Python Principles

Programming Project Ideas

One of the best ways to improve your programming skill is to work on a project that you find genuinely interesting.

Here are some ideas for projects or small programs you could write.

Games

Traditional board games make for manageable beginner projects. Some examples include:

  • rock-paper-scissors
  • tic-tac-toe
  • chess

These projects can be as simple or complex as you want. You can make them text-based in a terminal window, or develop a full graphical interface. You can do the basics, or you can add advanced features such as multiplayer, AI, and networking.

If you have more experience, you can also develop typical computer games. How about Pong, Space Invaders, or a Tower Defense game? You can use the PyGame framework for graphical games.

Web scraping

The term web scraping refers to automatically collecting data from websites. You can use it to collect any data that interests you. For example, you can:

  • aggregate cheap vacations from different sites
  • collect twitter posts or usernames related to your interests
  • find stock prices every hour

The specifics depend on your interests.

Chat bots

You can write a chat bot that can hold a conversation with you or someone else. The bot could communicate via terminal input, over IRC, Twitter, Reddit, or Discord. If you don't know what the bot should say, you might find ELIZA a fun source of inspiration.

File operations

You can automate tasks on files. Some examples include:

  • search for text in files
  • extract data from PDFs or spreadsheets
  • rename files
  • move files

These can save you time if you need to do the same task a lot.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) is a sub-field of AI that focuses on how we can enable our programs to learn things. Machine learning has lots of fascinating applications that you can play with even without understanding the deep technical foundation.

For example, Sentiment analysis lets you analyze data, such as tweets or reviews, for positivity or negativity. You can build a recommender system for movies, books, articles, or TV series. You can recognize and transcribe hand-writing. You can recognize objects in images.

A good way to get started applying ML through Python is by using the TensorFlow framework.

Autotypers and clickers

If you have to type the same sentence repeatedly, or click in a certain pattern a lot, you can make Python do it for you. You can use the PyAutoGUI framework to get started.

Web development

You can build a website using Python. A website has a front end, which is what the user sees, and a back end, which has all the underlying logic. Python is good for back-end development.

You'll need HTML, CSS and JavaScript for the front end and a Python web framework such as Flask or Django for the back end.

Web automation

A lot of the tasks you perform online can be automated. Here are some ideas:

  • check if a website is online
  • download a list of files
  • monitor a web page for changes
  • log in to a website

You can use Selenium to control a browser using Python, or you can use the requests module for making website requests directly.

Other ideas

Here are some more miscellaneous ideas:

  • fetch data from various places and put it into a spreadsheet
  • apply filters to images
  • clean and format data
  • store data in a SQL database
  • send emails automatically

Got more ideas?

Feel free to submit further ideas here.

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