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I am one of those people who learn by doing, and I often get a new idea for a project beside work, which could be fun and perhaps later on profitable. I have had quite a few ideas, but I usually burn out, which is often because I am alone on the projects.

Most of my collegues have kids, or don't want to use their spare time for hobby projects. Therefore it is often hard to find other people who I can work with on my hobby projects.

My question is therefore, if there is a good place to find co-developers for small non-open source projects?

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closed as not constructive by gnat, MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, GlenH7, Dynamic May 19 '13 at 23:04

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Hobby projects? Considered instead helping somebody else with their hobby projects? –  user1249 Jan 29 '12 at 9:14
+1 to Thorbjørn (even though it doesn't quite answer the question). I will post rest of this comment as an answer. –  HelloFictionalWorld Jan 29 '12 at 9:35
@ThorbjørnRavnAndersen If people would help out, it would be our project and not just mine. –  Dofs Jan 29 '12 at 9:55
@Dofs, consider what it would take to interest you in somebody elses hobby project. –  user1249 Jan 29 '12 at 10:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

When they teach you about startups and raising funds, they call the very first source of cash the triple-Fs: Friends, Family and Fools. I think that pretty much sums up your pool of extra heads as well.

A lot of us have ideas. I have a new idea on just about weekly basis, but I'm definitely not quitting my day job. Ideas are cheap, implementing them is where real capital is needed.

What's also working against you is that you want to work on non-open source. If you find someone who is not your friend or family (forget the other category, you don't want them anyway), how is that person going to trust you? What will keep you (or them) from running off with the code. So now, if you are serious, you need to start drawing up contracts, equity agreements, draft a business plan. Most ideas in their infancy are just not worth it.

My advice would be to either

  1. join an existing open source project and make new friends. Only then approach them with your ideas.

  2. Start open source project yourself, make it useful and release version 1.0. If people like it, they will use your project and whatever is missing, they just might help you improve it. Establish lasting relationships with those that want to work with you.

If you notice either approach is open source. That's how you get your name and reputation out there. However, I've seen open source projects where author would write the framework and allowed people to copy code and write plugin components, but didn't allow people to contribute fixes to core framework in main trunk that he maintained. His reason was that he wanted to keep his options open if in the future he wanted to close the source for future version of that product. With other people's code in the framework, I would be much harder to go closed-source.

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I think you are hitting a sweat spot, with the note about open-source vs. capital for closed source projects. –  Dofs Jan 29 '12 at 10:02
How to join an open source project? –  yvonnezoe Jun 7 '13 at 1:46
@yvonnezoe - have you tried typing that exact question into google? –  DXM Jun 7 '13 at 4:27
perhaps i should ask, how to join an open source project as a beginner or how to find a kind person to guide me or should i not join and quit my dreams at all? –  yvonnezoe Jun 7 '13 at 5:20
@yvonnezoe - "should I not join and quit my dreams at all" - this seems a bit too dramatic. Is your dream programming? or joining an open source project? In either case, the comment section isn't really a place to ask questions such as this. If you'd like we can continue in chat and see if there's anything constructive I can share with you: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/9139/x5 –  DXM Jun 7 '13 at 5:49

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.

What you could do is spend a little time seeking out people and helping them with their hobby projects. (Open Source or not). You'll build your network and find people who enjoy doing this kind of thing. Attend a local meetup of programmers and find people you can help, and do that. Once you do that you'll gain a sense of things and will have a network beyond work.

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I would also suggest searching for students who would like to do something pracitcal enough to apply what they've learned at school.

You'll both get something:

You will find someon passionate about programming and willing to help you implement your ideas.

They, will have a chance to do something beyond course assignments and collaborate with a professional developer.

Trust me, there are many students out there in the same position as you. They wanna do "something" but they can not find someone to work with.

You can start searching in Facebook or student forums.

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