How to best split your time between work and side projects?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [SEP] at JPMorgan Chasea year ago

For people who work on side projects: I was wondering what is your system when it comes to coding at work and then coding after work? How do you divide your time effectively between the two?

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago

    First thing's first: Make sure you're doing well at work before spending any effort on side projects. Stay in sync with your manager about what's expected of you (our performance review session is linked below to help with that), and make sure you hit those goals. This is why side projects aren't for everyone: Some people have jobs that are too much, so they don't have energy to code more after work.

    That being said, here's how I approached side projects:

    • I made sure I was in a good state at work, delivering what was expected.
    • After work, I would go back home and hack on side projects for 1-2 hours, assuming I didn't have commitments with friends/family.
    • My goal was to turn side projects into a habit. This naturally works with how I prefer to build side projects: Build a v1 quickly, release it, and then make it a little better every day. So every day, I would try to add a new feature or fix a bug, usually requested by a user.
    • If there was something I was trying to learn at work (e.g. showing a content card with shadow), I would try to incorporate it into my side project cleanly first. And then the next day at work, I could copy-paste the side-project code into my workspace!

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