During one of the lateral hiring interviews with the candidate, I happen to ask him the question – What is your favorite language and what have you done so far. His answer was a popular programming langauge and he had not done anything on the side along with the working at his full time job. I asked him, why was he not finding time? The answer was as usual, I travel to work, there is no work life balance and all that. When I asked him, why dont you work on the weekends. The answer was, I work some times and it sucks up all the energy and I also need to rest so that I can go work better at my full time job.
How can such a candidate do anything Extraordinary in a full time job. He will just be doing the same thing that he has been asked to do and he would be expecting just like other employees a pay raise, job safety and all other perks that is given.
I haven’t met someone yet who is willing to spend hours on Open Source Projects or on a project that he believes will make someone’s life better. If someone says, he is passionate about something. I would always like to see something that the passion has bought in to the table. That shows the credibility of the passion. If someone is generous with that passion, he gets an extra brownie point. I strongly believe in Open Source. I think that is best thing that has happened in the digital age.
People are skeptical about giving away their hard work for free but then that is what the world wants. You attract goodness by doing goodness. It is very hard to see in the short run and you giving away your hard work does not seem to be of any value at that instant. But it has its own value in the long run. You stumble, struggle, learn the things in a hard way.
You will not have time unless you want to make time to do something you are passionate about. Saying i am passionate about certain things wont help you in the interview. Showing something that you are passionate about by running a program will always add value to your resume. It will make you stand out in the crowd.
Make contributions to your passion by doing some extraordinary side projects.