How can I choose a project idea?

I want to start building projects for my portfolio page, how can I start and choose a good project idea? Can I rebuild an existing project? Or I should do one from scratch?

Please help me in how to find project idea. I have a BA. in ITC but after graduation I stopped doing programming 2 years ago. Now, I am really confused on how to start refreshing my programming knowledge because I saw many new languages recommended in the industry.


Most people use the FCC projects as the ones they put in their portfolio page.


As @ArielLeslie mentioned FCC projects are great for practice. As for external ideas, you can try replicating a few free website themes from scratch. Look for live demos that you can mess around with–interacting with the page, menus, see how the site responds when you shrink down the viewport. And then try to build it without looking at the source code.

And any design concept you encounter there that you don’t know how to do yet, you can look up. Alot of things like sticky nav bars, parallax sites, backgrounds that take up the whole display of the browser, flexbox or grid layouts are all pretty well documented with a simple Google search.

I’ve been meaning to go through this site myself: for some practice and (hopefully) portfolio building. Check it out, maybe there’s something there that will peak your interest in building.


As everyone said, freeCodeCamp projects a really good, I’m also doing them!

When you finish them just start recreating things that already exist.

I also have these on my bookmarks, see and try to find something that you want to do:

Good luck! :slight_smile:


I think the quality of the coding and the different skills learned are more important than what the project is. Use your FCC projects. If you think you can redo one and knock it out of the park, go ahead. Look at some other people’s projects and if you like something, do your own version. Don’t worry too much about how original it is or how creative the idea is - they’re judging you on your coding, not how good you are at coming up with project ideas.


Thank you for your advice.

Thank you for your advice. The web site you mentioned seemed really helpful.


Thank you for the useful sites. I will consider that as resources.

I agree with you that the quality of coding and other skills more important than the project is. Your words give the courage to start a project even if it is not a brilliant idea. Thank you so much for yor advices.

but which fcc projects are worth to be placed in your portfolio? i didn’t check the back-end projects, but the front end ones rather look as exercises than as something remotely useful, the two that look somehow useful still need adding a lot of functionality to be something more than an exercise, for the stream aggregator it’s filters by game, by viewers etc, search & adding a streamer by name, cookies, additional data etc i.e. basically a complete rewrite, also needs a real twitch api because the fcc one doesn’t update the channel state real time and is very limited in functionality, for the weather app it’s a lot of additional weather data, i am not sure you can even get it for free via api, i mean stuff like daily/hourly forecast etc… dunno about the rest, maybe pomodoro with sound effects might be useful while being opened in an inactive tab but it’s too simple, a quote machine to be a bit more than a minute curiosity or a plug-in for your site to be somewhere in a corner of it needs a selector of quote themes i.e. i guess a paid subscription to some quote source, wiki viewer, calculator, tic tac toe and simon game look completely useless, maybe except the simon game

Are they projects that are going to blow away an employer? No. But they are still better than having nothing in the portfolio. They show at least a basic understanding. No, it’s not going to fool any one and land you a senior coding job at Google, but it might be enough to get an entry level job at some place.

You go with what you have. And you keep working and trying to develop better projects to fill out the portfolio.

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To put it another way, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I don’t think it is a good idea to “wait” until you have the perfect set of perfect complicated, stunning full-stack apps to start putting together a portfolio. Just go for it. If all you have are the front end FCC projects, then go with that. Is it going to land a great job? probably not.

But look at it this way: There is no penalty for failure. If an employer looks at your portfolio and thinks Man, this is crap - no way I’m hiring this guy! - who cares? It’s not like he’s going to call every employer in the country and tell them not to hire you. Heck, even that specific employer would probably reevaluate you if you reapplied with a better portfolio.

Using a “light” portfolio looses you nothing and gains you the possibility that you might get something. And it gets you some experience building the portfolio itself. The goal then, is to gradually increase the quality of content in the portfolio.


Tic Tac Toe (especially coding the AI) and Simon Says were by far the most valuable tools for me. I tried approaching these using functional programming, and I learned I have a ways to go before I felt comfortable doing it that way - which means I’m really happy I did it.

What I also learned is to not judge a project by its cover. There have been many challenges and tasks presented by FCC that look simple on the surface, and only once you start to code it do you see the subtle intricacies that you didn’t consider when evaluating the project beforehand.

This improves not only your hard skills in actually programming something reasonably difficult, but it also improves your soft skills in evaluating how much work goes into a project. 10,000 lines of code for the Random Quote generator would tell everyone in this room that you hard coded tens of thousands of quotes in your code, since we all know that’s not a 10,000 line of code app - I hope you know what I mean in this regard.

I would build the apps FCC recommends and once you have the front end certificate then evaluate again which direction you want to go.

it’s not about building them or not but about including them in your portfolio… at the very end you have to move them from codepen i guess

Definitely you don’t want to leave them on codepen. It can be a cool way to build simple projects, especially when learning (although I still use it to test simple ideas) it will look amateurish to an employer. Fortunately, it is easy to download the file - in the lower right corner, export → export .zip. If you extract that, it sets up the files and folders for a local version of your app. If you don’t have a hosted web site yet, it’s easy to set up git pages on git hub. You built a portfolio project, yes? You can use that on the git pages and present your projects. You may want to improve that portfolio app, but it’s a place to start.


I think any projects have been done could improve the portfolio.

This is a link for online and free courses that I would love to share. It is really great resourses for beginners, intermediate and advance programming levels.

@Esra-Alhussain I love edX!
It’s more formal, but they go deep into the subjects, and explain them very well, and also have various projects for each course.
I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to step up their game

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I am new to FCC, so I apologize if my reply is a bit off. I have learned to code on my own without help from such a great resource as FCC. Right now, I am about 4-5 years into learning java, mysql, and basic html and css. In my daily life I note areas where it would be great to have a program/app do something for me. Then I start building. My initial programs are often poorly written but I can make something that is useful for me. I find this approach the best way to learn (for me). It may not be the fastest, but by coding various projects I learn new skills as I solve the problems. Below are some of the examples of programs I have built, and continue to build and/or improve upon.

I am a family physician so my job has many opportunities where new apps can help. Just consider looking around at your daily life and think about what you can build.

Vaccine refrigerators are very costly. Their benefit is they have alarms when the temperature goes out of range. Much cheaper to build alarm and use dorm fridge. Using Java and a hardware device called a Phidget (Arduinos are much cheaper) I created an app to measure temps in fridge and freezer, or if door ajar for too long. Then visual, audible, and if selected, text alert to my phone, are triggered. I learned a great deal from this program. It is very simple, but I learned how to text cell phones from email. I also learned how to talk with a hardware device. All written in java.

Patient check-in software. When a patient presents to a doctor’s office, this solution allows a patient to check in and answer basic questions about the visit from a computer in the waiting room.

Group text/email program to send appointment reminders to patients. Although these programs exist, I wanted one that did not charge a per text fee. I learned how to interface with a cellular modem. Now I text my patients appointment reminders and I only pay $9/month for a low cost cellular plan and can text any number of times for that $9.

Medication list generator. Many of my patients do not speak English, or they are illiterate. I am creating a medication list generator that can create med lists in other languages and using graphical representations.

Hopefully you get the idea. Early on, this approach definitely is hard with much delayed gratification. Start with small projects and build from there as your coding knowledge grows. I still consider myself a beginner, but I keep learning and keep building things that make my life easier.

Good luck!


(following link was me playing with html and css a few years ago, way basic and ugly)