Yea this is hard, I frequently hit "coders block" and there's really just no way to handle it other than time.
I feel like getting over the block will just happen as you live your life normally rather than sitting down and brainstorming. For example, I was doing bar trivia with some friends and they do everything with pen/paper so I thought "Wonder how easy it would be to write a trivia app". So I'm thinking of either making it a PWA, maybe using this as an excuse to learn C#/Xamarin... who knows.
I feel like the best ideas are going to be the ones you will use pretty regularly or to solve a specific problem you're facing instead of worrying about what hiring managers will find interesting. This not only keeps you motivated to reach v1.0.0 but you'll also be able to talk about it and sound much more enthusiastic when walking the interviewer through your project.
Also, you could try getting some OSS contributions, that will definitely get peoples attention. Here's a list of popular projects.
Man I'd love to contribute to open source, but for someone relatively new it's super intimidating... Do you know of any resources/guides on where to start?
There's no better guide or place to start than just jumping in and making any contribution. My first contribution was adding a Contributors section to someones README.md on GitHub. My second contribution was adding a "Back to the top" button on someone's website. All contributions are good contributions.
Excuse me while I do a little self-promoting here but I do have an OSS project that I would really like to gain some contributors. Express Admin Area is a web GUI for database management. Using Express and React so front and back end devs are both more than welcome to make a contribution. If you're more comfortable on the frontend please.. PLEASE add some CSS to this project. There is also a few Issues that you can take a look at and feel free to open any even if it's just a question.
Now, you probably want bigger and more popular projects to contribute to so go ahead and give Code Triage a look over.
Awesome. Now, let me ask the even bigger newbie question... HOW do I contribute? I've never worked on a group coding project before.
How you specifically contribute is going to change per project. Most mature and popular OSS projects are going to have a Contributing.md file that would walk you through their process and what they expect from a contributor before attempting to make a PR. React Contributing.md.
For my project, Express Admin Area, you'll notice there is no Contributing.md and that's because I don't care. If someone does something blatantly wrong then sure I'll correct them or ask for a fix but it's pretty laid back.
Now if you're wondering about how to get your code into their code base then I would look over How to contribute but the idea is pretty much
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