I’ll be presumptuous and guess that if you’re reading this you too keep a list of ideas somewhere. Made up of apps, websites and side projects. Intentions made to yourself to learn something new, create something useful or simply to be something different from the day job.
My list is full of bad ideas. Some of them I don’t understand anymore. Occasionally there’s a decent one. A rare few graduate into an abandoned GitHub repo. An even rarer few see the light of day. I used to beat myself up about the lack of personal projects I would release over a year. Put it down to the quality of ideas or lousy discipline, my list just kept growing.
Last month a future piece of abandonware had me writing Ruby. I haven’t released a single project where I meaningfully wrote Ruby. Yet writing this Ruby plugin required nominal Googling.
I’ve since realised that all side projects, whether they’re a polished piece of work or simply a couple of words in a list, have their benefits.
Last month I benefited from an exposure to Ruby. This month might be the knowledge of an API or simply the flexing of problem solving muscles. All gained from those bad ideas and abandoned GitHub repos. Releasing a project can be rewarding but it’s easy to forget that it isn’t the only reward on offer.