Considering projects for 2021
I'm a builder. I learned to code because I like to build things.
What I'm not is an idea guy. I don't know what to build. This makes it challenging when I'm trying to think up new projects.
This has always been a problem when I want to learn a new technology. What do I build? A todo app? No, that's lame. I'll build a platform with news, events and score boards! Except that will fall apart because I won't follow through on making the content, just like it has fallen apart the last few times...
Picking the right project is hard. If I build something too small, I won't learn anything. If I attempt something too big, I won't finish it. How do I make sure that my project enables me to really evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the technology that I'm trying to learn? After all, if I were going to build something to pay my bills, I'd just use Laravel.
I think the trick to learning a new technology is picking a project that only needs one core feature. From there, I can add more features if I continue to find the project interesting, or call it done if I don't.
Projects that I'm likely to build
Here are some of the ideas I've been tossing around. I won't build all of these, but I'll likely build some of these:
- A site that helps beginners pick which language they should learn
- A form builder for JAMstack sites
- A to-do app (I mean why not?)
- A FOSS Civic API replacement for federal offices
- A web scraper that finds affordable houses
Other projects that I'm unlikely to build
These are projects that I've thought might be interesting to tackle over the past year, but I'm unlikely to actually build. In general, these projects tend to be bigger (more than one core feature) and veer farther away from the languages I'm trying to learn this year (Ruby and Python). It's pretty likely that I don't touch any of these, but maybe I'll feel ambitious. Regardless, I want to record these ideas somewhere.
- A podcast hosting platform
- A karaoke event app that gamifies attendance
- An app that automates watering my mom's garden
- A native Android version of my React Native 12-tone app
- A native iOS version of my React Native 12-tone app
- A Python-based CMS
- A Linux phone metronome app
I'm going to use this post as a living document for the remainder of 2021. I'll add more ideas as I get them. Older versions of this document will remain in my project's commit history.