After I came across the article 4 frequent objections to side projects and my answer, I wanted to discuss my reasons and motivation for working on side projects.
There are tons of amazing work out there that solves a lot of problems but that does not mean it's the 100% right solution. Programming is about problem solving and the problems we attack are not always straightforward therefore I can work on a solution that is tailored to my interest and hopefully once I publish someone else might find it just as useful.
Our industry is never slowing down therefore there are always new toys to play with. Side projects are a great playground for us because if we are excited about playing with some of these new languages/frameworks/libraries/software this is where we get to get our hands dirty. As stated earlier we can implement solutions for many problems in different ways which enables us to experiment more.
My ability to apply better problem solving did not come from just my four years at college, it came from all those side projects I built up at hackathons. Every side project took me down a different rabbit hole of issues, therefore I had to actually count on myself to find a solution. Even though I resort to google and stackoverflow, I try to see how people on the internet solved some of the similar issues. Usually those solutions I find stick with me because I personally faced the problem.