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After Market Software Development - Potential Residual Income
Author: Richard Callaby

For many software developers writing code is a passion. However, many have been displaced due to the rampant outsourcing of their jobs to overseas competition. this is truly sad, however it could be an opportunity for those same developers to partake in the rapidly growing arena of after market software development.

There are a few open source applications where it may be possible to utilize the strong community support for your own financial gain. The first application that springs to mind is DotNetNuke (http://www.dotnetnuke.com) open source content management system. This is by far one of the most popular open Source .Net applications in recent history. At the time this article was written there was a total of 250,000 registered users of the DotNetNuke framework.

One of the most popular ways to make money off of this application is to develop your own custom modules and skins and then resell them either on your own website or the defacto standard website Snowcovered.com. The benefit of using snowcovered.com is that they handle all the details of selling your product so you do not have to worry about it. The after market for this particular open source application is huge!

The second open source application where it is possible to make some residual income is the ever so popular Firefox web browser. You can see examples of this by doing a simple Google search to see what extensions are possible. While some chose to give their software away some do sell their plugins for a modest fee. This seems only fair as the developer most likely devoted some of their free time in order to build the tool and should be properly compensated for it.

Lastly the ever so popular Visual Studio.Net is known for its ease of extensibility and it has a pretty large user base already built in. Now this is not an open source product by any means however there is a definite after market for selling extensions to the IDE. One of the most popular extension to the IDE is pinvoke.net and its IDE plug in where a programmer can look up a .Net assembly for a given Win32 apl call and vice versa. I am sure this has saved many programmers loads of time when developing their applications.

I can remember all of the after market products that were sold during the days of Visual Basic 3.0 to extend the functionality of that development environment. Once a software product reaches a critical mass of users and is as extensible as those applications mentioned above it is only a matter of time where some "micro-economies" start to form around them. If you are under employed you should seriously consider finding these niche products where you can still utilize your skill set and potentially build up some really sizeable residual income to boot.

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Richard Callaby is a Independent Computer Consultant, Writer, Author, Speaker and Instructor. More articles from this author can be reached at his article directory at econtentking.com.

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