As a Software Engineer who works in Web Development. I want to share to you guys the "why" & benefits of doing pet projects, based on my experience and achievements.
TL;DR: improve hard skills (from code to server), enrich CV and could be your new Startup.
Put it simply, they are your own projects to solve any problems that you wanted to solve.
You can do anything that you want, that's your own world. Nobody tells you to do so, it's just you, based on your ideas.
In real life, not everything you wanted to do, you get to do it on your daily work. Eg: my company is using Java, I want to use Go but there is no way to use it.
By working on pet projects, you can use anything that you want, any languages, any tools, create your best structure, patterns,...
Hands-on experience is always better.
During the time you work on your pet projects, problems will come, obstacles will block your way. But once you solved them, it'll become valuable experience.
Once your projects grow, you'll grow with it.
Once your project is done, let's deploy it ONLINE so you can share it to everybody about your work, ask for suggestions,...
Within this phase, you will learn a lot of valuable things like:
- Domain: how it works, DNS,...
- Setup necessary software(s) for your app
- Manual deploy
- Automate deploy - CI/CD
Yes, it's gonna cost some bucks, some advice:
- You can always find for a cheap domain to buy, just Googling it.
- There are a lot of providers that selling cheap VPS (Virtual Private Server), starting from $5 USD
After your app is up and LIVE. In order to have visitors, you need to learn about SEO - Search Engine Optimization.
Some basic stuff will be:
- Register your website to all the popular Search Engines, eg: Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo,...
- Prepare sitemap.xml for the Search Engines
- Optimizing your page render speed
- Render your HTML content SEO-friendly
- Prepare good meta tags
- Readable URL (slug)
- Share your website on Social Media publicly
Website or web-app won't get many visitors at first. Let's wait and keep it running, at least 6 or 12 months.
You can list your project(s) in your CV and share the achievements.
It could be an additional point to the interviewer. To prove that you have the particular experience on these kinds of Technies.
What if my project solves problems/pain of a lot of people?
What if there are more and more people going to use my web app.
OMG congrats, that's a great starting point to invest more and make it become your own Startup. At this point, you can think and plan to monetize your app.
That's a big achievement, isn't it?
If not, well, we can try another idea next time. At least I improved my hard skills 😉
I have 2 pet projects, they are up and running. And yes, it is monetized. Both are running more than 2 years. Yes, achievements come little and little, let's wait for the magic happen slowly 🌷 no need to push hard or anything.
- 1st is having around 15k visitors per day, monetized via Ads ⭐.
- 2nd is having 100+ paid subscribers 🐱🏍.
Now I'm doing the 3rd project with cool idea and really looking forward to publishing it in the next 2 months 😝
Thanks and I hope this topic helps and motivates you guys!