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Kevin Path
Kevin Path

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For the Love of Side Projects

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.

It's my solution

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.

I get to play

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.

I learn a lot

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.

Discussion (5)

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Walker Harrison

I think much of the pleasure in side projects comes from their role as an antidote to the things that bother us at 9-5s: deadlines, bureaucracy, inflexibility. Seeing your own creative project as a reaction to these things helps maintain the energy to actually do them.

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xiaohuoni

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. ----like。

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POCZone

I'm the author of the "4 frequent objections to side projects and my answer" article.
I came across your reply in the referrer listing of my article and like it a lot. I just wanted to let you know I updated my post to mention your reply!

Side project lovers unite! Have fun!

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Kim Arnett 

100%!

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Richard Umoffia

I totally agree with you. Personally when I intend to learn a new framework or language, I think of side projects to engage myself. The importance can't be understated.