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What are some of the side income or passive income sources you can suggest?

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Senior Software Engineer [G4] at Graba year ago

In uncertain times, and given the risk of job security in tech, what are your views on passive income modes or side hustles such as writing a blog?

Can you suggest some of these for someone who is currently a backend software engineer?

Also, I am ruling out hustles such as driving Lyft/Uber as they require active participation.



  • 14
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    Ex @Meta @Microsoft, Founder Algolab
    a year ago

    Here are a few ideas for side income hustles. These are not quick rich schemes. They will start giving you returns after a few years of constant nourishing.

    • Make udemy courses
    • Start a youtube channel
    • Write on a blog/newsletter/twitter/linkedin
    • Write Books

    Ali Abdaal has a great video I recommend on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY9lNl3EO1I

  • 44
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    a year ago

    Most of the time, passive income is not actually that passive 😅 you have to put tons of effort (often for years) before you start to see any real benefit.

    The way I'd think about this is to choose a path where you can't lose: you gain valuable skills by producing the thing (blog, video, podcast), and if you actually succeed, the money is a nice bonus.

    For context, my YouTube channel made $9K in 2022, after I spent 2 years working on it, around 10 hours/week: https://youtu.be/KY-L6CoMDEw

  • 46
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a year ago

    "Passive" income as most financial influencers will pitch it is largely a clickbait scam. If there's truly a meaningful passive income opportunity that also has a low startup cost (both in terms of time and money), it will get mined out almost instantly by everyone wanting free money.

    The only real passive income I can responsibly vouch for is putting your money into a high-interest savings account that is FDIC-insured. In the US, that means you're getting 3.5% to 4% yearly return in the current economic climate. However, given that you work for Grab, I imagine that you're likely not in the US. 😅

    In order to generate real passive income, you need to invest a ton of time upfront first. Here are the ones I have, one of which you alluded to in your post:

    • Medium Writing - My Medium generates ~$200 a year, and I have 1,100 followers. I have published around 30 articles that I easily spent 50+ hours on.
    • Android App Monetization - I make 97% of my apps free, but I lightly monetized my Random Name Picker app as an experiment and to help out one of my mentees who was contributing to the app (I was getting them professional experience and giving them $$$ they really needed). The app makes around ~$750 a year, but it has 1,000,000+ downloads and I have easily spent 1,000+ hours on it.

    Something I really want to make clear is that I didn't do either of the above things for money. I really enjoy writing and making sleek mobile apps, so the money was more of a side effect. I think this approach of looking for monetization opportunities on top of stuff you're already passionate about is much healthier.

    Tech people are smart, and the market will recover more quickly than people think. The highest ROI thing you can do is to continue building up your fundamental skills as a software engineer IMHO.

    Can you suggest some of these for someone who is currently a backend software engineer?

    There's a lot of APIs that people want (especially front-end engineers like me), which either don't really exist yet or are too expensive. If you can find a high-demand API, build it out super cleanly (i.e. in a way that it's scalable and lasts forever with minimal maintenance), and charge a reasonable price for it, I could see this making thousands of $$$ per month.

    I don't know how much it's making, but here's a cool freemium API I have used in the past: The Cat API

    If you're going to go down the side project route, here's some great resources to help there:

  • 2
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    SMTS at VMWare
    12 days ago

    Passive income is something which is generated when you are not involved ACTIVELY in making that money. eg it can be a savings interest, some fixed deposits, money added in some bonds or equity etc.

    Basically it's money making money. The fundamental concept to learn here is compounding.

    In these uncertain times, I think money management is a skill we should all learn. We should try learning where to park our money so that it grows when we are sleeping, and eventually over the years it will start giving us benefits.

    You should try and invest sometime watching finance videos, there are hundreds of good blogs available on the internet regarding finance. Read them.

    Ultimately your goal should be to create a diverse portfolio(comprising stocks, mutual funds, retirement schemes, FDs Debt bonds, real estate etc) which can generate an income that can full fill your monthly expenses without the need to depend on your active salary.

    At the end, remember money management is a skill you can always learn, practice and improve with experience. Be patient and you will see wonders.

Grab Holdings Inc., commonly known as Grab, is a Singaporean multinational technology company. It is the developer of the Grab super-app, which provides users with transportation, food delivery and digital payments services via a mobile app.
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