Hackathons are 2-3 day long events where you work in a team and make new projects. At the end, you present the project in front of judges and get feedback.
It’s a great way to find like-minded people, create something cool, and win awesome prizes! It’s the best place to simultaneously find people and projects, create something new within 24-36 hours, and enjoy free food + swag from companies.
Tons of online and offline hackathons happening. Find, sign up, and attend: Major League Hacking (MLH).
GitHub + Open source
Clone and fork every repository you find useful. If you’re interested in the project, track its progress or extend some features on it. For instance, there’s a portfolio template -> extend it into something more centric to a topic. Try different things and keep exploring!
Follow people who regularly add content. It’s nice to see interesting tech on the Github feed. Once you follow people who post regularly, you’ll see how so many amazing things exist in the tech world.
Be active overall
Start with small projects.
Upload and maintain your projects on GitHub.
Add documentation wherever you can. Often, if someone is looking at your project, they’ll only focus on the Readme. Not a lot of people will dig deep and find something in the code, but a lot of people are interested in what the project is about. So, it’s important to add screenshots, write some about the project, and maybe explain the journey of how you made it.
Improve Git practices: Git is something that every company uses, and it’s a great way to manage and collaborate on projects - definitely an essential part!
The open source community is huge and it’s great to follow these projects.
A simple Google search of “beginner project in react” will land you at hundreds of repositories. Take advantage of this, clone the repos, and start learning from there.
There’s an awesome list for every framework out there - simply Google “awesome list react” and you’ll see projects related to that. enaqx/awesome-react: A collection of awesome things regarding React ecosystem
There are public repositories that bigger companies consistently manage - you can watch them and find an opportunity to contribute.
Programs like Gsoc are absolutely amazing. Apply and try to get in - discuss with students who already had that experience.
Tons of people post their projects on LinkedIn. Make sure to like and comment on their posts and message them about their journey.
Post your project progress, ask for feedback, and connect with people who could work with you on it.
Identify people who are generally active on Linkedin and reach out to them, learn more about what they're doing, and seek their advice. It’s likely they’ll help you or guide you to the right resources.
LinkedIn Learning also offers some great project related learning: add a new skill set and take it from there.
Product hunt has tons of professional products posted every day. Reach out to the founders and ask if they want to collaborate.
You'll probably need skills relevant to that product, so make sure to do research and read about the product beforehand.
Learn a framework, make simple projects, and work your way to something bigger. Start with popular frontend frameworks like React, Angular, and Django, then move to whatever you like more.
There’s tons of documentation out there. Google search or go on YouTube to learn the basics and create something small today. Add quick features, iterate it over time, and eventually make it big enough for others to join.
Find problems around you and see if there is a simple solution. Top 10 Coding Projects for Beginners
Find people once you have something mid-size. Ask for collaborations in a post on Linkedin, Reddit, Discord etc to find people.
Look for other simple projects on GitHub, Reddit, Discord and ask if you can contribute. Open source is the way to go. We will make a separate guide on this.
Create Chrome extensions to solve simple problems. I tried making a timer, note taker, etc for my own use, and learned a lot of new things.
There are tons of new opportunities in this space. Start making small extensions and see how you can turn it into something big.
Find other students who are in your classes. Tons of students are working on side projects. Just ask!
Choose classes where you can make projects -> take the projects seriously and make them actually good. Continue to update them after the class is over.
Clubs, events, and other small gatherings at your university may offer opportunities to make projects or work on ideas. Collaborate, network, and build something cool.
At the end of the day, people love working with skillful developers.