Jamie Starke bio photo

Jamie Starke

I develop for my career, but I also develop for fun, and whenever I think it can solve a problem I'm having. This has lead me to create side projects, such as Rental Map and BusTimes, among others.

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So last weekend, I wrote on Google Plus about how I was looking for a new side project. Although I still haven’t decided on one, I did decide that as I find one, it might be fun to document the journey and the lessons learned.

Lesson one: Finding a side project is hard.

You always want to have something that is going to be meaningful, and perhaps even help people (it’s always easy to minimally do something that helps yourself, until you actively try to do this, then it’s next to impossible to notice any problems you are actually finding.

What I’ve figured out so far:

  • Probably something’s technology based.
    • It’s something I’m skilled at, so I might as well utilize that right?
  • Not necessarily software engineering based.
  • I’d like to do something that can help someone.
  • Having kids does not apply. I just don’t feel like I’m ready for kids yet.
  • I would be eager to incorporate some new technologies, if they apply, just for the experience:
    • iOS
    • HTML5
    • Windows Phone
    • Android
  • Although I enjoy the odd game, I am not a game designer, and would prefer something that helps with productivity, although I am open to suggestions.
  • I have both Windows and Mac machines at my disposal, as well as an iPhone and iPad.
  • Money is a bonus, not the goal.
    • I’ve run a small tech support business before. The money was decent, but it was rarely rewarding.
    • Previous side projects that I enjoyed were creating websites, and web based tools (like TweetSeeker) although I never really made any money off them. TweetSeeker was a work in progress related to a research project that got shelved. Since then, as no one else seems to use it, I just can’t get motivated to advance it.
  • This is to be thought of as a 20% time project (mostly Saturdays, or slow Sundays)

So if anyone else has some ideas, or questions that might help me narrow it down, I’d love the feedback. Comments, or emails are greatly appreciated.

As I mentioned before, I’ll write about the side project as it unfolds, and I’ll tag it as “Side Project” for easy finding.