Programming has gone from a core aspect of Computer science to a basic yet high-tier skill for almost every technical profession. While being a programmer or a developer centers your profession around coding, many other fields also prefer people with programming skills over the rest.
In almost every job in the STEM field, being able to code gives you a distinct advantage over your peers. Therefore, improving your skills in the digital realm has become a norm, especially for future engineers.
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You can start with a language, and learn from books or online courses, and become proficient in the language by diligent study. However, like every other practical skill, practice is invaluable to programmers. Programmers hone their skills with every code written, and every challenge cleared, and are constantly in the learning process.
If you aspire to level up your skills, then you also have no choice but to up the ante. You should take up projects, tackle more problems, and learn to utilize your knowledge in solving practical situations.
Programming is no longer the one-dimensional idea of writing and running codes, although it is still a big part of it. There are many more aspects to programming, like Machine Learning, Web Design, Data Science, and so on.
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You must choose a project that not only fits your skill levels but is also sufficiently challenging for you to learn something from the end of it. Be it learning new methods, improving a specific skill, or finding a creative solution, challenging projects can help you grow as a programmer and will also look good on your portfolio.
Top Programming Projects For Beginners
1. Leveling up
Improving your programming skills is a gradual process. Every job you complete will add something to your repertoire and help you polish your skills. Platforms like GitHub allow you to contribute to projects, build your portfolio, increase your knowledge as a coder, and also learn from your peers.
Such sites provide a favorable environment to foster your skillset and find puzzles that you can tackle for yourself. Ranging from difficulty levels of beginner to self-taught expert, here are some creative and challenging programming projects you can tackle on your journey.
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2. Contribute to an Open Source Project
Open Source projects are a great way to learn by working with your peers. Open Source Projects are usually achieved by the collaborative effort of the contributors, so you get to work using your strong suits while simultaneously learning about other aspects of the work that goes into the project.
You will also be able to obtain feedback from your peers who work on the same project and can add what you learn to your skillset. Furthermore, you can network in your field and find contacts to help you extend your exposure and network.
Open source projects offer first-hand experience and insight into a career in the field. You will be able to experience what it’s like to work with other members on a project, but without the added pressure of a boss or even strict deadlines.
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3. Design a Website
Web design is a very popular skill in any job and even the freelance market. Due to the advancement of modern tech, almost every business wants some sort of an online presence. This could be done via social media pages or websites. Websites are popular as an exclusive domain for any business enterprise, platform, or entity, and doing such projects to hone your skills can help you in the long term.
One does not have to be hired by a big business looking for a website to tackle this project. This can be a pet or side project, and the website can be dedicated to anything. A very popular theme among such projects is a personal website to track, display, and share your portfolio. Creating a webpage to exhibit your portfolio is not only convenient but also an excellent way to apply the skills you wish to showcase.
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4. Build a simple Application
Creating apps seem to be all the rave nowadays, especially in this era where there’s an app for literally everything. Creating an app offers a decent challenge to your coding skills. Depending on what app you choose to build, you will face different degrees of difficulty and would have to employ different tools and coding to finish the end product.
App development is a well-rounded test for your coding, ops, and front end skills, and most importantly, your creativity. =It is almost impossible to come up with fresh and groundbreaking app ideas, but the truth is that you do not need to. Your project can be a simple to-do list, a calculator, or your take on any utility app.
There are horizons to this, depending on the app itself, the platform, and the language used. This is the project that helps you choose what you want to do and find your way of doing it,
5 Revamp an app you love
For those who might not want to build a whole new app, you can always revamp and reimagine something that you use. Recreating, cloning, reimagining, or whatever you want to call it is a great way to get creative with your skills. We all have apps that we regularly use, so much that they have become a part of your life. They all have drawbacks, imperfections, and there are features we wish were present on our gamified to-do list.
Recreating an app includes adding, revamping, or changing features that are present in it, altering the overall experience, and making any major or minor variations to them. You can always go for cloning the app or making your version of it. Although this is very similar to building an app yourself, this is a very different creative as well as costing exercise.
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6. Design a simple Game
Games have permeated the digital experience and are now one of the largest digital industries in the world. Gaming Conglomerates employ some of the most genius coders, developers, designers, artists, and other experts. The industry of streaming, content creation, and competitive gaming has also grown. Game design skills are now sought after and also contributes to your overall skill set.
Creating your own simple game is a good way to hone your creative and programming skills. Not all programmers can be a master at this or come up with completely original ideas. Rather, it can be a simple game of any genre, taken up as an exercise of creativity and skills.
Your selection will offer you unique challenges in programming, mastering various programming concepts like manipulating variants, input/output, control systems, and even high-end concepts like AI.
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7. Work and Play with Data
Data Science has been at the forefront of digital innovation since the birth of the Internet. Data Science projects allow you to polish your skills in Analytics, familiarizing yourself with the tools and the code. There are simple ideas that you can implement using just Python coding, like data scraping.
Data scraping from the internet involves the download and conversion of structured data. You can download the data from websites and then choose to transition select data sets from the downloads. This will help you polish your python skills online. It will also allow you to download data that cannot be downloaded directly.
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8. Create a social media ‘bot.’
Social Media sites have their share of bots, some being spam, while others are used widely in that platform. These are created by programmers, maybe as a programming project by an aspiring coder. Creating a social media bot can allow you to test your skills in a public platform like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or other similar websites.
Social Media bots generate automated comments and responses when activated. This could range from detecting keywords, creating haikus out of the text, or even quoting The Office in response to comments. They can inhabit DMs or roam message boards and comment sections, attaching links in response to keywords or providing quotes from the Bible when anyone references it.
These bots vary in function and popularity, and creating one is a challenge involving programming, data science, and input/output. They are the perfect exercise, and a popular bot in your portfolio does wonders for your reputation.
9. Task Automation
Automation is the practical application of programming to enable systems to perform tasks without manual input. From automated replies to DMs to setting up counters or even bots, they are integrated into many online activities or present as a pure automation module.
You can use it to set up to send alerts from your favorite website, autocomplete your codes, start/stop applications on your PC or phone, or generally just improve the quality of life for yourself or a target audience.
Automation has significant scope, even outside programming, with many industries looking to implement it to mundane, labor-intensive tasks. Tackling this as a project will test your programming skills, ML knowledge, understanding of fundamentals and broaden your horizons regarding various applications’ back-end activities.
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These projects encompass the popular applications of programming. While all these projects require different tools under the umbrella of programming, they all have some things in common. Executing programming project ideas require willpower, perseverance, and a thirst for knowledge.
Each programming project presents a unique dilemma before you, and you have to tackle these without giving up halfway. They will allow you to grow your skill tree, solve problems in the future, and provide you with insight into the dynamic nature of programming.
Taking up programming projects will improve your practical skills and help you learn more, network with people, and understand the basics of subjects, which are even beyond your scope of expertise.
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How do you plan for a project?
There are some essential steps to follow for building a programming project that everyone should keep in mind. Firstly, you need to decide what programming project to choose. After this, you should search for similar projects on the Internet to get an idea about the timeline and resources required. You also need to select the language and tools required. After selecting, map out the architecture of the project and mark the entities for setup. Lastly, add pseudocode to your diagram and make a schedule to complete each feature accordingly. Remember to set the essential features first and the features connecting to that later.
What is build time in programming?
While building software there are several steps to be followed. Two of these steps are compile-time and run time. Compile-time is the duration when the programming code is converted to machine code. The source code is written using high-level language so it is easier to convert it into machine code. During this, the source code is converted to byte code. Run time is the duration where a program is running. This occurs after the compile time. Several errors can occur during its lifecycle such as division by zero, running out of memory, and referencing a null pointer.
How to showcase programming skills?
There are distinct and unique ways available to showcase your programming skills. One of them is contributing to open-source projects. By contributing here you also learn from industry experts and your work gets reviewed by them. You can also answer queries on Stack Overflow as there is a score maintained there that you can show to your employers. Another way is to write articles or blogs on programming. This will show your employer that you have the knowledge required for the job. You can also collaborate with your friends in other industries to create something unique.