13 Comments
Apr 7Liked by Nicola Ballotta

Great tips, Nicola!

Side projects are life savers.

When I was actively freelancing, I could use them in proposals, and working more like a full-time contractor helped me grow my audience on Twitter. While doing all this, I usually learned a new framework, language, or platform.

Although I haven't grown any side projects to a profitable level, they have had implicit consequences for my freelancing income.

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I was not really aware you were such a polymath! You can definitely learn and integrate your knowledge from other fields!

As a matter of fact, I had to abandon temporarily my newsletter project because it was taking too much of my family time and my energies. With a family with children is very tricky, but if you have such a personality it's even trickier letting things go their way. To find the balance it's really important.

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Apr 5Liked by Nicola Ballotta

Love this, Nicola. I always have struggled with finding the time and energy for side projects.

Seeing the specific plan you're sharing here on how to find time for them is inspiring. I will try to rearrange my calendar for them.

I guess also what can help is picking small projects first. To get yourself up and running. As choosing complex or lengthy projects can put you off.

Also, allocating specific small time limited tasks. Eat the elephant one bite at a time :)

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author

Thanks Basma! What I forgot to mention, is that side projects are not mandatory. I know a lot of great engineers or managers who just focus on their job πŸ™‚

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Yeah I agree. I have seen other engineers who focus to building stuff in their job.

I think it may become more required if your day to day job doesn't include hands-on building big scale projects.

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I really like the framework you mentioned here Nicola. Also +100 on the learning from a side project, since it should be something you keep looking forward to work and super motivating.

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author

Thanks, Sebastiano! I'm glad you found the framework helpful πŸ™‚

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I was a little sad seeing book as the least useful thing on the first graphics, but overall appreciated your framework.

I have used side projects mostly as a stress buster, but the idea of growing your skill set, sounds very interesting. I’m going to try it out!

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author

Akash, it's just a visual to emphasize the fact that you learn more from practice than from just reading. If you read last week's article, it's all about books 😊

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Haha, yeah, fair enough. Yep, I've read that post! Absolutely agreed, simply reading doesn't add much value, until we apply what we read.

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Apr 5Liked by Nicola Ballotta

How to choose an open source project? Do you have any advise for that? Can you please write if that's something you have done I in the past.

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author

Hi Laveena!

I'm not a developer; I'm more on the system engineering side. While I'm very familiar with open-source software, I've never really contributed to any project.

My main suggestion though, is to look at GitHub and choose smaller projects, even if they are not famous, because contributing to bigger projects might become stressful and energy-draining. Another suggestion I have is to pick projects that could potentially benefit your work. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone.

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Apr 5Liked by Nicola Ballotta

The part I struggled is which small project. I wish there were some resources to find it. People mention a ton about contributing to open source. But people who contribute to open source are mainly either the folks who build it or need a feature in it. If there are people who are contributing for building skills and profile. I want to hear from them. But thanks for giving it a thought.

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