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Reasons why you need to do Pet Projects

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Reasons why you need to do Pet Projects

Seth Phat's photo
Seth Phat
ยทJan 3, 2023ยท

4 min read

Hi guys,

As a Sr.SWE who works mostly in Web Development. I want to share with you guys the "why" & benefits of doing pet projects, based on my experience and achievements.

TL;DR:

  • Improve hard skills (from code to server)

  • Enrich your CV

  • Could be your next Startup

What are Pet Projects?

To put it simply, they are your own projects to solve any problems that you want to solve.

You can do anything that you want, that's your own world. Nobody tells you to do so, it's just you, based on your ideas.

Example: today I want to create a SaaS app which people can subscribe to solve ABC, XYZ,... problems. It would make their life easier,...

Also a small tip: always research your "market" first (the need, the users,...)

Reasons & Benefits

Improve your hard skills

In real life, not everything you wanted to do, you would get to do in your daily work.

Eg: my company is using Java, but today I want to use Go => There is no way my company allow that. (yes they might have some budget to learn new stuff, but that's all)

By working on pet projects, you can use anything you want:

  • Any languages: Node & TypeScript, Go, Erlang,... you name it.

  • Any tools, any DBMS

  • Create your own super-awesome structure

  • Follow great patterns

  • ...

Hands-on experience is always better, isn't it?

During the time you work on your pet projects, problems and obstacles will block your way. But once you solved them, it'll become a valuable experience.

Once your projects grow, you'll grow with them. That's what we call: progressive.

Learn about Deployment / Cloud

Once your project is done, let's deploy it ONLINE so you can share it with everybody about your work, ask for suggestions,...

Within this phase, you will learn a lot of valuable things:

  • Domain: how it works, DNS,...

  • Server:

    • Setup necessary software(s) for your app

    • Deploy

      • Manual deploy

      • Automatic deploy - CI/CD

    • Securities

Yes, it's gonna cost some bucks, some advice:

  • You can always find a cheap domain to buy, by just Googling it.

  • There are a lot of providers that sell cheap VPS (Virtual Private Server), starting from $5 USD

Check it out for some tricks: https://sethphat.dev/cheap-services-you-would-need-for-a-budget-pet-project

Learn about SEO - Search Engine Optimization

After your app is up and LIVE. In order to have visitors (and customers), you need to learn about SEO - Search Engine Optimization.

Some basic stuff will be:

  • Register your website to all the popular Search Engines, eg: Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo,...

  • Prepare sitemap.xml for the Search Engines

  • Optimizing your page render speed

  • Render your HTML content SEO-friendly

  • Prepare good meta tags

  • Readable URL (slug)

  • Share your website on Social Media publicly

A website or web app won't get many visitors at first.

Let's wait and keep it running, for at least 6 months or 1 year. The longer the better.

Enrich your CV

You can list your project(s) in your CV and share your achievements.

It could be an additional point to the interviewer. To prove that you have a particular experience with these kinds of Technies.

It could become your own Startup

  • What if my project solves the problems/pain of a lot of people?

  • What if there are more and more people going to use my web app?

  • What if....?

OMG congrats, that's a great starting point to invest more and make it become your own Startup. At this point, you can think and plan to monetize your app.

Yes, people won't be happy at first, but time will answer if it is really worth the price ๐Ÿฅณ

That's a big achievement, isn't it?

If not, well, we can try another idea next time. At least I improved my hard skills ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Achievements so far

I have 2 pet projects, they are up and running. And yes, it is monetized. Both are running for more than 2 years.

Yes, achievements come little and little (I really cherish them), so let's wait for the magic to happen slowly ๐ŸŒท no need to push hard or anything.

  • 1st is having around 15k visitors per day, monetized via Ads โญ.

  • 2nd is having 300+ paid subscribers ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ.

Now I'm doing the 3rd project with a cool idea and really looking forward to publishing it in the next 2 months ๐Ÿ˜

Thanks and I hope this topic helps and motivates you guys!

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