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How to become a pro-level developer by working on simple projects.

It is very frustrating when you know the basics of your stacks but can't land a job or even be given a chance to join a team as an intern. After lots of years of experience in software development, learned that a lot of programmers don't get to that dream height because of their lack of active participation in their chosen stack.
A good way to tackle this is to keep an active participation in open-source projects. Yes, I understand that it can be discouraging to contribute to something and not get paid for it but that is the sacrifice you have to make as a software developer this is not something you have to spend hours on every day. Three hours or less daily is enough to grow your experience over time.
As we all know, the best way to grow is by working on a real project, but the challenge is that nobody wants a noob in their real project. I want to keep building simple projects that will give you the same level of experience as an industry professional. Yes, simple projects that touch almost everything that you will see when working on big projects.
How do you get started building your experience and staying active in them?
Throughout 2024, I am going to be starting industry-standard open-source projects on GitHub and making room for entry-level developers to come in, practice their skills, and grow on their experience.

Starting with A Weather App: This a simple project but upon completion, the contributors will gain experience in API integrations, experience in working with a team, and experience in the use of GitHub and basic Git operations. This is in addition to the development of their coding skills and active participation.

Hello, Software Engineers on X (formerly Twitter).

Let us keep an active coding skill. Contribute to this open source Weather App. I have started with the HTML, who will do the CSS? Who will do the JS?

Let's go!

— South-East General (@upgrade1010) January 8, 2024

Top comments (8)

hseritt profile image
Harlin Seritt

I would encourage anyone to start their own OSS projects so that you can stay focused on something that means something to you. AND ... join an additional one or two -- this way you get to see how others work and you can learn more things you would never have thought of if you were only working on your own. I joined one and picked up on how to manage many people on a project and how to manage dependencies (I thought I was an expert it -- I was way wrong). Thanks for the write up, arize!

arize99 profile image

Thanks for the contribution Harlin. Like you said, you will always learn something new working with people. Like you added, it's good to have your own personally projects, you might be motivated by them after some time. Seeing what you built when you knew less could actually mean a lot. Kudos!

fjones profile image

Please don't start OSS projects just for the sake of it. Between project rot and the huge saturation of projects, it's doomed to be unfulfilling unless you happen to have something very useful on your hands. Contribute to existing ones, find something adjacent to your ideas and integrate those there if appropriate, but don't produce even more small abandonware projects (and, yes, no matter how passionate you are and how much you cling to it for balance, the majority of these projects will end up "finished" and unmaintained, or niche and unsustainable without additional contributors).

lameops profile image
Noam Guy

@fjones is 100% right. Unless you bring something which is truly unique, don't waste your time on creating it from scratch. Join the one open source project that is closest to your vision and help them to "get there".

ctnkaan profile image
Çetin Kaan Taşkıngenç

I kind of look unemployment as a job as well. Side projects teach you a lot. Even more than jobs do sometimes. In my opinion, while unemployed if you look at unemployment as a "job" and build stuff, learn new skills you'll thrive in no time.

sarahs profile image
Sarah Schlueter

Thank you for posting this! I have been wanting to make my first contribution to open source for a long time but haven't been able to find a project that was simple enough to get my feet wet. Thanks to you, I've made my first contribution. 😊

np03a170120 profile image
Season Shrestha

Can we do this in react/next ?

humjerry profile image

This is a great way to start. Hopefully Will do this someday.

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