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The usefulness of building useless things

saurabhdaware profile image Saurabh Daware 🌻 ・2 min read

So you built an e-commerce website as a freelancer but was it fun? maybe you built 'XYZ management system' as a college project but was it fun?

Throughout college, we've been told to build things that are useful for society or to build something that will earn you money and think about all that business stuff.

While deciding the project among all these factors we sometimes miss one important factor... fun.

In this article, I am going to talk about things that won't be useful to anyone and they won't help you get money either but... IT WOULD BE FUN TO BUILD!

SO LEZZGOOO!!

Building products and coding can be tiring and can give you a headache if you are building something that ummm... you don't like much 🤷 so how to handle this? SIDE PROJECTS!!! Side projects give you an opportunity to go as weird as you want and build a unicorn maybe :/ A UNICORN ROBO YASSS!! 🦄🦄🤖

It is important to take time off your "work" to work on a side project. A project that you are building just because you want to build it. With these projects, you don't put yourself into any rules of

"Cool but what is your target audience?"
"My target audience is ME and I approve it so it's successful already 🎉 cheers 🍻"

"Oh but this feature is too new and won't work on internet explorer"
"that's fine forget IE users (who really cares about them anyway)"

"There's already an app like this"
"Yeah, he must have had fun building it too."

So are you convinced to build a side project by now? cool.
Here's a list of factors to decide your next side project:

  1. IT SHOULDN'T BE BORING.

That's it!

With side projects, you will find yourself taking a break from your work and still learning things that you may not learn in your work project.

So I made a lot of such "useless" projects.
I literally have a command-line tool to search on google. search how to get a date in javascript opens chrome and searches for "how to get a date in javascript" (I am just too lazy to double click on chrome (not lazy to write CLI to open chrome though 😂))

Thank you for reading this! Also, there is no project "useless". It is either helping someone else or it is helping you. So yes be creative and build things that are fun to build.

Do mention your projects in comments that you had fun building.

Posted on by:

saurabhdaware profile

Saurabh Daware 🌻

@saurabhdaware

21, JavaScript Fanboi. Building Abell, A new static-site-generator. also sunflower is my favorite emoji🌻 (He/Him)

Discussion

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I've been building a note app in the menu bar that expanded to running scripts on text in the note, template expander, todo list manager, etc. It started as vanilla JavaScript, then to a Vue.js, then to Mint, and now is a Svelte project in NW.js. It's fully customizable with themes. It has a cli based program to show user dialogs from scripts. It now has the ability to launch modules as well. It fully integrates with Alfred, LaunchBar, Keyboard Maestro, and PopClip. It's incredibly fun to work with and very useful in my day to day work.

It also keeps me sane when some jobs get way too boring. That is the greatest advantage to having a side project!

 

This is so cool!!

I built a command-line tool to add projects to favorites and open them from command-line and I find it extremely useful in day-to-day life. (github.com/saurabhdaware/projectman)

Also, I have some project initiating scripts that initiate projects so I don't have to write basic boilerplate of some of my code.

Thanks for reading :)

 
 

omg haha that is soo cooolll thanks for sharing!

 

What are your thoughts about testing for side projects?

 

I think the same thing would apply to testing as well, Is it fun to test? do it. Also, by testing if you mean writing unit tests then it usually be fun :D

 

Writing the tests is fun, but i usually have to spend days setting it up (it took me a lot to finally manage to persist sessions between supertest requests with koa, articles are pretty much outdated lol). Thats why im rly wondering if its worth scratching my head for so long;) Btw,amazing post!

I think it is totally fine to take time and worth to go through that head-scratching phase. It will happen with almost anything you work on so just hold on for some more time and maybe when you finally understand it you will realize how much you enjoyed the process :D

Also, thank you for reading 🌻