Side projects that are not code are good too. The fact of having one is a positive thing, beyond their size or nature (as long as they are legal :P)
You are right, generally, a developer is not going to program something like Facebook as a side/personal project. Nor Evernote, GIMP, or WordPress. Those are humongous projects that cannot realistically be achieved by a single person carving some time here and there. Not in a thousand years.
But I disagree with the part about it not being 1980 anymore. It may not be 1980, but it is 2019, and there are plenty of opportunities to do things. Technology is everywhere and there is not a single task or job that doesn't need some type of software/app. And as the world evolves, the needs change. There may not be a need for (re)developing Evernote or Facebook, but someone needs Jilpop or Fredsoom.
I hope there's not a Jilpop or Fredsoom web/application already
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