What Are You Building? Project Ideas for GC Alumni

When you’re learning how to code, at Grand Circus, we like to say that the most important thing in your control is the hours you put in for fingers-to-keyboard problem solving. Usually, this is where a lot of students and alum alike will nod in my direction and say “yeah, but WHAT should we be typing for all these hours” as in…give me a project to do.

Well, well, well….the day has come. Project ideas galore, coming your way:

Stuff to Get Practice Hours In:

These projects might not make it all the way to a portfolio site or be highlighted on your GitHub account for employers, but if you need more practice thinking through your problem-solving strategies, this is a good place to start.

  • Find a problem in your daily routine and solve it through code. Pretend you’re programming a robot to do that thing. Bonus points for adding in some audio that plays in a spooky 2001 A Space Odyssey kind of way.
  • What was the worst/hardest part of your last job? Improve it with code.
  • Build tic-tac-toe.
  • Build Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.
  • What’s your favorite app? Rebuild it just to see if you can.
  • Are you into Fantasy sports? Use some APIs to build the site for your league this year (even if it doesn’t get used).
  • Are you into D&D? Make an app to help your Dungeon Master keep track of all the things!
  • Make your own application for flashcards so you can study (or give it to someone so they can enter their own data and study themselves).
  • Build a Cypher to encode top secret messages!

Silly Things to Have Some Fun:

These projects might be a little funky or a little out there, but will give you an opportunity to break up the serious code monotony. They probably won’t make it to a portfolio site or be highlighted to employers, but will give you a chance to stretch those coding skills in a lighter direction.

  • Make a character generator for your favorite show.
  • Remember that game Bop-It? Make a code version of it that users can interact with. Bonus points if you can have multiple users play against one another.
  • Do you remember how in Space Jam the ultimate basketball players from various teams played against the MonStars? What if you used an API that pulled in sports player information and built a fantasy league to let users play against the MonStars? And based on certain information from that API and which players you chose, your likelihood to beat or lose to the MonStars changed? Just sayin’….
  • Make an application for karaoke-at-home – complete with scrolling text, playable audio, and the ability to choose your dream song. Make is spicy with some sort of challenge built in – maybe a song randomizer? Maybe text only and no backup tunes? Maybe tunes and only 50% of the text? Spicy!
  • Horoscopes are cool. What if you made a horoscope generator? Or a “best horoscope finder” that let you sift through several horoscopes until you found the one you liked the best?
  • Remember e-cards? What if you made an e-card generator that celebrated all those fake holidays (like National Pizza Day) and you could customize it with random pictures and actually send it to a friend?

Alright, buckle down now: The Good Stuff:

Beefy project starters that, built right and built well, could make it to your portfolio or GitHub for sharing with employers.

  • Rebuild your final project with a different framework.
  • Rebuild your final project with no framework. (WHAT?!?!)
  • Find a non-profit and solve a problem for them through code.
  • Contribute to something open sourced.

If this still wasn’t enough and you’re hankering for another jump – some more places to get those practice hours in:

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Kim Driscoll

Things I love: singing, Detroit, buffets. Things I don't love: writing bios.

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