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Engage in Initiatives to Enhance Your Personal and Professional Growth

By SANJITA GUPTA posted Sun June 09, 2024 01:51 AM


We talk a lot about inspiring careers. But what often gets neglected as we are talking about all the cool things people are doing during their day jobs is all the cool things they are doing outside of the 9-to-5.

Though some companies prefer that anyone on their team not have side projects and actively discourage it, that has never been a way at IBM. In fact, in developer profession certification it is promoted to do side projects or open source contributions. 

The benefits of side projects

  •  Pursue Your Passion: You can work on something you're passionate about. Even if it doesn't become your full-time job, it can still be fulfilling as a side project.
  •  New Skills: Working on new projects allows you to learn new skills outside of your regular work. For example, I learned how to contribute to open source through a side project, which became useful in my daily work.
  • New Connections: Side project is an opportunity to connect with new people and expand your network, leading to new, lasting relationships. Accomplishment beyond work. Personally, I think it is healthy to have something else in life where you are getting a sense of accomplishment in addition to work.

How to make time for side projects

  • Focus On The task: To avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on one task at a time, especially with our heavy office workload. Stating from experience
  • Involve Friends: Working with others can add motivation and make it easier to push a project forward.
  • Prioritize Emergency Over perfection: Don't aim for perfection; focus on creating or completing your task.

Personal Experience

Recently, I had the opportunity to work on the initiative "Assisted Migration from Docker Desktop to Podman and Podman Desktop" with Executive Champion: Bill Higgins, Rosalind Radcliffe and DE Thomas lawless

The initiative was divided into three work streams so volunteers could choose their preferred area of contribution:

  • Migration Pain Point
  • Open Source Collaboration
  • Tooling Compatibility

I contributed to Open Source Collaboration and Tooling Compatibility. Initially, I was not comfortable with Open Source Collaboration, but this initiative allowed me to get acquainted with the flow of open-source contributions. I worked on migrating watsonx Assistant from Docker to Podman, which also helped me delve into tooling compatibility, discussing Skopeo and Buildah alongside all the Podman Desktop information. Together with this, it provided me with valuable experience in managing and working on project using Monday, a comprehensive tool for project management. This exposure not only enhanced my organizational skills but also allowed me to effectively coordinate tasks, track progress, and collaborate.

Our initiative was prominently highlighted in the latest blog post by Dario, where it was recognized as an exemplary high-impact initiative. This acknowledgment underscores the significance and effectiveness of the efforts, showcasing how the project has made a meaningful difference: Click here for Dario's blog

This is my weekend hobby, which enhances my organizational skills and exposes me to areas I want to sharpen. It also provides valuable opportunities to interact with people from whom I can learn and grow. By dedicating time to this activity, I not only improve my abilities and stay updated with new developments but also expand my network and gain insights that contribute to both my personal and professional growth.

Link for tooling Compatibility -

Over to You

Are you working on any side projects? Feel free to drop a link in the comments! If you are, how do you make time for them and stay motivated?

Get motivated and look for initiatives that call you List of Initiatives



Mon June 10, 2024 12:28 AM

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