how to make money coding cover photo

How to make money coding: fast and steady

Programming provides a wide range of different areas for earning on it. We will tell you about 5 methods that will allow you to earn as a progenitor.

Programming offers a lot of opportunities to realize yourself and ensure financial solvency. There are at least 5 ways to make money on programming, but this is not all sources of income. Inventive programmers continue to look for sources of active and passive income. We will consider only stable ways to use your programming skills and code for money; this includes both simple and complex methods.

1. Freelance coding.

This is the first source of good programmer money. We recommend that you start climbing up the career ladder from here. Many people in the world are willing to pay money for programming knowledge. Our task is to find clients with needs in such skills. Usually, they find a contract job here too.

Freelance coding jobs have a key feature – the lack of attachment to one place. It is both good and bad. On the one hand, it allows you to always be in search of a new, better job, on the other – makes the profit unstable, depending on orders. Some professionals have an “easy” way of life, constantly changing their place of residence, traveling, visiting different countries. For freelancers, any place is a workplace, the main thing – the availability of a laptop with Internet access. On the other hand, this could be considered an advantage. If you were wondering how to make money coding from home – this is a perfect solution.

Remuneration directly depends on the skills and capabilities available. Although freelance seems like a simple way to “raise money”, it is not always the case. A successful freelancer has to constantly monitor emerging orders, negotiate with customers, track a lot of sites with offers, otherwise the profit will fall quickly. 

Among the many advantages of freelance, there are several disadvantages:

  • frequent cases of fraud. It is not always possible to agree on a prepayment, and for the work is done may not pay;
  • deadlines – “has to be done yesterday.” Create a certain nervous tension and often require superintensive work;
  • nervousness from “interesting” customers. As in life, some extremely picky customers will send for revision for a reason and without it, guided by the “sick fantasy.

Getting online programming jobs on freelance is a good start to a career, although many stay on it, making a good profit for a small number of working hours.

2. Startup

It’s a difficult and risky way to go, but the risks pay off more than that if things go up. Let’s not hide it, let’s breakthrough with our idea – it’s extremely difficult, a novice startup has minimal chances of success, but they can be increased by approaching cases with due responsibility and following some simple advice:

  • positive thinking. No matter how primitive it sounds, it is very important. If you give up at the first difficulties, any business will not have results. Belief in the idea and desire for results with a positive attitude attracts investment – it has been tested for centuries;
  • the financial part must be in the background. Few businesses are ready to bring a good income at once, usually, the first year or two have to work in a small minus. That is, the income will not be able to cover the cost of it. If you immediately aim for profit, an unsuccessful entrepreneur will likely close his business in the first six months;
  • the first success is the most difficult step. Going “to zero” or a small plus is a success, it brings a positive charge of emotions and gives confidence. The developed system is already ready to bring income, but this is only the first step, you can not relax now. It’s time to act and expand the startup’s potential.

Marc Andressen’s winged expression “Software will take over the world very soon” is already a reality and now there is a breakthrough in this world – the introduction of artificial intelligence. To make a successful startup, you can reflect on the sphere of human life, where software in combination with AI can significantly facilitate life or reduce the cost of the enterprise.

freelance coding
freelance coding

3. Full-time work or internship

All novice programmers work on the same scheme:

  • They initially work for a small company, perhaps a startup where the owners can’t pay much money.
  • Once they have gained experience and skills, they start looking for a larger and wealthier company that offers great prospects for development.

Without the first stage, it will be difficult to get into a prestigious job, as the requirements in the company will be high. It is better to pass the preparation stage. In no case should not agree to free internships, you should be paid for the work, even if not too much.

4. Programming competitions

As an additional source of income suitable for Senior programmers with extensive experience and, importantly, with wit. Here there is something to learn from competitors, and in case of victory – good prizes are paid. Examples of competitive sites: Topcoder, HackerRank.

An alternative would be offline tournaments, such as HackerRank. You may not be able to find a suitable tournament, then you can create your own. The only condition for success is to attract sponsors, usually, large companies that offer the winners jobs. When you get the patronage of the corporation, all you have to do is invite programmers and organize a competition.

As a result of various hackathons, new and promising ideas for startups often appear. If a company is interested in the idea, it will immediately have a free advertisement in the form of many hackers who will tell about it in their work.

5. Paid bugfix

It is one of the most highly paid sources of income, for example, just a few years ago during a hackathon a Chinese with an unspoken name managed to earn over $200,000 on the bugs of famous products such as Google Chrome, Skype, etc.

The principle of operation:

  • Find the bug in any software product with open source code. It is important to specify in advance the presence and amount of remuneration from the company.
  • Confirm the presence of the bug and pass it to the company.
  • For the offer to correct the bug can list dividends.

It is extremely difficult to find vulnerabilities and defects in the software of large corporations, and small companies pay little. You can try your luck in this area on the Bountysource website.

The five global spheres listed are the “tip of the iceberg”, there are many other ways to make money. The amount of income in these niches can vary greatly, from losses to millions of earnings.

online coding jobs
online coding jobs

How much do coders make

Entry-level coding jobs pay around $52,000, junior coders make around $65,500 and the experts earn a hefty $96,000. Of course, C-levels make even more and the salaries vary depending on the technologies you work with.

If you are interested in part time programming jobs, you can charge $35-55 an hour for web development, and $75 for mobile app development. This way you can make big bucks and do programming jobs from home.

How to get a programming job that pays above average

Now that you know how to make money coding, let’s see what you can do to earn beyond the median level. This is what you do to get to the highest salaries in the industry.

1. Going into management and architecture

High salaries in IT are found among managers: technical directors, general managers, product managers, as well as software architects and system engineers. The median salary of a technical director is 200 thousand and that of an architect is 180 thousand.

Ironically, to become a good director you do not need to have a deep knowledge of programming and technology. You need to be a charismatic leader, know how to work with people, negotiate, set tasks, be energetic and organized. These are the people who grow the fastest in management.

What to do:

  • Develop leadership skills (negotiation, time management, task setting).
  • Communicate with people, launch projects.
  • Tell about your work inside and outside the company.
  • To understand the economics of the project.
  • Take responsibility for the result: not just “writing code”, but “launching the product”.

2. Learn popular languages

According to the results of 2018, developers in the languages Elixir, Golang, Scala, Objective-C, Kotlin received the most. Their median salaries are around $1.5k per month.

The developers in Ruby, Java, C++, Python, and C# go through the nose: their average salary is 100 thousand. Salaries in all these languages reach up to $3-4k – so much is paid to the best specialists.

What to do:

  • Learn Java – high demand, good salaries.
  • Teaching Golang is a big demand, few programmers, high salaries.
  • Teach Python – it’s cool to write on it, and the salaries are decent.

3. Internship with cool guys

Leaders on salaries in IT – Facebook, Google, Badoo. First, you take part in their programs for young developers (schools, camps, hackathons, conferences). Then you get a job as an intern. Then you get a job as a junior. And then you go on to become a junior.

What to do:

  • Check out the internship and training programs of the leading companies in terms of salaries. Make a schedule and go to these events, meet people.
  • Look for job opportunities at these companies. Who do they usually look for? Who are they looking for for an internship?
  • Start writing in response to vacancies and internship invitations.

4. Study data science

A lot of data has accumulated on the Internet, and now we need specialists who know how to work with this data: analyze and extract knowledge. There are very few such people, and this is the profession of the future.

What to do:

  • Learn data science, analytics, and Python are the keywords.
  • Participate in conferences and meetings on this topic. The field is just emerging, a lot is happening.

The main secret

Statistics say one thing, but in the life of a particular person, it is often different. You can become a highly paid Python specialist with a salary of $5k or an incredibly popular “1C” engineer who will earn from $20k due to the high complexity of tasks. And you will be in statistics as a person who does not fall into the average.

The main principles of wealth:

  • It’s good to know the chosen language.
  • Think not so much about programming, but about solving the problems of your clients and employers.
  • To communicate, to show your work, to be interested in someone else’s work, to bubble among programmers and make them bubble near you.
  • In short, do not expect the wealth to come by itself. But you are programmers, you already know that.

 How to negotiate a pay rise

So, you didn’t go to a government agency, you avoid small domestic-oriented studios and work for a company with good prospects. How do you increase your income?

It is commonly believed that income in IT depends on time and loyalty:

Revenue = Skills * Time * Loyalty

It feels intuitive to work well. Not to be late for the daily sync. Figure out your part of the project. Set long-term goals. Overtime, if necessary. No conflict. Strive to become irreplaceable.

But in 12 years in IT, I have seen many examples of how it does not work. How technically strong guys make less money than the market. They are waiting for the next review, hoping that this time they will finally be appreciated. 

But that’s not happening. We have to save again on muffins and blueberry smoothies. And the plan to buy Tesla Model 3 is shifting again.

Your income depends on other parameters:

Revenue = Skills * Communication Skills * Business understanding * Negotiation skills

1. Communication Skills

It’s hard for me to convey how important communication skills are, regardless of my position in IT.  And everyone seems to understand how important it is, but few people take it seriously. The development zone is located outside the comfort zone.

2. Business understanding. 

There is a huge difference between “just making shuffles in GI” and “understanding what the product makes money on”. The product managers are not visionaries. A good share of the tasks they set can be made easier, done later, or not done at all.

When you understand the business, you start adding value not only to the code but also to product solutions. This means that your value is also growing.

3. Negotiation skills

Your income is someone’s expense. If you’re not ready to negotiate, you’re guaranteed to lose. There’s a lot of literature on the subject. From what I liked, Gavin Kennedy said “It’s okay to negotiate everything.”

It’s a simple example:

“I want promotion because… it’s been two years,” “I’m developing,” “I’m planning on buying a car” is a weak bargaining position. “I have a $4k offshore here” is strong.

It’s enough to do a couple of interviews a year to keep up with the market.

In real life, you never get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate.

So, we hope this article gave you an understanding of how to make money coding. Now all you have to do is send out a CV. Good luck!


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