The Developer Urge to Start New Projects (and how to stick to your current ones)

The Developer Urge to Start New Projects (and how to stick to your current ones)


5 min read

It's a casual day of coding on a project that I've been working on for about a month. While learning how to implement a new feature, I got an idea of how to use what I exactly learned in a new project. I go over to my GitHub account, and create a new repository, while the dozens of incomplete projects watch me do it. (Find it relatable?! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜‚)

The Developer Urge to Start New Projects support meme.jpg

What is it about new projects that we drop the current ones we're working on? Why are they (generally speaking) more fun? and how do we stick to the current work before moving on to new projects?

I've been thinking about this and to solve them, I reached out to my mentors, seniors and peers in my college. What I learnt was much more than what I thought the answer to this could be!

Personally, I feel that whenever I learn something new I must try and implement it somewhere to explore all sides of it. This goes on like a domino effect, one new learning, triggers another project and there's always something new to learn in every project.

Obviously, my opinion didn't leave me satisfied and to know more about this and how to stick to the current projects I was working on, I got words from my seniors on this.

As Developers we need to understand that not all side projects need to be completed. Every projects is an opportunity and a valuable experience to learn something new regardless of it's success or failure. Only when you're strongly committed to a project will you be able to complete, or until you're getting paid for it XD. - Snehil

๐Ÿคฏ Yep, that's how I felt too. It's okay to have numerous uncompleted projects, they're all part of you're developer journey and helped you get where you are today. Some points to mention to stick to your current projects,

  1. Write down your new ideas somewhere, someplace that you know you will refer to frequently.
  2. This way your head is clear on only what you're working on.
  3. When you're somewhat free, you can pick up stuff from the list and start to work on it.

It's easier to start new projects because they're simple to initiate and not as simple as completing already ongoing projects. - Avichal and Arindam

Human nature is that we choose the path of least resistance we can take up, and yes, new projects are much easier to set up, there's no bound to complete them, and it's much simpler than finishing ongoing projects. Some ways to stick to your current projects,

  1. The way to stick to your project is to work on ones that solve a personal problem, something that you're passionate to find a solution for, not something that will make your resume shine. This way, you'll be more dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to the end.
  2. Work on projects that place you in the right challenging zone, you implement what you already know, and you also put in the effort to add something extra, something you didn't know before and nothing too complicated.
  3. Break your projects into small pieces and make a plan to complete them on a daily basis.
  4. Work on projects that you're passionate about, or even if it's a simple clone project, add additional features that you think will improve the app as a whole.

A new project gives us a clean canvas to work, a start of the project is the time when you can go creative, a new design, new APIs and a completely new outlook. Current projects can get really boring, I think constant progress is the only thing which can keep you going once you stumble. - Hardik Garg

Constant progress is the process of doing something consistently. Without consistency a flow is broken and it's difficult to regain the momentum there once was.

It's a very common experience to go through. From my personal experience, I can say that we tend to loose interest in a project if we work on it for too long. - Gaurav Prasad

In order to deal with this,

  1. Create milestones for your projects.
  2. Track them and work on it consistently.
  3. After achieving it, start doing the same with the second project as well.

Make sure that the time allocated is not to long to make it boring. Always try to understand the project as a whole before coding into it.

If you're working on a project with a vision and a goal, you'll avoid skipping on it. However, if you're working on a project just for the sake of doing it, you'll jump from one to another. - GS Thina

Yep, agree with this one. Until you know that it provides a long run benefit to you or to others, there will be no reason to stick to it in the short term.

It's better to not commit to new projects until you're done with the older ones. - Vivek

What are you own personal theories on this topic?

In Conclusion

New Projects are fun, they help stimulate our creative minds and as developers it's a part of the process to have many unfinished projects and it's nothing to feel guilty about. It's human nature to get bored or to go to what seems more interesting than to stick to what you're currently doing right now. I've gotten a lot of great insights from this and will be back to answer such questions with great insights! Stay tuned.