Side Projects

2. If money were no issue, what kind of projects would you be building?

In a technical interview, you might be asked what kind of side projects you’re working on.

This can be a very biased and loaded question. Not everyone has the ability or privilege to work on side projects.

Many work contracts, which we’ll cover later, will stipulate that any side projects you work on become the property of the company who employs you.

In fact, many companies will want to know about any pre-existing projects you’ve built so they can DISCLAIM ownership of those projects. If you have any burning project ideas, build a GitHub repo for it, make it private, write up the project idea in a README file, and store that at GitHub before you sign any new contract. This will protect your ideas from potential hijacking by your employer.

How likely is it, though, really?

Not very likely. If your side project has nothing to do with your employment, does not use their technology, then you have nothing to worry about.

HOWEVER – you should NEVER use employer-provided resources (laptop, internet connect, printers, etc) to work on your side projects whatsoever if you want to truly maintain ownership of everything.

There have been cases in the past of employers taking over a personal project and the employee got little or nothing in return for their effort.