5 More Programming Projects to get basic strong


The projects:

  1. Automate your smart home
  2. Create your own blog
  3. Start a local marketplace in your city (no-code)
  4. Creating your own radio station

1. Automatic image optimizer
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As you may already know, nowadays images are a big part of the web and, yet, they can cause a lot of challenges for the user experience if not properly optimized or delivered. This could also dramatically slow down your site and according to Google: “Two seconds is the threshold for website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.”

So a good challenge would be to implement — or maybe even create your own — an automatic image optimizer in your website before serving images to the user. You could try to begin with resizing your images and creating a source map for them. If you have time left, you could also think about regenerating them in optimized image format like WebP.

In a different story, I will explain how you can implement an automatic image optimizer in C#.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to resize images on the fly and create source maps for them
  • How you could provide two different formats, depending on what the users can accept

2. Automate your smart home

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Photo by Yash Patel on Unsplash

Smart homes are not just for the extreme luxury people anymore. In the Netherlands — where I live — , you can buy quality B-brand smart home equipment for less than $16. Maybe you began to smarten up your house as well and if you are a bit of a nerd programmer like I am you will also try to automate and connect the equipment.

Many of the smart home brands also provide a very useful API to alter the state of your equipment. Because of this, you will have the ability to write a program to automate your house exactly as you want. You can, for example, try to write a program to turn on the thermostat if you turn on the lights in your bedroom between 08:00 and 09:00 in the morning.

These little automation projects will make your life just a little bit more fun and easy.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to use the API of your smart home equipment
  • How to combine software with hardware.

3. Create your own blog

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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

If you are a frequent reader of Medium you probably already thought about creating a blog yourself. Because Medium is nice and all, but what about creating your own creative blog? On your own blog, you can do and change whatever you like. You can maybe even combine it with a portfolio for your future jobs. It’s never a bad thing to have a blog.

I started mine a couple of months ago for this exact same reason.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to use the techniques you like to create a website
  • Write in a different manner so people will like what they read

I wrote two blogs — that make use of VueJS and NuxtJS — that could help you with this subject:

4. Start a local marketplace in your city (no-code)

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

This COVID-19 pandemic requires all sorts of businesses to think creatively about how they could keep their business going. But they don’t have to do this all by themselves. You can try to help them by creating a marketplace for a niche that could use some help. Think about allowing local farmers to add their products that they cannot get rid of, or maybe local restaurants that do not have a takeaway website yet.

As you may already know, low code and no code are becoming two very booming business motives that almost everybody can work on. Of course, you will not have all the options that you will have when creating such a product yourself but it’s worth looking into. I recommend to to use something like Glide, where you can use google spreadsheets to create your own marketplace.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to work with a no-code project
  • How to help people when they are really in need of help

5. Creating your own radio station

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Photo by Dave Weatherall on Unsplash

Let’s say you are bored of listening to music on Spotify, and you want to be surprised by the collection of MP3’s you have saved somewhere on a hard drive. You are a programmer — so you don't want to put a lot of effort into scheduling numbers — that only wants to enjoy your music and let a program decide which number should play when.

What if I tell you, there is an easy way to do that. For example by using Radio automation software like RadioDJ. You create a MySQL database, and import all the MP3’s in the program. Then, by using SQL you can create queries of which type of songs the program should load depending on the hour or day of the week. Maybe you like 80’s music at 8 o’clock, and like some Jazz in the evening. Everything is possible.

With a bit more tools, you can run this on a server. You can then broadcast the music over your local network, to have the ability to listen to it on any device you want. It’s even possible to broadcast it to everyone, but you’ll run into licensing issues quite easily. The fines for illegal broadcasting are high, so my advice is to only make it available locally.

What you’ll learn:

  • Broadcasting audio over your local network
  • Setup schedules of music, based on SQL queries.

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