Whether you’re a beginner programmer or just looking for ways to get back into the swing of things, this list of four projects is a great place to start. They’re all relatively small in scope, and almost anyone can complete the most basic version of each program within a few hours.
Build Your Portfolio With These Beginner Programming Projects
These projects are designed to expand and reinforce your coding knowledge, but they can also help you build your portfolio. Showing potential employers that you can complete a project from start to finish is incredibly important, so you want to have at least a few finished programs to show off.
So, if you’re looking for an excellent way to build your repertoire as well as put your skills to the test, these projects will do the trick!
Program a Fizz Buzz Puzzle
Fizz Buzz is a common programming puzzle based on a game children play in the classroom to learn about division. The rules are simple:
- Print the numbers from 1 to 100
- For every multiple of 3, instead, print “Fizz”
- For every multiple of 5, instead, print “Buzz”
- For multiples of 3 and 5, print “Fizz Buzz “
For such a basic puzzle, there are a surprisingly large number of solutions. However, as with most things, simple solutions are often the best. Start with the most obvious answer, and then see how far you can take it. Can you condense your code down to one line? Once you’ve had a go, take a look at RosettaCode to see how other people solved it.
Create a To-do App
Whether it’s pieces of scrap paper scattered across your desk, a notes app on your phone, or a whiteboard on your office wall, every developer needs some kind of to-do list. So, building a to-do app is a perfect first project for every newly minted programmer.
Think about the things you need to keep track of when working on your code. These could be items like:
- Features you want to add
- Bugs and issues
- Priorities and deadlines
- Notes about each task
Once you finish the basic program, try using it in your daily life. Any time you think, “I wish I could record X thing on my to-do list,” that’s a new feature for you to add!
Build a Web Scraper
Web scrapers are software tools that make downloading content from the web easier. You can use them for many different reasons, such as:
- Gathering data for use in a database, spreadsheet, or graph
- Downloading large amounts of data for use in calculations or analysis
- Creating a searchable archive of information on a website or blog
A web scraper is an excellent starter project; it can help you learn concepts like parsing and extracting text from HTML, regular expressions, and using third-party libraries in your code. Because web scrapers are so widely applicable, there are many tutorials and libraries out there for you to use if you get stuck.
Before you start scraping your first website, you should check whether the target website forbids web scrapers so you don’t get into trouble. You could also consider using a proxy server. Scraping with proxies is a good idea because rapidly accessing the same website can sometimes look like an attack, so it may block your IP address. Proxies can also help you access region-specific content, for example, when comparing content displayed in different regions or scraping data from a geo-locked website.
Make a Game
Making a game is an excellent way to learn basic programming concepts such as variables, loops, and functions. It’s also a gratifying first project, as you can share and enjoy the final product with your friends and family without needing to explain programming concepts to them.
There is no limit to the kind of games you can create. For example, many start off with projects like:
Tic tac toe (or noughts and crosses)
This is a game that most people already know how to play. It’s simple, intuitive, and has quick rounds, so it’s perfect for a beginner’s first project.
A text adventure is a game where the player gives commands in natural languages, such as “walk to the north” or “take the sword.” It’s also known as interactive fiction because it combines programming with writing to create an interactive story. If you’re wildly creative or a budding author, a text adventure is a fun way to express that aspect of yourself through code.
This classic computer game is one of the first games ever developed. Its simple graphics and controls are perfect for learning the basics of game development. Everything you learn, from the movement of the paddles and the ball to scorekeeping, can be applied in each game you create in the future.
There are many ways to learn how to code, but we think these four projects are great places to start. Whether you’re looking for specific ideas or just some inspiration, this article should have everything you need!