How To Become a Computer Programmer and Make Money Online




become a computer programmer
Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

For people who have an interest and passion for tech and coding software, a lot of the time your only option to make money is to get a job where you have to report to an office and work 8-12 hours a day.

For beginner coders who are learning about the complexities of software engineering and development, being close to your team at an office is actually a great way to grow your coding and software engineering skills fast. Mostly, because you’ll be close to more experienced senior programmers who can train you on the job.

But at some point in your career, you may have the desire to work from home and make money online. You want a lifestyle where you don’t have to commute or show up to an office each and every day for work.

In this article, I’m going to cover all the ways you can learn how to become a programmer and develop your skill set. Then, take your skills as a computer programmer and work remotely for another company or for yourself to make money online.

Be a Self-Learner First, Then Decide If Getting a Degree From a College Makes Sense

The best way to become a computer programmer or software developer is to start as a self-learner first. When I worked more actively in the Technology Industry as a SysAdmin, this is the advice I heard over and over again.

The reason for this is because as you work various jobs or freelance gigs in the real world, you’re going to have to be good at solving coding problems and finding answers out for yourself.

The most successful programmers and software engineers that I’ve met in the world who are the most successful are able to research and solve their own coding issues 90% of the time.

With that said, they all started teaching themselves to code in a language before they even considered going to college and getting a degree in computer science or software engineering.

Being a self-starter and teaching yourself how to code before any formal education is definitely an advantage!

In fact, after you start teaching yourself and getting work experience, you might realize that college may not even be worth your time or the cost. More and more tech professionals are skipping the computer science and tech degrees in 2024.

Beginner Level Computer Programming Languages To Consider

The following languages are great for starting out as a beginner. My favorite programming language on the list is PHP because it’s what I’m most familiar with. My second favorite is Python for how universal it is as a general scripting language and for software development.

Each listing below has a hyperlink to learn more, I encourage you to click on each one to check them out.

When you first start learning about computer programming, it’s best to start with just one language at a time. When you master your first language, you’ll find learning another language will be a lot easier for you.

Additionally, it’s a great idea to learn about HTML and CSS if you are considering any kind of front-end software web development.

After you research and get a start teaching yourself the basics of programming, you will then be prepared to decide if the investment into a degree or educational program is worth it or not for you.

Some successful software engineers have degrees, and others are 100% self-taught. In my opinion, there is no wrong or right way to learn coding. You learn it with the method and style that works for you!

But as I’ve stated before, it seems like in 2024 less and less coders and tech professionals are getting college degrees.

Resources for Learning How To Code

For additional resources on learning about becoming a computer programmer, I recommend the following:

Besides the resources I’ve listed here, there are also a lot of various online forums, subreddits on Reddit, and questions and answers you can participate in on Quora.

Don’t forget about asking Google questions or even watching YouTube videos from other tech professionals!

Lastly, make sure you check out the recently released AI Chatbot called Chat GPT, it has become available and is great at assisting you with putting together various programming scripts and other samples of code.

For myself, I’ve had a lot of fun recently getting examples of PHP, JavaScript, and Powershell.

How To Get Started Making Money Online as a Computer Programmer

There are many ways to make money online as a Computer Programmer.

The best three options are to either work for yourself as a freelancer, start a business, or find a good company to work for that offers remote work.

Regardless of which path you choose for making money online as a programmer, just make sure you can solve problems for people and offer as much value as you can.

If you accomplish those two goals, you’ll have no problem growing your income over the long term.

Before you make a decision on whether or not working for yourself is a good path to take for making money online, ask yourself the following questions and really think about your answers.

Are you good at working with small business owners?

If so, then maybe you can offer some custom software and website building solutions? If you freelance for a long enough time, you might even be able to hire others and build up a good sizable business for yourself.

Are you good at writing?

If so, maybe you don’t have to deal with the hassles of consulting with clients and you can start a blog teaching others about coding.

Do you have an interest in making videos that teach others about coding?

If making videos appeals to you then maybe you can be an instructor and do coding classes for people. Or just share your thoughts on the pros and cons of various computer languages and development processes. You can launch a YouTube channel and get started right away.

Would you mind subcontracting or working for an online platform that will find coding leads for you?

If you are just looking to work online and do various coding projects, you do have options for working as a freelancer through websites like TopTal and UpWork.

If freelancing and running a business is not for you, are you open to working for a company with a remote job?

If your answer is YES, you’ll be quite thrilled when you realize how much opportunity is out there for computer programmers and software developers to work remotely. Try searching on job sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Dice, and Monster.

After you decide which path you want to take, it’s time to start researching more deeply.

If you choose the path of a remote job, start exploring all the various job postings and top companies that offer remote positions.

If you choose freelancing or starting a business, start researching various markets and think about how your programming skills can translate into real value for a business or client you’d want to work with.

If you can offer a solution to your client’s biggest problem, they will handsomely pay you to work for them!

For a complete list of opportunities, check out the following article:

Best Computer Programmer Opportunities To Make Money Online With

How Much Can You Make Working Online as a Remote Programmer?

The nice thing about programming or software development is that most of your work is done via your laptop. So whether you are working for yourself or even a company, you’ll be able to do most of your work out of an office. You’ll have the option to work in your home office or wherever you choose.

As far as salaries go, normal computer programmer jobs go for anywhere between 60k to 100k per year according to these two reports by GlassDoor and Indeed.

GlassDoor: Computer Programmer Salaries

Indeed: Programmer Salaries in the United States

On Zip Recruiter I did find a report that shows remote computer jobs going for an average of 96k per year, depending on the location.

Zip Recruiter: Remote Programmer Salary

Using the job salaries as a base to start with, you can start taking on work via remote jobs or freelancing opportunities. Then, slowly increase your pay rate as you get more experience and better clients or jobs to work with.

Sometimes it’s tough to decide what to charge for a service, don’t worry too much about what to charge in the beginning.

Once you’re established in a given area of business, you start to learn the real market value of a particular product or service. Then charge your customers accordingly.

Remember! There are no guarantees on how much money you can make, especially if you decide to start a business.

In the end, hard work always pays off and you’ll be handsomely rewarded, as long as you don’t give up on yourself.

Final Thoughts

When you begin your career as a computer programmer you should be prepared for lots of changes in technology trends. Be willing to pivot to new and exciting opportunities in the tech industry and never stop learning.

You want to work your skills up from just simple programming to doing actual software development. This will allow you to provide more value to your clients as a technology provider. 

The end result is you can charge more money for the work you do, either as a freelancer, employee, or technology business owner.

I hope you got something out of this article, thanks for reading!


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