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The Developer's Code by Ka Wai Cheung

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Essay 17 Just Say “No” to the Pet Project

Every one of us has a pet project archive. It could be software we started and saw partway through but never quite finished. It could be code that began strong but came to a screeching halt because more pressing issues came up. Other work got in the way, or we simply lost interest.

Pet projects fail when there are no time constraints and nothing is on the line if we don’t succeed. When a launch date is “one of these days,” we likely won’t be finishing it anytime soon. Some of us seem to spend years mulling over that next great idea instead of first deciding on a specific amount of time to build it.

How about just three months? Jack Dorsey spent less than that from initial concept to launch of the ...

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