Posted by WilliamMena on April 18, 2018

Throughout my time at flatiron and upon meeting other graduates I’ve been greatly surprised by the confusion of what to build. Heads up, this one won’t be too technical, just talking about my experience finding inspiration for things I’ve built or would like to.

There is one point that I want to get across. I will say it now and try and pressure it down your throat. You can literally create whatever you want. Like anything. And that should be all I need to tell you but it probably won’t fully sink in so quickly, it happens to me all the time. I randomly, when describing what I do for work, realize how much power I have. If we wanted to design a program that would shut off our lights at a certain time, we probably can. Yes javascript is a web language and there are probably better languages or ways to control items in your house. But with a quick google search I discovered An npm package for controlling smart products in your house. No matter the brand. Let’s say you wanted to brush up on another spoken language, so you start to read articles or books in that language. And you run across a couple words that confuse you. So you think of making a program that can house the word, define it for you and then quiz you on it days later to make sure you understand the word. That’s something we can build. There are probably much better ways to learn the word and help you study it, like index cards…. but that’s not the point. The point is that we have so much power in our hands.

So now to talk about my personal projects. Each project that I’ve created and about 90% of the things that I’ve written down to create in the future are things that I wish I had at my disposal. Honestly, these are all things that I think would help me in my day to day. My proudest project, which I’ve written about before, is my final project for the bootcamp, Script Splitter. It’s still not ready for the public or online but it’s something that I feel many people in my position can definitely utilize. It’s a program where you input your video script, just the text, input how many words appear on screen, defined by number of characters and it gives you back a list of video captions within your specifications. Which may not be important to most people, but for me, it’s a big time saver. At my current job now I’m still creating text boxes through trial and error. In my previous job, I used to have to make the subtitles for our facebook videos and the videos would be about 10 minutes of captions that we need to create which can easily be over 300 captions. And this tool would have saved me a ton of time since I wouldn’t have to figure out what fits. Everything would just fit after I found out how many characters fit and I gave the number to my application.

But that’s the type of mentality I have with my projects. If I can use it, why not build it. Of course there are probably a ton of options out there so explore that. Like I probably wouldn’t recommend building your own spotify. But if you truly don’t like the listening experience they’re giving you, then what would make it much better for you? And how can you make that so you can perfectly enjoy that experience? My 2nd to last project was a website dedicated to assigning household chores to you or your roommates. A designated place for finding out what chores you have to do and cross it out so your roommates know. Something that would have been incredibly helpful back in my college days. We had one person cleaning the bathroom every couple weeks and dishes were done when people were fed up of the giant mountain of plates. But it was never anyone’s turn to take care of it either. Assigning the roles and keeping track of it would have been great.

I hope that gave you some type of inspiration whenever you’re trying to find what to do. When searching, look at things that can help speed up your day. Look at the work you’re doing. What tasks are so repetitive and tedious to do? What help do you need on your day to day. You may use a productivity tracker for work but what features don’t they have that you think would benefit you most? Yeah that thing. Build it. You have the power to create. You have the power of the internet that can teach you how to build anything. You can do anything. I hope I was able to slightly help in your inspiration. I hope I can help spark up your next great idea. I know it’s hard at times to think of what projects you should create next but there are a ton of things you can do. And a ton more that would make your life easier. Think about it and start there. Thank you for reading.