Adam Elmore, aka “adamdotdev” recently posted a YouTube Short about “developers and side projects” and as someone who always has no less than two side projects at any time, this resonated with me.

In his video, Adam asked an interesting question - why are we the “only” professionals that do side projects? You don’t hear your friends in Marketing, Finance, IT, or often even the trades talking about side projects. This got me thinking - why do we do side projects?

So, why do developers do side projects?

Reasons may vary from person to person, but these are some of mine:

But do I have to?

Definitely not! Just because you don’t do side projects, doesn’t make you a “bad developer.” At the same time, doing side projects doesn’t make you a “10x developer” either. You should do side projects only because you want to. With family and life obligations, sometimes it’s just not feasible to do side projects on top of your day job.

Tips for side projects

While they aren’t for everyone, I think side projects have a lot of value. What do you think about side projects? Do you think they’re important? Do you have any in progress? Reach out on Mastodon to share your thoughts.