Any developer will tell you: coding can be very challenging, especially for beginners. In fact, a career in development can seem so limitless that you may be wondering where to begin. As you get started, other coders may stress the need for you to work on creative projects and build your portfolio — and they’d be right!
As a junior web developer, your portfolio is your most valuable marketing piece. Potential employers will appreciate your proven track record of developing projects from end-to-end when considering you for a role.
The best way to begin to learn to code is to simply start coding! You may try taking on a complex web development project to start, however, you may find yourself abandoning it out of frustration or difficulty. The most important thing is to keep on going. When you gain experience developing challenging projects from inception to completion, you establish a strong work ethic that will benefit you throughout your career.
So, where do you get started? You can build your own portfolio on sites like GitHub, and you may also want to host your own website to show off your past projects.
This blog will outline 10 development projects to help you build and add to your portfolio as a junior developer. You may also be interested in our previous blog post on How to Move From Junior to Senior Web Developer.
The Top 10 Programming Project Ideas for Beginners
1) Build a Multi-Page Responsive Website
A responsive website is one that can work on a variety of devices and screen sizes, on both mobile and desktop browsers. Today’s endless stream of new devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) is making website responsiveness more crucial than ever. The way in which people view the web is changing, and as a result, building a site with a responsive design is the key to staying ahead of your competitors.
2) Redesign an Existing Website Template
Building a website from start to finish may seem daunting at first. As you’re getting started, you may consider using a website template with predefined design elements, which will allow you to apply a responsive design to an existing template, without the need to create your own from the ground up.
4) Create a Simple Application
Creating an application is a great way to practice your coding skills. It can be hard to come up with new application ideas, but your first application doesn’t have to be complicated — it can be something as simple as a calculator or to-do list. New features are in constant development for today’s applications, so this is your chance to experiment with the latest advancements.
5) Random Number Generator
Coding a random number generator with Python is another great programming project idea. The goal of the application is to randomly generate a number at the user’s request. This project will test a new developer’s ability to use variants, integers, random function, input/output and other concepts.
6) Web Scraping Using Python
Web scraping involves downloading structured data from the internet, choosing select data from that set and transitioning it into something else, like research, stories assets and more. This is a great project for Python beginners. Next time you come across data on the internet, with no direct way to download it, try using your Python skills to extract the data into a form that can be imported.
7) Build a Working Chess Game
This is likely the most involved project on this list. Think about all the rules of chess; now think about coding them into a single web application! A game with this many variables with require complex algorithms and calculation. Creating your own chess game will give you hands-on experience in manipulating variants, artificial intelligence, input/output and more.
8) Make Your Own Social Networking Website
If you’ve been learning PHP or Ruby on Rails, this is the perfect beginner project for you to practice your skills. Creating a social networking site will require you to build a database to store user account information, a script to produce unique profile pages and a design that is optimized and user-friendly.
9) Build You Own Online Store
Creating an e-commerce store is another great way to practice your coding skills. The elements required for an online store are slightly more complex than a social networking site, since this project will need more than just a user database to function. Here, you will need to design a script to allow for a product page, shopping cart, checkout and other e-commerce-related elements.
10) Contribute to an Open Source Project
Open ѕоurсе рrоjесtѕ are an incredible way for new developers to hone their skills. Not only do they offer a rewarding challenge, but you will have the opportunity to receive feedback from others without the pressure of working for an employer on a commercial product. Finally, contributing to an open source project gives you the chance to expand your network while making an impact in the coding community.
This article was originally published on https://bootcamp.du.edu/.