The Profitable Programmer: Creating Successful Side Projects

Location: D138-139 Level: Novice
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 3 ratings)

Many Rails developers have taken the big step of going out on their own and starting a consulting business. Others have taken the next step of creating web applications that generate at least some part of their income.

A businessperson would need to raise tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement an idea, but the Rails developer only needs an idea and enough time to implement it.

This panel features five developers who have created side projects that eventually became profitable through advertising, subscription fees, or buyout.

We’ll talk about creating an idea, finding the time and money to implement it, designing a profitable business plan, promoting your idea, and possibly selling it to another company.

We’ll talk about the skills you have as a Rails developer, and how to get help in other areas.

The panel members include:

Photo of Geoffrey Grosenbach

Geoffrey Grosenbach

Ruby on Rails Podcast

Host of the Ruby on Rails Podcast. Blogs at Nuby on Rails. Publisher and producer of PeepCode Screencasts.

Photo of Tom Preston-Werner

Tom Preston-Werner


Tom Preston-Werner is a cofounder and chief executive officer of
GitHub, a web site that makes it easy for users to collaborate on
software projects and share code. This site has attracted a community
of more than 3.5 million developers and strives to lower the barriers
of collaboration by building powerful features into its products,
making it easier for users to contribute and write better code,

Preston-Werner also invented the Gravatar, a globally recognized image
that follows its user around the internet to help identify posting on
blogs, web forums, or other internet activities. He sold Gravatar in

He lives and works in San Francisco. The weather there is strange, but
he loves it, and the mountain biking is unbelievably good.

Photo of Chris Wanstrath

Chris Wanstrath

Err Free

Chris Wanstrath lives in San Francisco and freaking loves Ruby. He
writes for Err the Blog, works at Err Free, co-runs GitHub and
FamSpam, and is totally into spinal piercings.

PJ Hyett



Photo of Ben Curtis

Ben Curtis

Tesly, LLC

A solo Rails consultant and the creator of Catch the Best, a tool for tracking, sharing, and rating resumes from incoming job applicants.

Also the creator of RailsKits, the home of ready-made Rails components for Rails developers.

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