Building my first technical side project in over 4 years

I am four years into my career as a software engineer and a combination of:

  • Working too hard at work
  • Working too hard outside of work
  • Feeling “tech-ed” out
  • Figuring out exactly what my growth needs are

has prevented me from having the real motivation to tackle a technical side project. All that to say, friends — this…is pretty monumental for me. Today — January 28th, 2021 9:46 PM, I have created the dang GitHub repo 🙌 and come up with a project name: spot-i-feels? spotIfeels? SpotiFeels? spotifeels. The naming is the side effect of hanging around a critical mass of non-dad dads at my workplace who pride themselves on punny dad jokes. It has infected me.

spotifeels. It’s a journaling app that — I must pause here. Got to go figure out exactly what the MVP is. Please hold.

One Emoji VSCode extension later, I have a commit pushed up with goals and an initial brainstorm on what spotifeels actually is. In short, it’s a journaling app that creates Spotify playlists for you based on sentiment analysis of your journal entries.

But, for me, that’s not really the important part. In my goals section, you’ll see that my focus is not really on what I’m building but how I’m building it.

The what: something that can sustain my interest for longer than 2 days

But what I’m really trying to do here is give myself an opportunity to fully own a technical project experience. There’s no code review pressure, no deadline pressure beyond my own, and no peer pressure to “understand” and execute before I really understand or adhere to certain practices without understanding why. This is a forum for me to level up my technical architecting, design, and implementation skills and so,

The how:

  • Implement this project with microservice architecture in a monorepo codebase with AWS serverless infrastructure
  • Get feedback from my technical mentors 💜

The how is really what I’m hoping will shine in this journey. I am terrible at ending things, so I will leave you instead with a carefully chosen GIF.

Software Engineer, Co-Founder of W++ Mentorship