Side Project Guide

During breaks from work, a great many programmers are willing to write their own codes to build some handy tools, some of which are intended to solve problems encountered by themselves or their friends, otherwise are just for fun. In our terminology, they are referred to as Side Projects. But they should not be looked down upon, for many great projects, like GitHub, Unsplash, Instagram, and so forth, are created as side projects.

Every time we start such projects, side project as they are, we might hope they will be helpful to other people. Maybe this project is of enough value to bring about economic rewards! Yet, truth be told, 99% of the side projects have all remained in the phase of playing around. Three stages for that: first comes enthusiasm, then nobody's ever known this project and at last the project is left aside.

So how do we increase the probability of survival for the side project? Every time you initiate a new project, ask yourself as below:

How to decide whether an idea is good?

How to bring the side project out quickly?

How to tell more people about the side project?

How to turn the side project to the one which can bring income to yourself?

In this guide, I wrote down some thoughts about the questions above, for future use.


Apart from my own experience and thoughts, the guide has turned to these for reference. And thereby they are recommended to be read.

And stories about how side projects become successful famous projects do exist:

GitHub, Unsplash, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

English version is translated and proofread by @MrWillCom, @CLCK0622 and @aeilot (listed in no particular order).