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5 Project Ideas for your Portfolio

We are big advocates for building projects to put on your portfolio to help you get a job. The projects listed below will give you diversity in project types and allow you to demonstrate a lot of skill and expertise in order to increase your chances of landing a software development job.

They all incorporate some key criteria we think are important for portfolio projects:

  1. They solve a business problem.
  2. They implement security (Authorization/Authentication).
  3. They have a database backend.

Here are five project ideas you can add to your development portfolio.

1. Bug Tracker

A Bug Tracker is very familiar to a Hiring Manager. They will use something similar within their organization. They are familiar with its functionality and know what features should be present within this kind of application.

A Bug Tracker allows someone to submit a defect found in software. That defect is assigned to a developer who works on the issue then pushes the ticket onto a production team member who rolls the fix out into the application. This is a workflow, or issue tracking system, around software defects.

We think the Bug Tracker is the essential project you should have on your portfolio.

2. Blog

Your blog needs to have the ability to allow you as the owner to author content, contain rich editing features (bold, underline, links...), an authentication system stopping just anyone from submitting posts, and a role for other users to be able to submit comments on your posts.

It may seem odd that we suggest building a blogging application with things like Medium, Dev.to & WordPress, being so popular. You can use those platforms to write a shorter form version of your blog post that points back to the main blog post on your own blog site.

Imagine if you have 20 posts that all point back to your blog and in turn points back to your portfolio. This will make your portfolio rank high when searching for your name or even in some cases for certain technologies, like ".NET MVC".

Building a blog not only shows your coding skills but also builds your brand as a developer.

3. Financial Portal

This is a piece of software like Mint.com or Quicken Money. This application tracks transactions from your credit card or bank accounts and basically tracks your incomes and your expenses. A financial Portal allows you to put those incomes and expenses into categories so you can see how much you are spending on certain things (e.g. groceries or gas).

The reason we recommend this project, like the Bug Tracker, every hiring manager has used software like this to manage their own personal finances. If you show them a piece of software that's easy to use, and something they would use themselves, they are going to think the programmer that wrote the software will also bring value to their company or organization.

4. Inventory Control System

An inventory control system allows a company to receive shipments, which could be parts, products, or services, and turn around and sell those parts, products, or services.

A company needs to track those costs as they come in and apply them to sales, using something like a "job costing report" showing the costs against the sales. This is an essential tool to a lot of businesses.

Creating an inventory control system shows you can solve a complex business problem familiar to most companies.

5. Work Order System

The most familiar version of this kind of application would be a cable repair system.

A person calls the cable company when their cable is out. That creates a ticket for a technician to be dispatched to repair the issue. That ticket contains details of the problem and an address.

The big feature in this kind of system is geo-location, allowing maybe turn-by-turn directions provided to the technician or finding the closest technician available to the location based on their current location.

Many companies use similar systems, so again, the Hiring Manager could be familiar with the kind of functionality provided by this kind of application.

Summary

Including one or more of these projects on your developer portfolio will increase your chances of getting that first software development job.

While we're talking mainly about web development projects here many of these have logical versions that could be developed for mobile or desktop.

If you're interested in Coder Foundry as a bootcamp check us out at coderfoundry.com to get all the details you need to get started.

Discussion (2)

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webbureaucrat profile image
webbureaucrat

I'm pretty skeptical of the last two--inventory and work order systems. I understand wanting to pick something a hiring manager uses, but I would instead advocate for picking something you use every day.

If you don't use your own product, you won't know how to improve it. You may miss bugs or obvious use cases. Your product design will reflect that it was built by someone who doesn't understand the business case.

Meanwhile, the hiring manager will more quickly spot the weaknesses because they will know what they like in such a product.

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hashimwarren profile image
Hashim Warren

You pick something a hiring manager uses to

  1. Get instant recognition from the manager that you built a business / enterprise app "correctly". They won't know if your personal project is good or not

  2. Prove that you can follow a spec