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> I really, really hate the expectancy of software developers to have side projects at home.

I have some side projects, and employers have rarely asked about them or cared at all.

> Worst yet its often phrased in the interview as "do you have any hobbies?"

I think you're projecting here. Perhaps they just want to know about your hobbies?

When I did interviews and asked about side projects I’m looking for another topic related to craft to talk about. If you don’t have one fair enough, but in that case I would expect that for school stuff you can elaborate more than “we did a thing in Java”.

For questions about hobbies it’s the same. You need something to talk about to gauge fit into the team.

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