Personal Projects (Passion, Bugs and DevOps)

One question I have not been asked in a Job Interview is to discuss my “Personal Projects”. On I have 21 public repositories and 5 private repositories. (I should add at least another 3 private repositories and a public repository based on my current personal projects)

Personal Projects show a developer’s passion for his craft. While at work you are told what languages, frameworks and libraries to use. On your personal projects you are free to explore the wild open expanse of developer options. To be honest I believe 80% of what I have learnt as a developer has been due to working on my personal projects.

If I have learnt 80% of my skills on personal projects, why is this not a question in interviews to find out what people are really teaching themselves?

The stage of development of a personal project is also quite important. If a personal project is being done for learning it’s stage is unimportant. But if a developer has a personal project that has been released for common consumption it probably means the developer has learnt a lot about software release management, software quality i.e. it is likely the developer worries about bugs and bug management!

If personal projects can help a person learn about software quality and bug management why is it not used in interviews to judge a developers commitment to quality? now has github actions. Github actions can be used to build CI/CD pipelines. If a developer is using github actions for build and deployment they understand the basics of DevOps. (I dont yet use github actions, but it is on my todo list.)

If by asking about a developers personal projects we can find out about their knowledge, belief in and use of DevOps why arnt we asking about it in interviews?

For any developer looking for a job, your repositories are a part of your CV. Publish your broken attempts at making things work, publish your pet projects, work on other developers repositories, and make use of the tools available. Tell everyone who is interested in your projects (probably only Geeks like myself want to know what you are working on, but tell everyone anyway). Use your personal projects to show potential employers what you are capable of.

PS. I actually have been asked about my personal projects before – One interview I did was basically a comprehensive code review of one of my public projects. Based on that experience I make sure I keep updating my active repos and adding new repo’s as I learn new things.

PPS. Please send me a link, or comment below with a link, to your own github profile. I’d love to see what people are working on 🙂


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