Side Projects: Your First Gig

There’s a pervasive myth out there: quality naturally rises to the top. It’s bullshit. Good work doesn’t sell itself. If you’re a junior developer, hunting for your first job, the same principle applies. I’ve interviewed countless junior developers and I have some bad news: there are a lot of you. Usually with similar levels of experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. You need to sell yourself.

I know what you’re thinking. “Okay Brian, that’s great. But how do I do that?”

There’s one thing that helped me early on in my career more than anything else: side projects.

Coming out of school or a bootcamp your resume isn’t going to be jam-packed with programming experience. And that’s okay! But it makes it hard for a potential employer to see why they should hire you over someone else. A side project or two under your belt shows you’re motivated to learn new skills and committed to improving your craft. Not to mention, going through the entire process of releasing a product – brainstorming, executing, then marketing an idea – gives you valuable experience that many of your peers will lack.

If you haven’t started a side project yet, what’s holding you back? Get started today!

Tired of never shipping your side projects?

Check out 5 free lessons on mistakes developers make.


I share my best articles with the Monday Mailer, my weekly newsletter for developers about shipping side projects, being more productive, and doing your best work. Sign up below to get the next one in your inbox.