Concerning personal projects

Published in Miscellanious
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As someone who loves programming, both as the art of solving problems with well-written code and as a vast tech field with lots of new tech and paradigms to play with, I try to dedicate some of my time to personal projects. Those more or less complicated applications (usually web apps since that's my bread and butter) exist for me to tinker with something new and for any potential employers to assess my technical skills.

One of the problems with such projects is that I sometimes get bored of them. Then they either stay on your Github profile, vague ghosts of interesting ideas, or they disappear from the face of the Internet completely. Neither of those outcomes are great for my portfolio, nor they help me to really experience any technology.

Interesting library -> Pet project -> Boredom -> Abandonment

A lifecycle of some pet projects. Repeat ad nauseum.

So, as another project grinds down in a state of half-completeness, I cannot help but notice a pattern. The only projects of mine that receive any sorts of updates are the ones that I use more or less frequently. This blog, Billy Bones, Autoreddit (before I stopped using Reddit as much). All those receive some attention every once in a while. On the other hand, projects that I don't use aren't receiving any work.

My smaller projects (including ones I did as assignments for hiring) are all finished, but my bigger pet projects are sometimes barely even started before I get bored of them and abandon them.

Frequently used and small survive, big and rarely used die.

A diagram reflecting the survivability of my pet projects.

I won't lie, I perceived myself as someone who can maintain a complex project for the sake of maintaining a complex project. So naturally, this discovery is a bit disheartening to me. But on the other hand, it's also eye-opening. This information shows me the direction to move.

Perhaps I'll try making more web games, since, well, I love games. Perhaps I'll try and look around the house, try to find out what can be improved with some home grown web apps. And I'll try to whip up ideas for a quick project or two to try myself at some new tech. I really wanna dig into Clojure and Elixir...

Thank you very much for reading! As always, I'd be happy to see your thoughts, so please leave a comment!

All pics in this post are made with Inkscape, a nice FOSS drawing tool!