It's been happening for quite some time but you probably already seen those "awesome list" on Github where tons of resources are listed on a particular subject/branch etc.
Personally I don't think Github is the "right" medium for that but still
it can be useful to go through those from time to time
And this time it is the awesome-indie
which list a lot of resources for independent developers
and as you can see they end it with "to make money"
and right from the intro it says
Making money from your own code has never been easier, but it's still hard.
So, yeah I don't think it is that hard or that easy but it certainly require more than just "the programming part" and personally I would rather use the term "develop a sustainable business" than just "make money".
Now let's comment about all that from the point of view of the Flash/AIR/AS3 ecosystem.
For a few years you maybe saw me said things in the line of as3 developers should switch from the mentality of looking for a job and instead create their own software, or that even if ActionScript 3 is pretty good combined with stuff like Adobe AIR to build mobile and/or desktop software, that developers should think more in term of building a product.
In the resources above, it is about the indie developer, the solo dev, the bootstrapper, tiny teams and other small entities who basically have very few resources (time, money, people, etc.) to build such products.
Everyone is selling you the idea of startup and the dream-life of entrepreneurs and I call that bullshit, there I said it.
For me the ideal team to build a product is 4 people:
- a programmer
- a designer
- a sysadmin
- a marketer
The programming part is what get the shit done, this is where you actually solve a problem (or many problems) with code.
The designing part is how you present it to a user so it is easy for them to solve their problem with the product.
The system administration part is anything related to server and back-end, because a product always need that part to some extend (yep even if your product is 100% working on the client-side you still need a server).
And finally the marketing part is because you need to communicate with people out there so you can fins those users you have a product to solve their problem.
Now the tricky part is when you are an indie dev you kind of have to wear all those hats, and yeah it is hard.
And on top of that you have this weird 5th role of leader and/or "guy with a vision" who basically push things in a certain direction, and yeah if you're a solo dev you also own that.
My point in all that is you gonna probably have to learn the other roles on top of what you already know.
If you are a hardcore programmer, you still gonna have to learn UI/UX etc. because no user want to use a shitty interface (yes that's valid for command-line tools too).
But the opposite is also true, if you are only into front-end design, nice logo and beautiful fonts, you still gonna have to learn to program that shit because a gorgeous GUI that does nothing or is full of bug is till a useless empty-shell.
So use that awesome-indie and similar resources to learn the other stuff, but don't expect an HOWTO in 10 points on how to exactly build a product, gain users and become successful overnight, because nobody knows for sure.
And about the Flash/AIR/AS3 ecosystem POV, here more details:
technically you could use any technology
as long as it allow you to scale as an indie dev
eg. publish the about same code to many platforms
is much much better than having to recode the same thing for all those platforms
that said I would argue that ActionScript 3.0 is pretty good at scaling
you can structure a project to publish for the web (Flash SWF),
the desktop and mobile (Adobe AIR), and even to the server and/or command-line
with such thing like Redtamarin
but don't expect to find jobs as an AS3 dev because there are none
or close to none, or at least not very interesting ones, except maybe
the few rare jobs for building AAA games UI based on Scaleform GFx
If your goal is to find a job, go learn some fsncy JS framework like AngularJS, Reac.js, etc.
That does not mean the AS3 technology stack is not good, but you probably know the story,
since Steve Jobs "Thoughts on Flash" (April, 2010), it has been 7 years of people saying: "Flash is dead".
It's not dead, in fact far from it, and I would argue the technology stack is quite good and mature,
but the mainstream of hipster assholes don't see it, but hey good, if you know it or learn it,
you can basically build products of a professional quality and they will not see it coming.
My main point here is to say that Flash/AIR/AS3 is very good technology stack for a solo dev as it allows him/her to scale a lot from a relatively small amount of efforts (but you will still ned to put as lot of efforts because remember building products is hard).
The end game for an indie dev is about publishing a product of good quality but without having to spend a lot of resources into it, except your free time, that's what I call "scaling".
If a small team of 4+ dev using HTML5 and React.js need 6 months to build a product,
and you as a solo dev you build the same product in 3 months using Adobe AIR, you win at scaling .