Can Coding be a Side Hustle? 10 Ways to Make Money as a Programmer

  • Time to read: 8 min.

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Programmers are always in demand. That’s because there are many things you can do with a computer that most people don’t know how to do, and the more technical skills you have, the better off you will be.

But while coding is an excellent way to make money on your own schedule, it also takes years of experience before being able to find legitimate work online. So what should programmers who are just starting out do? Can coding be a side hustle? What if you’re a programmer and want to make extra money on the side? Here are 10 ways for you to get started making money quickly on the side.

Can Coding be a Side Hustle?

can coding be a side hustle

Before getting into the 10 different ways you can make money as a programmer on the side, let’s answer the question: can coding be a side hustle?

The short answer is yes.

If you are just starting out with coding, it might be hard for you to get enough experience working on programming projects or finding an actual job that pays well, but there are many ways to get around this. There are also many things you can do online that can help hone your skills while making money at the same time. Because of its flexibility, there are plenty of opportunities available for programmers who want to make some extra cash on the side.

Ways You Can Make Money as a Programmer on the Side

can coding be a side hustle

Not only is it possible to make money through coding even if you don’t have large amounts of experience under your belt, but there are plenty of options when looking into how exactly to go about it.

Here are 10 ways for you to start making money as a programmer on the side:

1. Freelancing websites

The internet is full of opportunities, and one of those are freelancing websites. Sites like oDesk, eLance, Guru, PeoplePerHour, and Amazon Mechanical Turk all provide tools for clients who need programming services to find contractors online.

2. Site Testing Websites

If you have some free time on your hands that you want to fill with getting paid just for using a website then this is the perfect side hustle for you! It might sound too good to be true, but there are many sites online that will pay you just for using their site in whatever way they ask each time you do. These are called website testing websites, because they will essentially pay you to use their site in ways that would normally break or cause errors.

This is a great way for beginners to get started making money online right away, because it usually doesn’t require any sort of application process before being able to begin getting paid for it. Just find a site that works for you, and your learning curve will be extremely low!

can coding be a side hustle

3. Helping Out on Task Websites

The internet has grown beyond its original use as a way to look up cat photos (though I’m sure there are still plenty of people who do this online). Now more than ever, the internet is full of opportunities for earning money with tasks that can all be done online.

Some popular options include:

  • Fiverr
  • Scripted
  • PeoplePerHour
  • oDesk
  • Mechanical Turk
  • Upwork (formerly Elance)

The best thing about these sites is that you don’t need much experience whatsoever – just provide proof of your abilities in whatever field you want to work in and start completing tasks as soon as you sign up.

4. QA Testing with UserTesting

Another way for programmers with no experience to start making money quickly online is by participating in user testing on a site like UserTesting. Basically, a company wants to test out their new website before going live and they need someone who can use it and identify any problems that arise from the perspective of a regular user. This isn’t always programming related but if you have an eye for bugs then this is one of the best ways for beginners to make some extra cash fast!

5. Selling Your Own Programming Projects

There are many ways to go about selling your own projects, but one of the most popular is on sites like CodeCanyon. This is an online marketplace that allows you to create accounts for free and then upload their own custom programs or plugins, sell them on their store (if they choose), and keep all of the profit.

Just know that there are many other websites you can sell your own programs on, so this is one option of several. Regardless of how you go about it though, the key to success with this side hustle is creating quality products that customers are willing to pay for!

can coding be a side hustle

6. Business Analysis Outsourcing

Even if you’re not a business person by nature or training, learning some basic communication skills are enough to make a huge difference in getting hired for freelance business analysis opportunities online.

There are plenty of sites where working as a freelancer analyst is continually in high demand, and most will even provide training if they require any specific knowledge before hiring you. You can find work at companies like BPO Network, e-Merge, and Wood Group.

7. Becoming a Freelance Writer

There are many ways to earn money as a writer online, but being able to write on technical topics is one of the more popular side hustles for programmers. Sites like iWriter, Contentmart, Textbroker (UK), and WriterBay (in Spanish) all provide opportunities for writers (including beginners) to make money writing about any topic they choose – even ones related to coding.

In this same vein, you could also become an online instructor where you talk about coding on a YouTube channel (or social media) or explain what it’s like to be a software developer or video game programmer.

8. Coding Websites Niche Sites

The internet is one giant place with plenty of room for everyone’s niche site that caters to special interests and hobbies! Whether you’re passionate about programming or not (if you can code then this will certainly help), building niche websites is an excellent way for beginners to get started making money online.

Some popular examples of niche sites that programmers can get paid to create are: HackHands (for programming help) or Codecourse (for teaching people how to code).

9. Coding Projects on Freelancer Sites

Freelancer sites like Upwork and allow experts of all types to compete with one another for jobs that both experts and novices can perform. Since many people who hire experts usually want something related specifically to the topic they’re hiring in (i.e., programmer, coder, etc.), this is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to start making money quickly by doing freelance coding work. This also works if you’re interested in building and selling a medium or high-level web app through your social media profile.

can coding be a side hustle

10. Working for an Online Company

This option is similar to the “business analysis outsourcing” listed above, but it’s slightly different in that you’d be working for a company remotely instead of some other person across the world who needs some help with their business!

Many large companies hire out virtual assistants (VA) to handle basic tasks like email, scheduling appointments, and answering phones at a day job while focusing on more pressing issues at hand. You can find jobs at places like Mommy Jobs online, Virtual Bee and VIPdesk Connect. If you can code then this can provide even more opportunities because you’ll often times be able to communicate directly with your client/employer over chat or phone what you’re doing and why.


There are many other ways you can earn money as a developer, but these 10 offers detailed above should give you a great “head start” towards making your own programming side hustle a success! Now that you have the tools and knowledge to get started, it’s just a matter of actually doing it.

FAQ – Can Coding be a Side Hustle?

What’s the best computer science student side hustle?


I know, I know you’re thinking “Coding? Really? Is there any money in that?” And the answer is yes! There are many ways to make money as a programmer on the side. Most of them revolve around freelance work, but others include: web development, online tutoring, and selling your own products.

Do you need computer certifications for side hustles?

No. The vast majority of employers do not require certifications or degrees for side hustles. However, employers will be more interested in your coding skills if you know a couple of languages well.

Is an app developer side hustle profitable?

Yes, if you build the next Flappy Bird.

You might be wondering how much money app developers make. It is difficult to get exact figures because most app developers are freelancers and the pay is irregular. However, one study found that they make an average of $6,700 per month, which doesn’t sound like a lot, until you realize that this is at its highest point in the year, and it’s only half of what they make at their lowest point.

What kind of javascript side hustles can you do?

The most common way to make money with javascript is freelance web development.

There are also other ways like building apps for iOS or Android, selling your own products (ebooks, courses), and doing online tutoring.

What’s the best side hustle software engineer jobs?

The best side hustle for a software engineer is programming one.

Other options include web development, online tutoring, and selling your own products. You can make good money with each of these side hustles if you are dedicated enough. However, it is important to note that you cannot expect to make much money if you are still learning how to code.

Should you learn how to code as a side hustle?

Yes! Coding is one of the best skills you can have these days, and it is also very versatile. Some of the most common ways to make money with coding include freelance web development, selling your own products (ebooks, courses) to your followers, and doing online tutoring.

How do you start learning to code as a side hustle?

Many people choose to take Codecademy courses, but if you want more in-depth coding lessons, try Lynda. Another good place to learn basic coding skills is Udacity, which has free courses that are more comprehensive than Codecademy’s and help sum up coding principles.

What are 4 ways to earn additional income as a programmer?

There are several ways you can earn additional income as a web developer or programmer, including freelancing, selling your own products (ebooks, courses) to the people who follow you, doing online tutoring, and building apps for iOS or Android.

What other tech side hustles are there?

Other technical side hustles include web development and online tutoring.