Side projects can be a fantastic way to prove your skill and experience as a software developer. Hopefully everyone is at least interested in building a personal portfolio, and I wanted to write a few tips to keep in mind as you work on your projects.
It's vulnerable, but it's important that other people see your work, even early in the process. Others might not get as excited about it as you but that's okay. Someone might, and showing your process can build confidence in your product, lead to valuable feedback, and help build an authentic following.
Always remember that when we see the cool stuff other people have created, that's the product at the end of their effort while we might just be at the beginning. If they can do it, so can you, so let their work inspire you and push your confidently into your own project.
Don't stop reading the documentation as soon as your code starts working. Take a few extra minutes to read through the details of what you've added or created and think about how you might expand on it in the future.
Always remember that people will be just as interested in your code and documentation as they are in your project. Take some time to organize everything properly as if you were only presenting the code. As companies start to dig into your side projects in your portfolio, nice looking code and documentation will distinguish you.
Not every project can be the Magnum Opus, and that's okay. You will have more ideas, the important thing is that you're actually doing the thing and executing on your ideas, and that's the hardest part. If your current projects hits a wall, don't get discouraged, there are plenty more on the way.
Depending on the project, you will need to fight against perfectionism. Every project stays a little unfinished because there's always more we can do, but for a small side project you may need to evaluate the time you're spending on making minor improvements.
I hope these tips have been helpful and interesting! If you'd like to see me talk through them in a short video, you can click this link.
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