Great question! It's hard enough maintaining the code you look at every day, let alone side projects like this.
My most serious side project that truly requires maintenance of any kind is my mom's small business website. I occasionally have to pop in to make a quick change. It's a static website and I wound up stripping out all external build dependencies and writing in vanilla CSS and JS. I just found it easier than keeping track of a build process and updating that.
Even if the code is a bit less clean due to lack of niceties of things like SCSS, the ability to debug right in the browser with no dependencies is a breeze.
In terms of projects which might rely on an API that could change or (gasp) is scraping a site which could change at any time, I'd say that centralized monitoring is your friend. If you can have all health pings centralize in one place you're best off. Basically find a way to detect failure and make sure you get an email or Slack notification (or something) about this. The tools you use for monitoring might change from project to project but if you can maintain consistent process for knowing where the error message might land, you're on the right track.
Thank you for the reply! That's cool about being able to use vanilla CSS and JS. Simplicity! :-)
For this bot, I use papertrail for logging. I have it configured to send an email alert if any errors are logged. I also use Dead Man's Snitch to monitor if it has run or not. I'm pretty happy with this setup for monitoring.
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