Ideas for Coding Projects

Struggling to decide what you should make for your coding project? Here are seven ideas that you can either use as is, or use as inspiration to think of your own ideas. For each one, there’s a short outline of what you’ll need to make the project. Hopefully there’s one you like!

Important: When deciding on a project, make sure it’s something you can actually do. For example, it’s no use trying to make an iPhone app if you’ve been learning HTML. Choose something that makes use of the skills you’ve been learning.

1. Make a Simple Website

If you’ve been learning HTML and CSS, why not use your skills to make a real website? Designing and building your own simple website is an easy project if you want to start small. Here are some ideas:

  • a personal website
  • a portfolio website
  • a site for your business or someone else’s
  • a photo gallery
  • a home page with all your favorite links
  • a mobile-responsive website.

2. Make a Web Application

For something more challenging than a static website, you can design and build an interactive one-page web app using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Some ideas:

  • a game or quiz
  • a color picker
  • a timer
  • a checklist
  • a word counter
  • a calculator.

3. Make a Social Networking Site

The next step up from a one-page web app is a full-blown, database-driven web application, such as a social networking site. If you’ve been learning PHP or Ruby on Rails, this is the perfect project for you.

A social networking site will typically require a database to hold profiles, a script to generate profile pages, and capacity for user interaction. It’s a challenging project, but that’s part of the fun!

Resources for Creating a Social Networking Site

4. Make an E-Commerce Store

An e-commerce store is another kind of web application you can make. Like a social networking site, it’s perfect if you’ve been learning PHP or Ruby on Rails.

The elements you need for an e-commerce store are similar to that of a social networking site – a database to hold product profiles, a script to generate product pages, and of course a shopping cart feature.

Resources for Creating an E-commerce store

  • Treehouse offers a course where you’ll learn how to make a simple e-commerce store called Shirts 4 Mike.
  • Wordpress E-commerce from Lynda.com is a course for learning how to easily integrate e-commerce features into a new or existing wordpress site.

5. Make a Blog or CMS

Yet another kind of web application you can make is a blog. And not a WordPress or Blogger blog, either. We’re talking about building your own blogging software.

A content management system (CMS) is like a blog, but designed for permanent web pages rather than journal-like posts.

Either way, you’ll be able to write the code in PHP or Ruby on Rails. You’ll need to build a database to hold content, a script to generate your pages, and an interface for a user to add new content.

6. Make an iPhone, iPad or Android App

If you’ve been learning about developing mobile apps for platforms like Android and iOS, perhaps it’s time to make your first app. As for the coding languages – for iOS you’ll need Objective-C or Swift, and for Android you’ll need Java.

Resources for creating a mobile app

  • Treehouse offers many courses for mobile app development. We’ve listed a few below that we think you’ll like.
    • iOS Development w/Objective C* – helps developers learn the original iOS development language, Objective-C, by creating a Crystal Ball app.
    • iOS Development w/Swift* – Swift is the new development language used to create iOS apps. It is a very popular alternative to Objective-C. Learn Apple’s new streamlined iOS programming language in this tutorial.
    • Android Development – Learn the basics and move to the intermediate concepts in this android mobile development track that walks you through the creation of a Crystal Ball app.
  • Lynda.com has courses for creating a note taking app for the following devices:
  • CodeSchool.com also has a great resource for iOS development, including:
    • Try Objective-C
    • Try iOS
    • iOS Operation: Models

Mobile app development is an excited skill to acquire and while difficult at first, we think these resources are a great start in your journey to learn.

* Be aware that to develop an iPhone or iPad app, you’ll need a Mac.

7. Get Involved with Open Source Software

Open source software is software where the source code is available to be read, distributed and modified by anyone. If you like collaborating, you might want to consider contributing to an open source project.

Not only does open source give you insight into real-world coding projects, it’s also a good way to meet, collaborate with and learn from other coders.

Many coders will encourage you to get involved with open source If you are serious about developing your coding skills. A good place to start is GitHub.

Decided on a Coding Project?

Next, we’ll learn How To Plan A Programming Project, where we take your coding project idea and develop it into a proper plan.


Recommended Training – Treehouse

TreehouseAlthough this site recommends various training services, our top recommendation is Treehouse.

Treehouse is an online training service that teaches web design, web development and app development with videos, quizzes and interactive coding exercises.

Treehouse's mission is to bring technology education to those who can't get it, and is committed to helping its students find jobs. If you're looking to turn coding into your career, you should consider Treehouse.

Read our full review of Treehouse…



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.