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Where do I start?
- Curtis Warcup
After weeks of working on my last project, I wanted to maintain momentum and start working on a new project as soon as possible. I had a few ideas in mind, but I wasn't sure which one to start with. I wanted to build something that would be useful to me, but also something that I could share with others.
I didn't want to build another Todo or Weather app. That isn't inspiring to me. But sometimes I start to think big, maybe too big, and I get overwhelmed. I need to start small and build up.
There were a few things I considered when deciding what to build:
- What am I interested in?
- What problems do I have?
- What do I want to learn from this project?
What am I interested in?
The common response to "What should I build?" is to build something that you are interested in. Maybe this is easy for some, but for me, it was a little more difficult. I have a lot of interests, but I wasn't sure which one to focus on.
I started by creating a list of things I enjoy doing, some hobbies and interests. I also included some things I wanted to learn more about. I wanted to make sure I was building something that I would enjoy working on.
For example, I like to eat and try new places. My partner and I are always looking for new restaurants to try. I wrote this down as a project idea but had no idea where I was going with it. But that's okay.
What problems do I have?
I also wanted to build something that would solve a problem I had. I feel like this is a good way of building something useful to me and potentially others.
While visiting a new restaurant, I often find myself parking in unfamiliar areas. I don't know the area well, so I don't know where I can park. I also don't know how long I can park or the cost. I wrote this down as a problem I have.
What do I want to learn from this project?
I also wanted to build something that would help me learn something new. I wanted to build something that would challenge me and help me grow as a developer.
Do I learn more about React? Do I learn more about APIs? Do I learn more about design? I wrote down a few things I wanted to learn more about.
After writing down a few ideas, I started to narrow down my list.
|Fitness||Time management||Backend language|
|Nutrition||Finding new restaurants||AWS|
|Sleep||Forgetting to take my vitamins||Design|
My list looked something like this.
I kept thinking about this parking ticket I received. I couldn't let it go. I circled "parking", "React skills", and "APIs" and started to think about how I could combine these two ideas.
I decided to build a parking app. I wanted to build something that would help me find parking in unfamiliar areas. I wanted to know how much it would cost, how long I could park, and if I could pay for it online.
I also wanted to build something that would help me learn more about React and APIs. I wanted to build something that would challenge me and help me grow as a developer.
I think was a good way to start a new project. I started by writing down a few ideas. I then narrowed down my list and started to think about how I could combine these ideas. Projects don't necessarily have to be complicated or incredibly unique. Maybe there's something similar out there, but at least this gave a starting point for me to build on.
The great thing about personal projects is that you can build whatever you want. Your project doesn't have to be useful to anyone else. It can be something that you enjoy working on. You have the freedom to change your mind and pivot at any time.
The most important thing is that you enjoy working on it.