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Completing my first side project - Outline

Published on 19th April 2016

Side projects... I'm sure many of you like me have a couple of side projects on the go at any one time and those side projects get started and then swept away under the carpet for latest 'thing' just released in the web industry that you are desperate to play with.

They get forgotten about and are never 'completed' or used. This was my side project Outline about 4 months ago. I first started Outline in May 2014, it's a lightweight Sass starter framework which was just the same files and folder architecture I started every project with. The first couple of weeks I started to plan what files I wanted to include, gather resources about what other frameworks were out there and started to think about logos and project names (all the easy fun bits) etc and then it stopped.

I don't really remember the reason why I stopped working on Outline, maybe it was summer and there was many more exciting things to do or maybe I just didn't / couldn't bring myself to work weekends and extra hours outside of my 9-5 job?

Anyway fast forward 7 months to February 2015 and feeling refreshed and eager to get cracking and actually finish my first side project I picked up Outline once more.

To help finish it, I set myself a few rules to follow and hopefully these will help more people complete their side projects:-

Start of with a project you will use again.

Focus on a project you will use again, this will help with putting in the extra hours.

Don't worry if it's not perfect.

Stop worrying about what everyone else will think and say. You are doing the project because you believe you can improve or tailor the project for yourself / others for the better. Put your code on GitHub and ask for suggestions and improvements.

Learn from mistakes.

Don't be afraid to fail and learn from your mistakes, I wrote some pretty bad Sass before I got it right and was happy with it. You will learn loads whilst completing your side project.

Set a deadline (stick to it) and release.

Probably the most important rule to stick to. I probably released Outline when it was around 90% complete. It almost seemed easier to 'finish' it off when the pressure of it being released was gone and it was out there for everyone to see.

Have fun!

Enjoy it. Be proud of what you have achieved when you hit the 'go' button!

Have a look at Outline for yourself. You can visit the site or view it on GitHub.