The sky is the limit here, and again you can mix different approaches to your liking.

4. Building a sidehustle / indiehacking. As a developer, you have the power to build anything you can think of. And if you manage to build something that solves a problem for other people, you can offer it as a service. This is called Software as a Service (SaaS), and can be one of the most profitable strategies to make money as a developer. It does take a considerable amount of effort, time and luck - but it's also the best way to completely decouple your time from the amount of money you're making, as SaaS projects can, in theory, scale infinitely. So you can start building something on your own time, and if it gets big enough, it could even replace your full-time job eventually. To be your own boss, manage your own time and make a lot of money? Sign me up please šŸ‘€

These are some of the best ways I know to make money as a developer, but they're definitely not the only ways. Try to think outside the box - with the power of the Internet, literally anything can be sold to anyone in the world.

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I'm Mads Brodt ā€” a developer, author, teacher, creator and blogger. To keep up with all of my writing, follow me on Twitter or sign up with your email above šŸ‘†

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