010: On side projects
While having a bit of free time between 2 contracts last january, I decided to build a website for my own, the first time in 10 years. (it’s a nerdy data visualisation about NBA data - if you follow this blog, you know I’m love basketball). Later in the year, I built another experiment website to track the things I’m not learning on Wikipedia everyday :-)).
The 2 links are here:
While these 2 small projects are purely driven by fun (I don’t plan to make any money out of it), I had a lot on the way. 5 points:
- Learning new skills: Both of the frontends are using Vue which I really enjoyed learning (especially the data visualisation aspect of Hoopcharts) and I discovered how to build a browser extension for Today I Learned.
- Trying new technologies: It’s very refreshing (as a software engineer) to be able to pickup new technologies I wanted to explore).
- Build it from scratch: Most of the projects I work nowadays are large applications that involves many components and technologies, and while I understand most of the parts, my day job now as a contractor only really involves working with a small subset of them (mainly backends). I strongly believe the only way to really understand complext systems is to build one yourself. There’s a learning curve of course, but the struggle is actually the progress of learning and understanding all the small gotchas.
- Developing your creativity: I wanted to create and use these 2 projects for myself mainly. Of course I may ditch these websites at some point, but at least I created something for myself :-)