What are some productized services a developer could offer?

As a full stack dev, I have plenty of ideas for apps but I'd really love to offer a productized service as a reliable source of income. I can (and do) freelance, but the open ended and very involved nature of freelance dev work is hard to productize and constrain.

I'm guessing a lot of other devs probably have the same thought, so I figured I'd ask the community - what productized services could developers offer?

  1. 3

    Screencasting and courses around a specific topic can be a great way to productize. You could also build the scaffolding for things that developers have to build all of the time.

    @excid3 does a fantastic job of all of these things with his projects.

  2. 3

    Think of all the different ways you add value when you're developing something for someone else. You can productized individual pieces of that.

    Here are three examples, all of which would help reduce risk for someone who isn't actually doing the development (maybe they're outsourcing it)

    • Code review as a service
    • Development estimates as a service
    • Technology selection as a service
    1. 1

      Thanks for the ideas! I'd be interested to hear from people here on IH who are doing something like these ideas, and how to get started productizing it a bit more.

      I'm not sure where to get started with this - all of my clients have grown to expect me to act as a full freelancer dev. Once I have a few clients paying for the productized services, it would be an easier transition, but I'm not sure any of the existing ones would go for it right away.

  3. 3

    Tutoring springs to mind. Lots of people want to learn to code and need help. I could see this transitioning into courses you offer + some one on one sessions to go with it.

    1. 1

      I do like the idea of this. are there any platforms or places to get started tutoring that anyone can recommend?

      1. 1

        https://mentorcruise.com - I highly recommend this. Although I didn't get much work, it was high quality. You don't waste much time trying to fish for work, they apply to you, have a quick text chat then they decide.

        https://www.codementor.io - a lot more work on here but you have to fight for it. Your pretty much need to be able to solve their problem right away, so keep it open all day, bid on stuff, stop what you are doing if you get hired! And a lot of the work is fixing their bugs too, not just teaching - which may or may not be what you want.

        1. 1

          Yeah mentorcruise.com seems to be quite cool :P

          More serious – lots of devs love MC as an outlet, so just let me know if you have any questions at all or if I can help you get on it!

  4. 2

    Hey Carter! There are several ways in which you could approach this.

    1. Look at your skill set and see how to monetise it, I am an engineer too and have tried
      many things. But you could write info products around skills you have or knowledge
      that you have gained on a subject over a period of time. The beauty with the internet is
      that somewhere there will be someone who wants to gain what you know, that my
      friend is powerful! You could write about create an ebook for example on how to
      become a freelance dev ;)

    2. Look to find niche opportunities within areas that you have knowledge on and build a
      small product within them. https://plausible.io/ is a great example, not overly
      complex, does a small job and does it well with a nice UI & Experience.

    3. You could also do some tutoring within a specific area of dev that you like the most.

    4. Could build some kind of newsletter around freelance development.

    1. 1

      I've been shy about info products in the past. It's always seemed like as a developer, I should be able to build something that generates recurring revenue. But I think you're right, it's a great way to stair step into some independent income.

      Niche products are things I keep trying to come up with, but I have a track record of ballooning them up to be too big for a solo project. I've been struggling with finding the balance of building a niche product that fits my capacity but is also actually interesting to people and worthwhile to me. I think that's why I want to build up some productized service revenue, because I know it'll take a while to come up with a product that works out.

      Thanks for taking the time!

      1. 1

        I'm most likely going to do an info product next as an Hors d'oeuvre - if it does well I might do another, then work my way up to a SaaS. Although technically I can create a SaaS no problem, there is enough marketing work to do that making the product an ebook pushes a lot more time into promotion. If creating the eBook is 50 hours work for example, once that work is done, all other hours after that will be promotion. With a SaaS, you need to divide time up between maintenance and promotion. That said the maker in me prefers making a SaaS!

  5. 2

    Yeah like @mcapodici said, tutoring. There are lots of platforms to teach courses or you can build your own with your own twist.

    I've been building Deliberate Python, a tool to master python fundamentals with spaced repetition. It's differentiated from other courses in the market and so far people seem pretty interested in it!

    1. 1

      Yeah it sounds like that would be a great way to go. Are there any platforms you'd recommend? Thanks for replying!

      1. 1

        I haven’t used any myself but Skillshare, teachable, and gumroad all seem fairly popular depending on what type of content you’re putting out

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