That's great, but when push comes to shove, you can and will ignore an intractable issue in a personal project until you feel like working on it again. With a job, consistently ignoring issues can endanger your career and thereby, eventually, your ability to provide for yourself. (And to me, being a parasite who punts issues like you describe is hardly a better existence even if you're able to get away with it.)
> While certainly true, this is also something I would never expect someone on my team to be proud of. This is a shameful act, and done often enough leads to the departure of good talent. I expect management(including myself) to do it's job: Manage. This means not taking advantage of your employees often enough to make it a norm.
Sometimes accumulating technical debt is a more pragmatic option in the bigger picture - what I'm describing isn't necessarily a universally bad thing (although it often is bad); the point is that professional and personal projects have fundamentally different priorities and that they require different skills and approaches to navigate effectively.
> However, the thing I keep noticing about a lot of these is a certain level of assumption of what a personal project entails. That you may be producing something with significant technical debt, that you are coding in a way that isn't trying to work best with others, that you're not aiming for revenue or having to work under unrealistic constraints.
You are validating this assumption with statements like this:
> Sometimes I don't return to projects for months- and I want to be able to pick them up the way I put them down.
When you are in production with real customers, you rarely have the option to do this. It's great to strive to adopt good practices in your personal projects, but when shit hits the fan at 3am, you're not going to get out of bed and fix it unless you have some real skin in the game, and you're not going to be truly motivated to code as if that's a real possibility (That means having: runbooks, paging, escalations, dashboards, metrics, alarms, gradual rollouts, time windowing, calendar blackouts, rollbacks, multi-step deployments, canaries, tech-ops, feature toggling, A/B testing, backup/restore, DNS safeguards, load balancing, SLAs, pentesting, failover, status reporting through 3rd-party channel, etc. etc.). I never said personal projects don't mean anything for technical experience; they certainly do. But that doesn't mean they're representative of professional experience either.