Do personal programming projects make you better - YES
by Andy Flagg, Publication Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019
View Count: 201, Keywords: Programming, Personal Projects, Self Improvement, Hashtags: #Programming #PersonalProjects #SelfImprovement
Work on personal projects in our own time and space, even with a family, and you will be a happy camper in your career and home life. If you are just an employee, you go to work, come home, and that's it, fine - we need those type; called maintainers and sustaining employees. They do the mundane daily grind work and prefer the stability and predictability in that, and get paid okay but nothing like the movers and shakers, project leaders and go getters who take the company to the next level and repeat it quarterly if not sooner and on multi-projects at once.
I have seen some people only capable of single threaded, one thing at a time mentality. Sucks to be them, but hey, we need those type too, not really, but hey, its a big world and there are plenty out there who know how to multi-task efficiently and happily without complaint.
For me, when it comes to personal projects, every time I interview someone or prepare someone to come to an interview, and its a programming job, I ask them to bring 500 lines of code of their latest project (personal and non-confidential). Some have it and some don't. My last programmer job type interview, I asked for that very thing, and out of 10 candidates, only 1 came with the code. That person got hired. Not because they brought the code, but because they demonstrated in their code that it was all the things we were looking for, and that was the best decision ever.
Have I gone to a job interview unprepared? yep, once really bad. The requirements for the interview was to give a prepared presentation, and that little tidbit was not relayed to me by the search coordinator, so I looked very bad and of course, who would have known. Well, I did not get the job. Meant to be anyhow, because it was a dead end job and I was already working for the company and saw who they hired and boy was I glad that I did not take it. It turned out to be totally wrong, and the title of the job and pay was not even close to what I would have expected. Sad, true and a very dead end job. No one likes that.
Well, about personal projects, have a few, and stay focused on them, and your family will appreciate your dedication to your passion, both family, work, and hobbies, and those things that add to your life and overall happiness and value.
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