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Excellent read Elliot.
First off, it’s great to see such a positive article. We need more of these in the web community and less of our techie arguments.
Anyway, completely agree with the points you raise and it’s an idea I’ve always tried to follow in my career. Over the years, 75% of what I’ve learned has been self taught through pet projects.
You really can’t overstate the benefits: Pet projects are always fun, they always teach me something new and they keep me motivated.
That’s exactly what my works mates and I are doing right now. We have our full time jobs together on a web team, but have started a gaming site on the side (sorry, shameless plug – see above URL). And it’s been another great learning experience.
Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing more of your inspiring work in the New Year.