Learning to code is a satisfying, rewarding experience — especially if you're teaching yourself with online programming courses. Still, most developers agree that if you really want to learn how to code, you'll need to create something. What's the point in learning about programming languages, libraries, and tools if you're not applying that knowledge to a project?
Creating coding projects, like simple text-based applications, is the best way to instill the skills and knowledge you gain as you learn how to code. These projects help teach you the basics of programming, force you to think like a developer, and expose you to the tools you'll use later in your career. To help you gain some hands-on experience, we've created this list of 10 coding projects for beginners.
How to begin coding
Before you tackle any of the projects listed below, you'll need to learn how to code. But which programming language should you learn first? The answer depends on what you want to do with it.
To start learning any of these programming languages, check out the courses below:
Once you've mastered your language of choice, put your skills to the test with the following projects.
10 coding projects for beginners
The following list of projects is designed to appeal to all skill levels, from new to experienced developers. Each project will teach you how to think like a programmer and build your skills with your languages, libraries, and other tools. You can also publish them on sites like GitHub to showcase your abilities. Here are 10 basic coding projects for beginners:
1. Build a chess game
Building a chess game is a great way to hone your ability to think like a developer. It'll also allow you to practice using algorithms, as you'll have to create not only the board and game pieces but also the specific moves that each piece can make.
2. Make a mobile app
Learning how to build mobile applications is an excellent choice if you're looking to break into mobile development. Depending on your preference of platform, you might have to learn either Swift (for iOS apps) or Kotlin (for Android apps).
Need some guidance as you build your first mobile app? Check out either of the Skill Paths below:
3. Create a basic calculator
Building a calculator is a popular project for new developers, as you'll need to create both a layout and an algorithm that can process numbers and symbols. While it may seem simple, you'll have to closely examine your code and process.
4. Build a web scraper
In this project, you'll use Python and libraries like Beautiful Soup to extract information from HTML and XML files and pages. This is great practice if you're considering a career in data science. If you need help with this project, try our web scraping with Beautiful Soup course.
While this project doesn't involve tons of work, it is important. It teaches you how to use a Document Object Model (DOM) in a web browser to make a website dynamic. If you're pursuing a career in web development, this will be one of your many responsibilities.
6. Make a countdown timer
A countdown timer tracks the years, months, days, hours, and seconds until an event occurs. This project tests your ability to create a date field, optional time, and a start button. Once it's complete, you'll be able to count down the time until any event you have in mind.
7. Flip images
8. Develop a recipe app
If you like to cook but have trouble organizing your recipes, creating a recipe app could be a fun and useful project. You'll want the app to list your recipes by title, displaying a recipe card and picture. You'll also want to add information about serving sizes, difficulty level, ingredients, and preparation.
9. Create a book finder app
If you're a book lover with a large library of uncategorized books, a book finder app could be a great assistant — especially if you want to learn more about a book and its author. With this type of app, you'll need to create a search field that returns relevant information about a book.
10. Build a drawing app
If you have a passion for the visual arts and long for a digital drawing space, try building your own. Within the app, you should be able to draw images with your cursor, manipulate colors, draw and alter shapes, and save the drawing to a local device. Bonus points if you make the images shareable.
Along with the 10 listed above, there's an almost endless amount of other projects that you can complete to build and showcase your technical skills. If you need help finding one, check out our Portfolio Projects, found in each of our Career Paths.
Our Career Paths are designed to help you learn the skills you'll need to land an entry-level position in the tech industry. As you complete your Path, you'll use the skills and knowledge you've learned to create various projects that'll help you illustrate your skills to potential employers.
- Front-End Engineer Career Path: Learn front-end languages and frameworks and use them to create a custom Spotify playlist, add animations to static web pages, and more.
- Back-End Engineer Career Path: Learn back-end development with tools like SQL, Express, and PostgreSQL, and use them to build a comic book company API from scratch.
- Full-Stack Software Engineer Career Path: Learn both front-end and back-end development as you create a database for a restaurant's menu.
- Computer Science Career Path: Master Python and development tools like Command Line and Git as you learn how to create your own interactive Choose Your Own Adventure game.
- Data Scientist Career Path: Venture into data science, database management, machine learning, and more while learning how to visualize your data.
- Data Analyst Career Path: Explore Python, SQL, and the tools you'll need to analyze data and use them to visualize data pulled from the World Cup.