DEV Community


Discussion on: Full-time, side projects, learning, and staying sane

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

Wow nicely written. I can guarantee that these advice work because I am applying them for years, but never realized that I can summarize and share them.

  • Time - I have the luxury to choose only jobs with low commute duration, and I apply many Team-management skills to my personal life. The family is a team and can be managed. My colleagues that are living in Rent apartments are always moving near the offices (we moved the office twice). I did 45 min commutes and at my new job I cut it down to 5.

  • Exercise - I did some A/B testing and a few hours a week are great for me.

  • Focus - It is all about priorities. Many years ago I realized that I cannot have more then 3 main focus areas at a time, in my life. The first two are family, and as a side effect providing money. The third and secondary targets are switched each year: learning, a hobby or other extra stuff.

The downside is that I had to let go to many other things, so I do better at the main activities.

  • Brick by brick - I use all the free time I have, but the long projects (that takes more than 4-5 hours) are sometimes finished in a span of weeks. You can accomplish many things if you persevere.

  • Social activities are a priority for the peers I always keep hearing "I do not have time ...". They do not realize this of course. I cut off from my life many "mandatory events and gatherings", that did not bring awesome in my life. I was wasting time just because of social pressure.

  • Marathon. I often speak to people that want to become developers, and I am portraying this "IT" industry as a long and hard core marathon. You have to think on the long run. It takes at least a year to get your first job, and many more to build great stuff.

  • Monitoring - I keep a close eye on everything that is a time Sink. When I realized I was checking social networks every 10 minutes I removed them from my phone and some from my life. I keep away from games (being almost an addict).

I know that it sounds lame and "robotic" but if you think about it, if you measure and improve the mandatory activities you spend time, you will have more time to do fun stuff.

Context: I am doing side projects for at least 7 years, I learn a lot, I have a family, I never had a burnout.

I do not wake up early, I work full time at an office, I always work at projects I like and for free. I take entire days and holidays time off with no computer and apps.