I always had my own side projects. My primary job was to write software. I never had a project fail between 1969 and 2017 when I retired. One side project was writing articles and giving speeches at conventions. Another was finding computer projects in other departments when my boss ran out of things for me to do. He was trading favors. I also wrote and taught classes. I had to make the dean’s list to get my GPA up enough to graduate. Excellent points.