Software Developer Side Projects: TDI 35

software-developer side projects
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“If it weren’t for my side projects, I don’t think I would have broken into the industry or got the jobs that I did.”

via Yujin Cho (@yujinjcho) on Threads

Welcome @yujinjcho, let’s talk about side projects, what are some side projects you are working on?

Hey @ryan.swanstrom thanks for having me. I’m really looking forward to catching up today!

My current side project is leveling up my design skills.

Typically I’d make some new app (web usually) trying out different tech but this time I’m using one ( I made a while back so I don’t get distracted on the other stuff.

I’ve been reading a few books on the topic and have been learning how to use Figma and its been pretty fun.

Do you have a process for choosing a side project? Work-related? Personal interest related? Fun?

Don’t really have much of a process. Usually just depends on what I’m interested in and it’s all fun!

A lot of times it’s to learn something new.

I initially built the lifting app to try out the chatgpt api and see if it could predict future workouts based on previous workouts.

It didn’t do that well so I removed the feature but that was several months ago so maybe it would do better now.

I tried supabase and vercel for the first time too for that.

Sometimes I’ll have an idea that I think is cool and I’ll build it.

e.g. movie recommendations, budgeting, something for collecting job information based on inbound from recruiters

I’ll also do projects to learn work-related things e.g. language, frameworks, etc.

I usually try not to get too bogged down on the idea and just pick something that seems interesting.

Would you recommend side projects to other developers? Why?

I think it depends on the person, their priorities, and what they enjoy. I could understand if someone didn’t want to spend more time on the computer outside of work.

That being said I think there are a lot of benefits so generally I would.

You can try out and learn whatever you want. It’s a good opportunity to expand your skills. If it weren’t for my side projects, I don’t think I would have broken into the industry or got the jobs that I did.

It’s also a creative outlet.

You can make something work however you want and don’t need to ask anyone for permission.

Overall, I enjoy learning and I think the best way to learn is to actually do the thing and side projects are a way to do that.

Let’s switch gears. How did you get into weightlifting?

I started working out in college. I didn’t really know what I was doing and mostly hung out with friends there.

Before I graduated, I got into barbell lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press). I liked the relatively simple programming.

Over the past ten years, I’ve been on and off a bunch. I’d usually get too eager and end up hurting myself.

I’ve been working out consistently for about two years now and have been focusing on slow gradual progress and good form.

What similarities do you find between training for weight lifting and learning new tech skills?

I think in terms of learning it helps to not just do something but actively try to improve.

A lot of my injuries were due to lifting the same way all the time.

It wasn’t until I started recording my form, reading books, and watching lifting videos that I started to get see areas for improvement.

Likewise, when I first started programming, I knew how to build things but not how to structure code in a maintainable way.

Reading different technical books and trying the things that were recommended helped me improve.

Another thing is you have to figure out what works for you.

A lot of people have different recommendations and it’s up to you to not just accept them but think through the pros and cons, try it out and make your own decision.

How can people find you elsewhere online?

@ryan.swanstrom it was really great doing this. Thanks again for having me!

Threads is probably the best place. If you want to be business friends we can connect on LinkedIn too (in my profile)!

See the full interview on Threads: @ryan.swanstrom • Threads Dev Interview #35 with @yujinjcho I am finding developers on Threads and interviewing the… • Threads





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