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#1 kraz0r12  Icon User is offline

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What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:32 PM

Hey guys, I was wondering about this question earlier today. What kinds of programming projects do you guys for on for fun? Are there any in particular that you feel have made you a better developer? What is your proudest programming/software development achievement?
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Replies To: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

My free time is spent away from the computer and with my family.
Hiking, beach, photography, shooting range, day trips someplace new.
If you want to keep a partner/wife/girlfriend I highly recommend your off-duty time not be spent exactly the same as your on-duty time.
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#3 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

I spend a lot of time on the computer in my free time. It helps if your girlfriend is interested in computers/programming/gaming as well. In fact, she is the one who introduced me to this site :)

In my free time, I am careful to pick projects that can be completed fairly easily. When I was starting out, I ended up with a large set of projects which never got finished, and although I learned something from each of those projects, I prefer to finish what I start these days.

Work has a library of books we can borrow and read any time, so I have been reading a book on the programming language 'Groovy'. I have also been programming on a CMS using Ruby on Rails. I generally pick projects in languages or frameworks which I don't get to use in my work day. That way I can explore more recent topics in software development in a relatively safe environment.

This post has been edited by wordswords: 10 April 2012 - 09:58 AM

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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 10 April 2012 - 12:09 PM

I think our foreign brother of the guttaral tongue has an excellent point: balance in life is important. Step away from the computer, it's a good idea. Go to a play or a concert, go out and play some music with people, go for a hike.

But frankly, most programmers do enjoy what they do and while it's fun to make a living writing code you're not always stretching yourself as much at work as you'd like to. If you're a photographer for the Podunk Times, you get to take pictures of Fireman Frank rescuing the Widow Grady's cat from the tree, but maybe you'd like to take some other pictures - you do that on your off time. So I think it's reasonable to want to put in some time on other stuff from time to time.

That balance will swing over time. Lately, I'm reading a lot (philosophy and fiction) and not hacking so much in my spare time. That'll probably change in the near future.


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What kinds of programming projects do you guys for on for fun?


Probably the most fun project I've done on my own was the zork-type game engine I was working on last year. Basically, I wanted to write an object-oriented parser that wouldn't need to know much about the stuff it was parsing. It wouldn't even need to know what it was parsing, come to that. (I figured out midway through that I could probably parse a programming language with mostly the same code, just by giving it a different set of objects to read) Very experimental, but I learned a lot from it. I could stand to dig it out again now that I think about it.

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Are there any in particular that you feel have made you a better developer?


Probably anything you write will make you a better programmer, as long as it's something new. You can rewrite the same program in fifty different languages and become a better programmer each time, if you really try to make use of each language's capabilities to make the same functionality in the most graceful way possible.

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What is your proudest programming/software development achievement?


Hello, World. It's all been downhill from there.
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#5 turboscrew  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:57 PM

Well, nowadays my main free time activities are house renovenation, fixing my car and trying to find some time for personal (HW/)SW projects.
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#6 ryjosch  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:08 PM

I pick anything that I recognize could be useful from my experiences or anything that seems to be simple but managable through a software program, existing or not. At least two of my projects were to make a program which would convert tabulated data into graphical form, like to a cartesian graph. Also a few simple Number Sense programs. One other of my favorite projects was a loan calculation program, even though more than enough of them exist already and are available on internet sites. I use only a low cost form of BASIC.
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#7 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

I'm still in high school, so thankfully I still see programming as a hobby that I can devote time to. At this point I spend most of my time experimenting with different languages and technologies. I still don't know what particular niche of programming I would want to work on in the future.

Recently I've been experimenting with Java's networking API. A few weeks ago I built my first chat client, which I suppose is still my biggest achievement in the world of programming. It's obviously not a revolutionary concept, and it wasn't necessarily hard (thanks to Java), but before building it I didn't see multithreading as being useful, and I didn't know you could pass object references into methods. Looking back on it, I see why the front of my Java book says "Learn how threads can change your life." I would like to make a simple version of Dropbox as my next project.
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#8 Python_4_President  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:13 PM

I mess with Xbee, Arduino, and Android...
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#9 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 02:06 PM

It's like all the old topics are suddenly coming back to life...
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#10 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What kind of programming projects do you work on in your free time?

Posted 15 May 2012 - 03:52 PM

Bored rookies trolling... Google hits... etc.

It reminds me that I'm still subscribed to certain threads that are months old so I can unsubscribe. So it helps me out anyway. :gun_bandana:
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