Hackfort 2019 - Creative Outlets Inspire Innovation

In March 2019, I presented at Hackfort, part of the Treefort music festival in Boise, Idaho. My panel was on side projects and innovation, and how side projects foster a mindset of innovation that lends itself nicely to day-to-day work.

Here is a quote from the Q&A portion of the panel:

For side projects, because you’re in full control, it’s easy to get lost in the idealist/perfectionist mentality. This is something that previously plagued me. In the process of rebuilding a website, I switched from Jekyll to Rails to Rails API + Ember to Node API + Ember and back to Jekyll. In hindsight I’m glad I got exposure to all of those technologies, but it also taught me that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Perfection is the enemy of progress.

The flip side to that is to not get too caught up in the technology. The tech world moves at light speed (see: React / Angular / Angular.js / Vue / Ember), so anchoring yourself to one tech stack is a good way to become pigeonholed. Above all else, this is about building a product that someone can use even if that someone is yourself. While exposure to the bleeding edge technologies is exciting and a worthy venture, it’s also healthy to take a step back and making sure you’re focusing on whatever your goal is for that project.

Blog posts on the panel can be found here and here.