How can we use our developer skills to supplement income - Part 1?

31 December 2019 | 3 min read

It is no surprise that, this question arises to every developer at some point in their career. We look for ways to supplement our income. I have seen many friends mentioning their goal in 2020 is to generate additional supplement income. I have seen the same questions on Twitter and this blog post is from one of the conversations where I shared my views.

This is going to be two-part series where I will be sharing my thoughts.

To be frank, there is no shortcut. There are two ways you can supplement your income today by following one of the process. In this post I am going to explain about the short-term process. Which ever process you like to venture out you should have a proper entry and exit criteria to avoid getting burnout in the process.

Quick Short-Term Process:

Though, I have used the word "quick" it does not mean quick once you get started. It might take long time and commitment from you to see actual results. These are completely dependent on your developer skills.

Create a Product or Service, which you can scale and sell

If you are someone who likes to solve business problems at work using your developer skills then this is something which you can explore. What would start as a fun side project would end up supplementing your income, if it targets to solve a problem which you face everyday. What it needs is a skill to be a keen observer of things happening around you.

There is nothing called silly idea. What might mean silly to you, would turn out to be a good selling solution. If you are one of them then you should start visiting your nearest meetups like Startupweek to have some initial understanding on how startups can operate. Luckily Columbus, Ohio has these meetups which you can attend.

Start your own consulting firm

If you are one of those who likes to do some side projects in the weekend, then you can use the same time to do work on consulting projects. While working at your regular day job during weekdays, you can utilize your weekend to be your own boss. It might be difficult at the start to gain clients, but if you have a solid portfolio of projects you can use those to get clients initially. Personally, I am not in favor of sites like Upwork and Toptal to get your initial clients.

Your friends and family are your biggest clients. If they like what you do, they are going to get you the next client. You can even consider offering services to non-profits near you on voluntary basis in your initial stages. Recommendations from them can also help you in getting your future clients. If you have group of friends who can support you in this phase, discuss with them to see if you all can work together as part of the firm. May be your friends can become your business partners in future.

While some companies do not support this while working as full time employee, be sure to check your legal issues before venturing out on this.

In my next post, I will be covering more details on the long-term process which you can use to supplement your income.

Wish you a Happy New Year.