~ 2 min read

How to pick technologies for your personal projects?

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The common joke when it comes to programmers and personal projects is

> Number of projects started: 100
> Number of projects finished: OH! new idea for a project!
> Number of projects started: 101

It’s funny cause it’s true.

But there are still tons of value in creating personal projects, most of us use this as an opportunity to learn something new. As software moves at the speed of light (look, a new javascript framework!), we constantly find ourselves needing to keep up with the latest trends. (wait, you’re saying we need rust to run javascript now? I guess that’s fine if I can save 100ms).

To me, the most important things when picking a tech stack are the following:

  • it’s fun to use
  • it’s fun to use
  • and it’s fun to use.

But also it’s a good learning experience. I don’t see much value in building a personal project for fun if you run create-react-app for the hundredth time. (unless, of course, you are building it for a real project, which, as my favorite project managers like to say, falls outside the scope of this project)

Oh, on a side note, try to build it without having to spend money hosting. There are plenty of good options to host your project for free. (unfortunately, Heroku is no longer a viable option, but you do have until November of this year, so just enough time to build 3 to 5 projects).

We should not forget that coding is fun, and that’s a critical piece of the personal project. What do you enjoy building? Want to learn a new UI framework? Great. Want to learn a new language? Awesome. Just go have fun with it, push yourself a bit, and pick up something new.

Even if the new shiny framework isn’t widely adopted where you might not use it for your work just yet (looking at you Bun. I have high hope for you, but can’t quite put you in production yet.)

As I mentioned in my first blog post, I learned Astro while rebuilding my personal site. I found a new shiny framework that looked cool and decided to learn it. Could it have gone horrible where I would need to rebuild the site again? Possibly, but then again, I’d get to find another shiny framework and rebuild the site. So what’s the downside?

Go! Have fun and start some new projects!