5 programming project ideas

30 Mar 2019


My previous post on project ideas seems to have done quite well, so I figured I’d make another list of projects to hopefully give some inspiration.

I am by no means suggesting that you should create exactly these projects, but maybe they can spark some ideas for something you would like to build.

As I am a bit of a productivity geek, I love coming up with ideas for tools that can help boost my productivity or just allow me to keep track of habits and milestones, so this list reflects that.

1. Chrome extension

Chrome extensions are fun and super powerful. If you find yourself compulsively checking certain websites (looking at you Youtube) and wasting far too much time on there it might be a good idea to try your hand at chrome extensions. The possibilities are endless. You could make an extension that will block certain websites or remove specific content on a site. If you wanted to more of a challenge you could even make an extension that will kick you off a site after a certain amount of clicks or after a certain amount of time has passed. You can pretty much hack your browser to become your procrastination devil’s worst enemy.

You can find a getting started guide here and the API docs here. The docs can be a bit difficult to understand at first, but try playing around with the different methods and it’ll start making more sense.

Good tutorials can also be found here and here.

2. Telegram bot

This is another fun one with endless possibilities. If you haven’t seen it already, I suggest you check out Telegrams API, it allows you to make bots for the messaging app Telegram. You can create special keyboards that specify special commands and have a server on the other end do something depending on the command it recieved. Again you have so many options. Do you want to track some habit in a specific way, why not create a server with a database and use telegram to communicate with it straight from your phone? Just send a command followed by the data you want to track and voila, you have stored the data in a database. Then the bot could send you status reports at certain intervals or whatever data summary you want.

As you pretty much always have your phone with you, Telegram can be a great way for you to keep track of notes, reminders or habits without having to rely on other third party apps.

There’s a good getting started guide here.

3. Tracking activities app

This idea could be for trying to keep track of sports activities or pretty much any activity you would like track. You’re going to need to make a backend that will parse and store data, which you can then use to calculate totals or averages or pretty much any metric you would want to track. You can make methods for summarizing data in cool ways like graphs or tables. Then you also need an interface for your app, you could create a desktop gui, website or maybe take inspiration from the previous idea and use a telegram bot?

4. Master to-read list

I don’t know about you but I always find book I want to read and either forget to write it down or have so many different lists of books I want to read that I can’t really keep track of it. So why not create a master to read list? It could also be a place to store links to articles you want to read. This could take any shape or form that most convenient for you, maybe a chrome extension, an app for your phone or a desktop application. Again you can take this as far as you want, maybe you look into authorization and authentication or using a framework you’ve been wanting to try. It could also be an architecture challenge for you to plan out a good way to build the system. And it of course doesn’t have to be for books, but for pretty much anything you can think of!

5. Dashboard

Now this is something that’s on the top of my projects to start lists. Building a dashboard to keep track of many different things. You could create a dashboard that integrates with the websites or services you use the most and have it display emails, reminders, stats, the possibilities are endless. This is one of the bigger ones, but you decide how far you want to take it. You need both a backend and a frontend, you could set up a RaspberryPI to serve it or maybe a server in the cloud? You could build the UI for the dashboard yourself or look into some of the amazing tools and frameworks out there already and find a template to help you style it consistently. You could integrate with a telegram bot for tracking and you need to manage a database for all your data. If you’re looking for a full stack challenge, I feel like you could really test yourself on this one.

That’s it for now, I hope some of these spark some ideas and I would love to hear about other ideas you might have. Thank you for reading!