As a developer, many of us struggle with choosing our own projects. We run into questions like:
- What project should I choose?
- What language should I learn?
- What API should I implement?
My take on answering that question for myself goes back to the reason of "why" I choose software development in the first place. When setting out to build my most recent personal project - postpandemic - my goal was to somehow make a difference. I wanted to create something more than just an app, but I wanted to give users a little more joy in their day, a little hope while enduring one of the more difficult times of many people's lives.
When I think about "why" I chose to learn to code, I think about all of the possibilities I could use it for. What Can Be Done , and What Do People Need. More specifically, I think about making something that is going to make that big difference, and be meaningful for somebody.
I know, I know. There are tons of websites and apps out there, how can I come up with one that hasn't been done before!? Some of the best tips I have found for aspiring new developers looking for their first coding job is to practice by moving from coding tutorials to building your own simple projects app ideas. This will help them learn, stay fresh, and keep their github active.
I love it.
I think this TOTALLY makes sense!
But how do you make them unique?
My suggestion when looking through lists of project ideas, or when getting stuck coming up with your own, is to find your "why". What would be YOUR goal you would like to see come from the project? Can you find something in them that might be helpful in some way? Can you make the project be more meaningful to someone?
Alright, so you might be wanting some more specific examples.
Here are just a few ways that finding your own "why" might just help improve someone else's app idea, or better your own:
- More User Friendly
- improved layout, user flow, error messages
- More Accessible
- bigger buttons, larger font, better color contrasts, screen reading, dark mode
- New/improved functionality
- example - providing text alerts when pizza is at your door
- Putting a new spin to the current functionality that might provide new meaning
- example - a trail map application that might be useful for other recreational users
I would love to hear more about your own "why", and what makes you want to code!