Get Started With One of These Side Project Ideas

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Integrating APIs

Jokester: A quick and easy way to get laughing!

Did you know there is a hilarious "dad joke" API? I Can Haz Dad Joke provides an endpoint that you can hit to fetch a random dad joke.

Try building a single-page app using HTML, CSS and JavaScript that allows a user to click a button and fetch a new dad joke each time.

This project would be a great way to level-up your CSS and responsive design skills along with your jQuery skills. Challenge yourself by doing one version of your JS code using a good old fashioned AJAX request and another version using the fancy new Fetch API.

Personal Cookbook

Build a web app that intergrates with the Big Oven API to allow users to browse and collect recipes. You can start simple with an index of recipes fetched from the API. Then, add a feature that allows users to save their favorite recipes to their own personal cookbook. After that, try adding a feature that allows users to share recipes with one another and even plan meals together by creating a shared grocery list.

Sentiment Analysis App

Use the Sentiment API to create a text analysis tool. You can send a request to this API with any string of text and receive back a JSON response that describes the sentiment analysis of that text.

You could create this as a single page app with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Or, create a full-fledged web app backed by a database that allows users to save the text they have submitted for analysis and browse saved submissions by sentiment categories like "positive", "negative", etc.

Nature Adventure Planner

Use the Trail API to build a web app that allows users to plan their ideal hiking trip. Let users browse hikes by location, create a hiking itinerary and even submit their own reviews of hikes.

Your Turn!

To browse even more cool APIs, check out Mashape Marketplace

Build a Game

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe is a great game to build because you have to design your game play and implement the logic around taking turns, keeping track of score and the current state of the tic tac toe board and determining the winner.

Build a single-page app with HTML, CSS and JavaScript that presents the user with a tic tac toe board and lets them play against the computer.

Simon Says

Use HTML, CSS and JS to create a simple canvas with four colored squares. The computer highlights the squares in a sequence for the user to replicate by clicking on the squares in the correct order. How many rounds can your user go without messing up?

Choose Your Own Adventure

Build a web app that allows a user to "choose their own adventure" by navigating through a series of mini-stories and making chooses that will determine the next phase of the story.

Focusing on Communication

Chat App

Build an app that implements a real-time chatting feature between users! You can create a Rail app and use Action Cable, a JavaScript app and use Socket.io OR explore Elixir and Phoenix which provides real-time features with Phoenix Channels.

Email Scheduler

A web app that allows users to schedule emails to go out. You'll need to figure out 1) how to get your app to send email and 2) how to schedule emails from your app. Challenges!

In-App Messaging

Instead of sending emails from your app, build a web app that functions as a clone of your favorite email client! Users should have inboxes that are organized by read and unread messages. Users should be able to send messages to the inbox of any other user whos address they have. Add features around labeling and categorizing messages, filtering spam, you name it!

This app allows you to spend time enacting the relationships between your data--how does a user related to their inbox and messages? How to labels impact the relationships between data? How are users related to the other users they are emailing? Does a message know its sender and recipient?