Whether you are a student looking for some career in web development or a developer who have just started freelancing you should start a side project whether you think you have the time or not. What’s important is that you start. It doesn’t matter if you can’t make the time to commit to it every day or every week. Or maybe you have the time to commit to it everyday but can only produce few lines of code. All of these doesn’t matter, what’s important is that you start doing a side project.
Side projects are nice because they allow you to experiment all you want with the technologies that you want to use on your project. There are no restrictions on what to use, the toolset choice is yours to make. You can go crazy and use a combination of scripting languages together like Node.js and PHP.
You have all the time to make revisions to it if you think your code is sucky. There are no deadlines. But of course it couldn’t go on forever. You must show it to the world at some point and get some developers to look at your project. One good place to push your code is Github but there are many others like bitbucket and gitorious But bitbucket might be a better choice if you only want to show your project to selected people. At the time of writing of this article, only public repos are free on Github, if you want to make it private there’s a price that you have to pay while bitbucket allows private repos for the price of free.
So yeah I hope I’ve encourage at least a single soul out there to go ahead and start a side project.