Don’t share your hobby projects for the wrong reasons

There is a consistent thread in my career, other than not having been fired from a project since 2001. It is the repeated failure to carry an Open-Source project that deserves to be called more than an amateur attempt. I throw in the towel. I’m not going to breathe new life into my Hibernate-killing polyglot ORM framework for the JVM. And if I do, I won’t share it with the world. I have given up and given in, and I know exactly why it happened – or rather didn’t happen.

We’ve all heard and probably repeat the claim that any serious developer should boast an impressive portfolio of Open-Source work. I’m not talking about being a core contributor to the likes of Spring or the Apache foundation. If that were a prerequisite to landing a job, I think few of us would work at all. I mean the thousands of one-man-band projects out there on github in varying stages of abandonment. Merely showing your job is also your hobby doesn’t make you special.

Image from
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A problem just begging to be automated

Last January I wrote a post on programming just for fun, by way of introducing my new portfolio website I promised an update, so here goes.
Hobby projects: the word has a derogatory ring to it, but I think they are vital to your relevance as a developer and a way to stay motivated. Maybe you work at a place where you enjoy unlimited freedom to build what you fancy using whatever tools rock your boat, but that’s not how it usually works in the for-profit world. That world doesn’t revolve around you, except in your universe of private projects.

From the promotional poster of our play Fair Trade
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