Monday, April 8, 2013

Side Project Hell


That's a prime word I would use if I was held at gun point and told to describe how my side projects are going. Normally, sans the threat if imminent death, I would say my side projects are growing organically and on the verge if completion.  Not really accurate. Full of shit, mostly.

I've preached again and again how vital it is to a web developer to have side projects, to flex your mental muscles. And it's true, that stuff is critical. And it makes you awesome. But it seems like I get 80% of the way through a project, get sidetracked with work or something else, and never finish. Damn it.

I always say to myself, "John, you're so damn good looking."  And that's a topic for another post. But then I say, "Johnny, what if you had 500 bucks coming in every month in passive income?" And I think, well damn you, me, why don't you have that?? I feel like I start a new ambitious side project every 2 months with grand intentions of seeing it through. Arg.

So, what then do we do?

So, what's the answer to this perplexing dilemma?  I know I ain't the only web dev who has a graveyard of near-towards-completed projects out there, shaming me. Taunting me. Giving me the finger.

Part of the problem, I think, is that we work on side projects to try something new and exciting.  Like Node + Express.  Or Angular + Rails.  WHATEVER it may be.  And you realize, after say, 3/4 of the work is done, that you either love the tech and want to use it at work, or you decide you really don't love it and don't want to use it.  Either way, you've lost the 'newness' of the whole experience.  It just becomes either an extension of your regular work, or it becomes a pain in the ass.

So, the answer, I think, is to either A) be a grownup and finish a project.  Get pretty goddam serious about it and just bear through it. The feeling of newness is great, but the feeling of getting your first customer on your own is 20x greater.  And, B) work on some of your side projects in your favorite language/framework/tech.  Like Django.  If we all did our side projects in Django, I think we'd have a 100% conversion rate.

Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. "The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time." — Tom Cargill, Bell Labs (