Juggling a full-time software engineering job while pursuing meaningful side projects can be challenging. With so many potential side hustles out there, it’s hard to identify which opportunities best match your skills and interests as a developer. So, what are the best side hustles for software engineers?
Some of the ideal side hustles for software engineers include freelance development, creating SaaS products, mobile app development, tech blogging, tutoring coding skills, starting an online business, building games, and selling templates.
In this article I am going to give you 15 hand-picked side hustle ideas tailored specifically for coders and tech professionals.
Read on to discover side hustles that will allow you to prosper financially, find fulfillment, and expand your career – all while leveraging your existing programming abilities.
15 Side Hustles for Software Engineers Online
Below are the most relevant side hustle ideas related to software engineers. I am sure you will soon work on at least one.
1. Freelance Web Development
Freelance web development is an obvious yet lucrative side hustle for software engineers. You can easily find freelance gigs on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer to build and maintain websites for clients.
The pay can be quite generous, ranging from $50 to over $100 per hour based on your skill level and client budget.
2. App Development
Developing apps for iOS and Android is another great freelance opportunity for software engineers. You can either work directly with clients to build custom apps or create your own apps to sell in the app stores.
The global app economy will be worth over $935 billion by 2023, so there is huge potential to earn a substantial income with app development side projects.
3. Tech Blogging
If you enjoy writing and explaining technology, start a blog to share your knowledge as a software engineer. You can write tutorials and guides for coding, app development, software tools, and more.
Monetize the blog through ads, affiliates, eBooks, or selling online courses. Some developers make over six figures solely through their tech blogs!
4. Coding Tutoring
It is a flexible way to educate the next generation of coders while making up to $50/hour tutoring.
5. Contract Software Development
Provide contract software development services for companies in need of technical talent for short-term projects. Contract work offers flexibility to choose your own hours and projects.
You can find contract gigs on sites like Flexiple, Toptal, Gun.io, and Working Nomads.
6. Teach Coding Bootcamps
Coding boot camps have surged in popularity, creating a need for instructors. Leverage your software engineering skills to teach full or part-time at a local coding bootcamp.
Top instructors can make over $100k/year teaching eager students the fundamentals of web development, programming, data science, and more.
7. Sell Online Courses
You keep 70-97% of each course sale, with top teachers earning 6+ figures through their online course passive income.
8. Develop Games
Engineering video games can be incredibly lucrative. You can freelance for game studios or independently develop your own games to sell.
Popular indie game markets include Steam, itch.io, Google Play, and the App Store. Top indie games generate millions in sales.
9. Start a Software Consulting Business
Consulting businesses offer the flexibility of deciding which clients to work with and what projects to take on. As a consultant, companies will pay you $100-$200/hour for your software development expertise.
Expand your business by hiring other engineers. Eventually, you can scale into a full-fledged agency.
10. Create Software Tools & SaaS Products
Build your own software tools, SaaS products, plugins, templates, and more that other developers or companies will pay to use.
Sell them as one-time purchases or charge monthly subscriptions. This can be a great source of mostly passive income over time.
11. Join a Development Marketplace
Join freelance marketplaces like Dribbble, Crew, Fiverr, or Upwork to be matched with companies needing software development work done.
It gives you instant access to clients for projects and allows you to quickly monetize your skills.
12. Sell Code Snippets & Templates
13. Start an Online Dropshipping Business
Use your software skills to start a simple e-commerce business through dropshipping. Build a Shopify store and have products shipped directly from the manufacturer to customers. Automate the business as much as possible. Even a small side business can bring in thousands per month.
14. Rent Out Your Skills
Sites like Moonlight enable you to rent out your software development skills by the minute. Companies will pay for you to quickly fix bugs and provide feedback, code reviews, optimizations, and more at rates from $10-$200/hour. It’s like Uber but for software engineers.
15. Sell Stock Photos & Videos
In general, everybody wants to do some activities outside their core skills, and most people like photography. If you have some skill in photography, leverage your photography skills by taking high-quality photos and videos to sell on stock media platforms.
As a software engineer, you can write scripts to automate uploading content to multiple marketplaces. Top stock photo sites include Shutterstock, Getty Images, Adobe Stock, Pond5, and more.
You can also tap into niche stock photo markets, like selling images of feet on platforms like FeetFinder. There is demand for all types of unique stock content you can create.
For software engineers, side hustles represent a chance to earn substantial money while also expanding technical abilities. Contracting, consulting, building SaaS products, and selling online courses allow engineers to prosper outside standard tech jobs.
Marketplaces like Toptal and Skillshare make monetizing skills easy. With so many options available today in the digital economy, engineers have the flexibility to find side gigs matching their interests, whether that be game development, tutoring, or dropshipping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Get Software Freelance Jobs Without Experience?
Can I Work on Side Projects During My Full-Time Job?
Most companies allow side projects as long as they don’t directly compete and you finish your primary job duties. Check your employment contract. Some limit the hours you can dedicate to side work.
How Can I Market My Freelance Services?
Great ways to promote your services include optimizing your LinkedIn profile, cold emailing/messaging potential clients, creating content and personal projects to demonstrate expertise, networking in relevant Slack/Discord communities, attending meetups/events, and leveraging referrals.