Why developers should build side projects

What is a side project ?

A side project is simply any work you do outside your main job for fun. It might be programming, or building a website, or contributing to open source projects.

You can build side projects whenever you have the spare time and get paid for it, like if you build a website or write an app on Codepen or tooling for Android during lunch. Find out what it takes to build side projects and learn how you can make extra money

Side projects helps you improve your skills

Side projects are created as a means to an end. They may not always be about making money, but they are there for additional skill sets and knowledge gathering.

As such, they can be an important part of your career development and personal growth.

Side projects helps you experiments with new technologies

By building and releasing side projects, you learn a lot about the larger development community. Pick a popular library or utility framework your side project can leverage, like Lodash or React Router, to learn more about those projects.

Every completed project is an opportunity to expand your portfolio with new skills and credibility.

Side projects helps you find a new job or opportunities

They are basically micro tools or projects which you can use to build great soft skills. It's a brilliant way to build diversity in your programming career with specialized skills but no salary commitment.

Developers who build side projects are more likely to land low-risk jobs that match their skills. Their side projects often give them new skills they can use to land those jobs.

There is a saying that goes “knowledge is power” and more knowledge means more power. If you have more knowledge about programming, you will have more power to land your dream job!

Side projects increase creativity

It's no secret: having a side project is an excellent way to stay motivated when you're feeling burnt out or demotivated. They allow you to take time out from the relentless monotony that is day-to-day work.

By building side projects, you are able to spend time on improving original ideas and less time fighting deadlines and responsibilities, so there is more room for creativity and less limits to what you can achieve.


Working on side projects will keep you accountable to what you learn and keep you motivated in your daily work. When you are completing a side project, you are also representing your own development skills to anyone who may be hiring.