So you’ve learned the basics of computer science via programming or scripting languages like PHP and now you want to get your hands dirty, get practical and work on some projects with which to further your skills and test them in the real world. How should you proceed? Here are some practical project ideas to work on.

A portfolio platform

The approach would probably be a little different if you’re not programming for the web, otherwise a portfolio platform to showcase your growing selection of work is probably the best place to start. Web developers in particular love commencing in this way, simply because it makes for the best way to drum up the motivation to actually get something done. The portfolio platform itself may be empty right after you finish building it, but the platform itself can be used as the very first, self-contained item.

…Somewhere in the last sentence is a programming joke…

Your own e-commerce store

This will make for a really challenging project to work on, but once you’ve completed it then you will be able to proudly say that you’ve earned your stripes as a programmer for the web. Not only can you then populate the store with products that can actually go on to make you money residually, you can perhaps also license the store and sell it as a turn-key solution.

If you’re really up for the challenge, how about incorporating some affiliate marketing capabilities into the e-commerce site?

Your own version of what UpWork and Elance used to be

Scour the discussion forums in which online money-making ideas are discussed and you’ll realise that there is a huge gap left wide open by the progression of online freelancing platforms like UpWowrk, which of course previously used to be oDesk and Elance as separate entities, prior to the merger. Build your own freelancing platform like how oDesk used to be and you’ll have an army of clients and freelancers waiting to sign up.

Your own version of “Gigster” sites like Fiverr

If you’re looking to go a different route to that of a full, online freelancing platform, your own version of so-called gigster sites like Fiverr would make for a great way to proceed. Rumour has it that just like UpWork did, Fiverr is looking to go public, which likely means that gigsters are likely to start getting bad experiences using the platform. These online platforms which subsequently go on to focus on making shareholders happy leave a huge gap for someone to fill up the void that they leave as a vestige of a more contributor-focussed platform.

A discussion forum platform

With the exception of the portfolio project, all these mentioned projects for a budding programmer to work on incorporate the challenge of building a membership system. It’s no different with a discussion forum, but a discussion forum is perhaps a lot easier to build than an e-commerce store, a freelancing platform and a gister platform.

It will make for good learning curve and thorough test of your skills though, with the possibility of monetisation through advertising.

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