As a programmer I like to try out new programming languages and technologies. That is how most of us find our self a new side project to thinker with between our day jobs and lives. Like many of us, I also had many side projects which were never even finished or saw a light of day, but that doesn't mean I stopped working or looking for new ones. And from there is how I got into amateur mobile development for android.
Like most I always fell great when starting a new personal project as I know I don't have a strict deadline or client that will change his/her mind mid project and make me do it all over, and even if I did that to myself I would still enjoy it as I would think of it as a new project and not a rework of the old one. And the best part about those projects is that I can do them when ever and how ever I feel like it. But the said truth about most of our side projects is that sooner or later they just die and get left on some external hard drive or a privet repository. In some rear cases one might get completed and live to see the light of day, and form some they will prove to be more profitable then their current job or will just be published but without much activity on it.
One good example of this is my mobile app called Banja Luka WiFi. I created it out of boredom and sheer desire to see if I can actually do it. And this is the actual story behind it:
One day I was lying in my bed and looking at a facebook group that was starting to grow in popularity. The point of it was to hold WiFi password of coffee shops around my town so people could connect to them without having to go in and order something to be able to get a password from the waiter. But than I realized as good of an idea that is, it has its flows, such as that in order for me to connect to a certain network I would need to remember all those passwords or go online and check posts in that group to be able to connect to network so I can go online (see the flaw ?). So I thought it would be fun to try and create a mobile app which would have a remote server that stores all those networks and a user to have a mobile app which will connect to that server once it is online and store all those passwords locally on the users device and allow the user to search for a certain password if he / she needs it.
And that is how I started learning java and mobile development and published my first mobile app. But I also have a lot of projects which were never finished and most likely they never will be even tho they were fun and seemed like they could be useful to someone else rather than just me.
But also I've read stories from other developer who actually took their side project and turned it into a full time job and even developed full businesses around them (take Facebook for example, but there are more). And even tho at first most of us would think that these side projects won't do much or would live long enough for someone to actually use them, that can all change overnight and they could become the next big thing everyone is using or talking about. Or that might not happen but your project still gets to see the light of day and some people find it useful.
Whatever the case might be, the conclusion of my story is that side projects should always have a YES as an answer if someone asks are you doing any. So they help you keep your old skill sharp but also help you learn new things if you diced to do them in a new programming language, but also help you to relax and take your mind off of your daily problems and struggles at work (See CFH.net or DevRent for some laughs and true stories).
I've decided to move my blog from my personal website to here as I think it just might find a better audience :)
So I'll be migrating those few posts I have there on to here, and try to come up with new ones. I hope you will like it, and if you have any questions/suggestions please fell free to let me know