13 Coding Projects and Programming Ideas for Beginners
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For young developers, coding projects are like the final boss in a video game. They challenge you to learn vital skills and translate your theoretical knowledge into actual code. Besides testing your ability to recount what you’ve already learned, building simple apps will also teach you how to structure coding projects, deploy code, and debug applications once they’re live.
The apps you build will also help you make inroads in the software industry. With enough projects under your belt, you can build a portfolio, which shows recruiters that you have both the technical skills and the passion to excel in the industry. Employers appreciate when junior developer candidates have some real-world experience, even if that experience is just projects that they’ve built in their own time.
So if you’re new to coding, you’re probably wondering what kind of coding projects you can work on. Read on to learn more about some fun coding projects that will put your skills to the test. To find out if coding is hard to learn, see our post here and find out how you can get started.
What Is a Coding Project?
Coding projects are simple applications built by junior developers or beginners. These apps usually have a single functionality, like a to-do list app or a random number generator. These projects are easy to conceptualize and build end-to-end as a single developer that’s at the beginning of their career.
Coding projects challenge you to choose the right programming language for a particular problem, map out the project architecture, and implement the features of the app. This makes coding projects the perfect introduction to programming in the real world.
Let’s now take a look at some beginner coding projects and their key features. The goal of these projects is to write high-quality code and execute it cleanly, so don’t worry too much about adding bells and whistles.
Coding Project Ideas for Beginners
Building a calculator is a great programming idea for your very first coding project. It will consist of building a display with digits from 1 to 9, mathematical operators, and a button that will produce a result on the screen.
Carrying out the actual calculation on the backend is quite easy in most programming languages. You will learn how to accept input from users, both the operands and the operation, and display the result of the calculation. You can make the UI very simple, or more complex, if you’re interested in front-end development.
Building a one-page website is a good way to start your journey as a web developer. To start off, you need to build a wireframe for the site. You need to conceive of each section, its position on the page, and the styles that you’ll use. There are many websites that you can use as inspiration for your very first project. More advanced developers can work on things like animations and storing user input.
A magic 8-ball game uses simple programming logic, which makes for a fun coding project. The 8-ball should display a different message every time someone shakes it. So as a developer, you’re looking to associate a particular text string with a variable, and then randomly pick a particular variable every time a user shakes the ball. It’s quite easy to implement and it can be fun to play around with the front-end design.
Building a calendar application is a fun way to use some of the in-built libraries that are available in the programming languages that you will use. Python has a calendar module, for example, which you can use to source data on the Gregorian calendar.
There are a few ways that you can work on this programming project idea. If you’re keeping things simple, you can build a calendar that displays the current month’s dates and days. To make it more dynamic, you can have users enter a particular month and year and then display that specific month’s calendar.
Building a currency convertor is a fun coding project that tests your ability to source data from the Internet. There are several APIs that let you source financial data, which will come in handy when building your currency convertor.
It’s simple to envision what this app will look like. You start by letting users choose an amount in one currency. Then, they can press a button to display the equivalent amount in a target currency.
Duplicate Text Checker
A duplicate text checker is a good way to learn how to parse text, which is an important skill as a software developer.
The goal is to have a user enter a string of text, then eliminate the duplicate entries. Let’s say that the original group of strings is, “Apple, banana, orange, banana, apple.” The text checker would parse that and eliminate the duplicate entries.
Web scraping is the process of extracting data from one or multiple websites. Building a web scraper is an opportunity to start thinking about data sources and how you can collate valuable data from disparate sources.
Let’s say that you want to compare the prices of specific goods across e-commerce websites. You would choose sites from which to source this data and then build an app to display them in a tabular form, making it simple to compare the prices.
Building your own weather app can be a fun way to learn about how you can program apps that use data sourced from third parties.
The data for your weather app can come from an API, like the one that OpenWeatherMap offers. Once you figure out how to use the API, all the data you need is available.
You can play around with how you display the information. You could do a very basic design, just displaying the numbers for a particular day. Or, you could include other features, like the ones included on the weather app you probably use, such as graphics to represent different kinds of weather and automatic location detection. You can try to copy those features if you’re looking for a more challenging project.
P2P File Sharing App
This is a project that’s best for new developers who have already built a few beginner projects. The goal of this project is to allow two peers, or computers, to share files with each other. P2P systems don’t need a client-server architecture, which means that they communicate directly with each other.
Building a P2P file-sharing app will give you the coding skills required to work on network protocols, encoding media, and storage architectures.
A stock ticker is another project that will show young developers the power of using APIs. There are plenty of stock market APIs that you can choose from. All of the data that you require is available there.
You can make this project more challenging by thinking about the UI in depth. How do users select the stocks that they want to track? Do you want to show the historical data of a stock using a particular visualization? Implementing those kinds of features can add to your coding chops in a big way.
YouTube Video Downloader
The features of this project are simple to envision. You can have users enter a YouTube URL, and then click a button to begin downloading the file. Maybe you can display a message once the download has been completed.
You can tap into built-in media streaming functions and libraries in languages like Python, which is a popular programming language, to actually download the data. To take this project a step further, you can have users select the format for their downloaded video.
Building a video game is a great way to learn programming skills such as interactive features and dynamic outputs. For a beginner coding project, we recommend building a ping pong game. The game involves two players controlling a paddle with a mouse. If a player is not able to make contact with the ball when it reaches their side, their opponent gains a point.
Promoting Your Coding Projects
Once you’ve tested a project for bugs, go a step further and make your projects a part of your job hunt. Here are a few places where you can promote your projects.
If you have a personal website, you should have a separate page collating all the projects that you’ve built.
Recruiters love to see a vibrant portfolio, even if you’re a junior developer. Talk about how you went about building the project, and the tools that you used in the process.
LinkedIn is a great platform to promote your newest projects. You can use the featured section in your LinkedIn profile to show off the projects that you’ve built.
Github can host the code for the projects you’ve built. Recruiters will be impressed because they can view the code that you’ve written yourself. You can include a README file in each Github repo to talk about how you conceived of the project and built it.
Where To Get More Coding Project Ideas
Rosetta Code is a website that shows how the same problem can be solved in different programming languages. It also has a page with a massive collection of programming ideas, which are great for beginners, and suggestions for how to code them.
Dream In Code
This is a forum with a list of beginner coding projects. The coding project ideas are categorized based on the nature of the problem you’re solving, such as networking, files, and databases.
The Code Abbey website currently has a list of 240 coding projects that you can work on. You can click on the links on this page to view the details of each project, including code examples.
Coding Project FAQs
How Much Time Should You Spend on a Programming Project?
You don’t need to pay too much attention to how efficient you’re being with your time when you’re working on coding projects as a young developer. Instead, focus on your workflow and how you organize your project. You will become more efficient with your time as you work on more projects.
How Should You Collect Feedback on Your Coding Project?
Show your projects to people with more experience, such as a mentor, someone with experience in the software industry. Mentors help beginner programmers by suggesting new ways to think about problems. Alternatively, you could show your code to a professor or peers with whom you’re learning.
How Many Coding Projects Should You Do as a New Programmer?
Get started and work through projects other until you feel confident in your ability to build applications. There’s no magic number for how many projects you’ll have to complete to get there. Make sure that your projects get a little more complex each time so that you challenge yourself to learn new things.
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