It's hard to learn everything on the job. If you don't have a job this concept applies more.
In the early days of the job, you have a lot of new stuff to learn and see how things integrates with everything else. It's exciting learning and filling in knowledge gaps. When you finally understand what to change where, and that works, it's joyful.
The joy decreases as you get comfortable with the codebase.
The tech stack is fixed and rarely changes. Most of the times, you never get to start a codebase from scratch. Consider yourself lucky if you do.
Which makes it difficult experiment as you spend more time at your job. Experimenting is also risky as it involves high stakes. Only the battle tested frameworks and libraries get approved by the management.
It involves a lot of people and a great storytelling ability to introduce a new technology to your team.
Dumb side projects are your playground.
I say dumb because its okay to not build them completely and leave them when they stop interesting you. You don't have to share it with anyone. They can just work for you.
The upsides are huge.
They can be solutions to your unique problems. Imagine building something for yourself, with a new framework you want to experiment with. Along with pleasing that *"shiny new framework syndrome"*, you also make your life easy.
If you wish to share it with your friends, which is honestly a whole lot of work, you make their life easy too. Maybe you can charge them for it. This is just a choice and you can let your project to be dumb.
While working on these, you pick up valuable skills that help you for life. If you face a similar problem you've already solved, maybe at work, it becomes dead easy to solve.
Starting new projects become easier. Because the next time, you know what all you need and can make better choices.
Choosing tech becomes easier. If you are fortunate enough to start a project at work, you will know what to recommend. You have already had hands on experience.
Did you learn anything from your dumb projects or are you waiting to start one?
That's all for now, see you next Tuesday 👋