If you want to ship a side project, start with unlearning the best practices

Sasha Koss on May 13, 2019

Two years ago was my last week as a software engineer at Toptal where I was leading team of 12 people. Since then I work on my projects full-time. ... [Read Full]
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From dozens of failed projects and gigs to jumping from idea to idea. You just defined my story as if you were reading my mind. This article felt like I wrote it myself! (Difference being that I have less industry experience 🤣 and I'm horrible with words)

I can't wait to share your article. I have this one free app on Google play that took me 3 days to write and publish (the first version of course) and I have a 2 year long project that never saw the light.

Write more of these man!

 

I'm glad it resonated with you! Thank you for showing the support!

What stops you from releasing your two-year long project? Maybe you don't realize, but it's quite ready for its first users? A wise man said that what you should ship product while you still embarrassed about it. When you don't that means it's too late!

I had a breakthrough when I set myself a deadline to ship a web app in a week and did it publicly on Twitter. The combination of constants that made me think about how to reduce the scope and accountability helped to achieve the goal. Once I shipped it on Product Hunt and received a lot of positive feedback I got me wanting more of that. I got hooked!

 

I made the mistake of assuming. As you said, I hadn't even published any piece of it and I was struggling with how I'll be processing credit cards. I added so many features that tech debt caught up with me. I am still looking forward to working on it again. I'm still babysitting the android app for now.

 

I agree with you.

When you are all by yourself, the most important thing is to have something out that solves the core problem well.

I am still in the fail and trying phase and definitely keep that post in mind

 

Good luck with your projects, Emmanuel! You can do it!

 

There’s quite a bit here I don’t agree with, but this, this here is the unadulterated truth.

It doesn't matter how well your code is written, what is test coverage or how fast is it if it never shipped or has no users.

 

I agree with you but I also have a different thought. As you keep learning through your side projects, you progress in knowledge. If you realize this too soon, you may never get that far within dozen years of working. Most of the time people spent at work for running deadline, and you would only learn most in your extra time.

So far, you should keep learning and building in parallel, so that you can still have something to release while keeping up with the world.

 

As I said, it depends on your goals. If you want to learn new tech, a side project is a perfect place for that. It doesn't necessarily mean that you will never ship it, but your chances will be much better if you stick to the stack you already know or at least limit unknowns. When you work on a product, you'll have plenty of learning beside programming: marketing, copy, sales, and support. Of course, it's just a matter of balance, picking a new existing tech might greatly help your motivation on the other hand too much learning could make you miserable when you realize that you work on a feature for a week that could finish in hours if you'd pick familiar framework/language/etc.

Anyways, it depends on context, the free time you have, your project, etc. Do what works best for you!

 
 

Thanks for the article, it's really sum up almost every facing issue while I was working with different kind of projects.

 
 

Refreshing! While I don't necessarily agree I found the article refreshing :)

 
 

Same story as mine. Totally agree :-)
Thanks for writing

 

You're welcome, I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone!

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