I design, I develop, I make


A maker based in Upstate New York.
Turning ideas into applications.

© 2024 Mubashar Iqbal

Side Project Learning

January 25th, 2017

I’ve always been a fan of using Side Projects for learning and experimenting with new technology.

When I first used Wordpress, version 0.8, I it was for a side project.

When I first used Rails, version 0.5, it was for a side project.

When I first used Laravel, version 2 (late to the party I know), it was for a side project.

When I first used PhoneGap and Ionic, pre version 1, it was for a side project.

Each one of these is still in my toolkit for building websites and applications.

Learning More

I plan on doing more Side Project Learning this year.

I may not end up using the new technology that I’m learning in my daily work. However, just like when I first used Rails, the things I learned, the things I liked about the new technology, I carried back to my toolkit.

Go, Scala, Haskell the list goes on, look interesting from a backend perspective.

I’d love to do more with Swift and React Native, for mobile applications.

I’d love to do more with Python for building Bots for Messenger, Slack and other platforms.

Javascript on the backend, frontend and everywhere in between continues to evolve and grow, I’d love to keep learning all the new things.

There are probably other things that haven’t even been released yet that I want to learn!

Building More

No amount of reading, watching or listening to other people do things is going to make you better at doing something. The only way to get better is by doing.

Learning by doing!

I want to get better at building things, not just some theoretical, fictional app, something tangible that people can use. Something that will be deployed and used in the real world.

I’m going to take one idea for an application, and build it with things that I have not used before (either a new version or a new technology entirely).

I plan to build a reference implementation first in a language/tool/framework that I am comfortable with, then rebuild it with something new. For example, I may build a mobile application with Ionic, and then rebuild it in Swift and again in React Native.

Knowing how technology and tools differ from each other is a good way to help deciding in the future, what is the best tool for building an idea you may have.

What am I building?

Don’t know yet! If you have a suggestion lets hear it.

It may not end up being just one idea, as it may not work with for all the new technology I want to try this year, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’ll be posting about my learnings, right here, so follow me for updates. I tend to be more active on Twitter if you want more regular updates or just want to know what I’m doing.

Lets make 2017 about learning and growing. About getting better at the things we love to do with Side Projects.