It’s official: ethical hackers earn more than software developers.

2 min readMar 25, 2021

New to crowdsourced security?

ZrocCyberSec™ offers security researchers support and training to begin earning in USD.

Bug hunting, the way for smart software developers to start earning big. Across the globe security researchers aka “ethical hackers” are making millions from bug bounty platforms. Figure 1 shows that last year, some of the top earners crossed over $1 million rewards on the HackerOne platform (pg 14), others earned $100K. Crowdsourced security (also called bug bounty programs) has gone from obscurity to being embraced as a best practice, according to the SANS Institute.

Figure 1 — HackerOne bounty rewards up to about $80 millions dollars

As a professional software developer, how can I earn more? Start bug hunting!

What do you need to start? A formal computer science degree may help. According to Hacker 2020 report (p.22), 41 percent of hackers had a formal computer science degree, the same pattern can be observed with software developers. 48 percent of professional developers had a bachelor’s degree (Stack Overflow survey, 2017).

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Miguel | @fisher (2020). The 2020 Hacker Report: the survey and statistics of the ethical hacker community. HackerOne. Retrieved from