I have not found a passion project, and I feel like it is really hurting my ability to progress/learn. I am passionate about learning about deep learning and coding, but finding something to use those skills for has been a half-decade struggle for me.
How did you find your passion project? Do you have any tips on how to find something that is interesting to work on?
My perspective here: I used to produce one side project after another a few years ago (one even got national press coverage) and always had a lot of new projects in mind that could be fun to try.
Last year, that ‘suddenly’ stopped. I don’t know what to build any more, so I have the same problem you described.
My analysis is that the main reason why I don’t have exciting project ideas at the moment is that I have had fewer deep conversations with people that are not working in tech. I also didn’t study non-technical topics last year.
In retrospect, all ‘my’ project ideas started by talking with people about the problems they experienced or saw in society. I’m pretty sure that if I do that again, there will be new moments where I will think: ‘I know how that could be solved’ and start a passion project based on that.
Of course, I don’t know if this applies to your situation, but my advice that is hopefully useful to a few others struggling with the problem: dive into the problems of people not working in tech.
This great essay has much more to say about coming up with project / startup ideas: http://www.paulgraham.com/startupideas.html
Also there’s lots of folks here to learn about non-technical things from. For instance, there’s >1000 replies in the part 1 “share your work here” thread. How about picking someone else’s passion project form there at random, and jumping in to it yourself?
Frankly, I find that once I start a project, whatever the project is, there’s always lots of interesting things to learn about and try. When I was in consulting I was doing something totally different every 2-3 months - I worked brewers, rice farmers, insurers, bankers, wool growers, and many more, and every industry and project had many interesting problems to solve.
Ditto with Kaggle - every time I got into a competition I learned about lots of new things and found it really interesting.
So maybe you don’t need to pick the perfect project - but just pick any project, and go as deep into it as you can. If you’ve got a friend or family member interested in the topic it can help a lot, since then you can talk to them about it too.
I think these replies definitely brought to my attention something that is missing from my life. I haven’t deeply connected with anyone outside of tech in 8 years, since my only family is in tech. I don’t really know how to work “with” other people, as my tech work was solo. I do go to study groups and just seeing other people work on their passion projects is enough to get me excited, but I would really like to throw myself into a project with other people.
Thank you, this really helped!
One of the new things that I use to find some awesome projects is the trending page on paperwithcode. Also, when I think I want to work on say computer vision task, I look up at their leaderboards and try to see what interests me the most.