Career Development

Career Change: Side project /portfolio project

Marah Kaiser Aspiring Product Manager, currently working - Looking for a cool project to work on!

May 22nd, 2020

Hi all,

I would like to move into to product and to be able to prove my skills as a PM I want to start working on a side project.

I already have an awesome idea and I am looking for people who are in a similar situation (looking to do a career change) and want to work on this project with me.

I am looking for a Designer & Developer who want to prove their skills, work on a creative project and maybe even turn the idea into a startup.

Do you have a recommendation for a platform specialised for people who look to connect for a project?

Best regards,


Marah Kaiser Aspiring Product Manager, currently working - Looking for a cool project to work on!

July 17th, 2020

@Danial Kalbasi

I totally agree with you! For me this is not about making money (and actually building a business9 but rather having fun in working on a project on the side with other people. I believe that thinking through an entire product in regards to defining a problem, doing user /market research etc. and ending up with a simple prototype would already be a great success and accelerate my learning curve.

Ross Edwards

July 15th, 2020

Hello. I am newish to these discussion forums although i have been on this platform for years. I am also a software developer who does freelancing and am sometimes a founder/cofounder.

I have actually thought about building a site a few times where people can connect about project concepts as nothing really exists. I do see a need for this. Maybe we can work together on building this. Haha. Putting that aside some developers do look to prove their skills although that might not be the way they would put it. It might be more about proving to themselves they can build a product from scratch. Not everybody is like this however but some are. Like myself. Also some developers want to use tech tools that they have never used before or that is new and to prove that they know how to use that. I am like this myself as there are always new technology based tools being developed.

If you are still looking for people maybe we can connect and chat more.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

May 23rd, 2020

Nope. Designers/Developers don't generally work on spec. They have no need to prove their skills. They're in-demand all the time. So, the answer is to just hire one. But, do NOT hire one until you have completed your research, developed a marketing strategy, validated that strategy, and let your marketing findings define the product you will develop.

Starting with design is wrong and will lead to enormous waste.

Look at the kind of risk you're asking someone else to take. If you haven't done anything to reduce the risk to an acceptable level, no one will join you. Developers aren't sitting out there looking for things to explore "for fun" or for hope of a future reward.

Marah Kaiser Aspiring Product Manager, currently working - Looking for a cool project to work on!

July 16th, 2020

@Ross Edwards, it seems I can not reply to your comment directly.

I agree with you maybe for developers it is not about improving their skills but learning something new by starting something from scratch. I definitely know now more than I did when I posted this but I actually spoke with a lot of Junior Devs/UX designers who find it hard to get a job because they come out of Uni /did some courses and don´t have a lot of practical experience. It is not easy to build something alone and much more fun in a team.

That where my idea came from :) I did a lot of research and like you say I was not able to find a platform that would help with it. So I would love to catch up with you on this. I couldn´t find you on Linkedin- here is my link:

Have a great day!

Danial Kalbasi Founder at - Technical Cofounder

Last updated on July 16th, 2020

Proving skills might be a good short motivation, but if you plan to go after something long term, you will need a better reason, at least for yourself. it's better to start a side project as an experiment or a hobby that doesn't have too much business focus, so you can try and implement your ideas in a complete freedom.

@Ross Edwards, I see something similar to your idea recently on Product Hunt, which connects people who want to cooperate on projects/ideas. Although the challenge still remain, which you need to actually make sure, you both (two cofounders) align in terms of mindset when it comes to working out a business.