If you start learning a new coding language, you can only keep your interest in theory for so long. Sooner or later, you'll feel that itch to try and create something yourself. Where should you start? You might have a billion of Python project ideas. And yet it might be tricky to come up with one that's simple enough for a beginner.
One must get their feet wet before they cross an ocean. Hence, in this tutorial, we will present you with a few basic ideas to get you inspired to create your own small Python projects.
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Why start with Python?
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Writing projects in Python is a great choice for a coding beginner. It is often the first coding language taught at schools, sometimes introduced as early as elementary classes. The reason is simple: Python is extremely readable and doesn't require you to learn complicated syntax. It comes with a basic development environment called IDLE, which means you can start writing and running your code straightaway.
However, you shouldn't let a smooth learning curve fool you: Python is far from a children's toy. This general-purpose language is actually a powerful tool, used for everything from web development to machine learning projects. Both Spotify and Netflix use it to generate suggestions and recommendations for their users, based on their previous choices. Instagram, which as of 2023 has over half a billion daily active users, is based on the Django framework, written in Python.
Due to a wide selection of open-source libraries, Python is easily customizable. This provides programmers with various levels of experience countless opportunities to create cool Python projects.
Python project ideas for beginners
You should be careful when choosing your first projects in Python. An ambitious idea might seem very attractive at first, but if it turns out to be over-complicated and take too much time, it might scare you off coding altogether! We recommend you to start with something quick, simple, and fun. And what can be more fun than a game?
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Game development basics
One of the best Python project ideas for a beginner is a Rolling Dice Simulator. Basically, all you need your code to do is choose and print out a random number in the range from one to six. To do this, you need to be familiar with the integer data type, the random module, and the print() function. If you want you simulator to ask whether the player wants to roll the dice again, you will also be needing while loops.
random module, you can also make a basic guessing game. As the game generates a random number, the user has to guess it. To do that, you will have to allow them to type and submit their input into the program. To inform the user if their guess was correct or not, use If/Else statements.
If you're looking for more inspiration for fun Python uses, why not take a look at DataCamp? This online data science learning platform specializes in gamification – the process of learning new things through playing games. As part of its catalog, DataCamp offers numerous beginner-friendly projects that use real-world data to help you teach Python in a practical and exciting way. If you're curious to try it out for yourself, you can learn more about DataCamp Projects for Python (and other programming languages!) here.
A little more complicated version of a guessing game is The Hangman, in which a player has to guess letters to make up a hidden word. While it might seem a bit too complex to land among your first Python project ideas, hear us out. The most basic version of this game does not need to include graphics: you can turn it into a text-based project.
First, you will need a list of words for the system to choose one randomly. One simple option is using a Sowpods dictionary file, which is available for download on GitHub. Then, you will need to choose appropriate functions to check if the users input is a letter, whether the hidden word contains it, and if so, how many times. Your code will also need to print the correctly guessed letters and limit the number of guesses using an integer variable called a counter.
Using Python for Raspberry PI
Another great option for a beginner looking for Python project ideas is using the Raspberry Pi. This tiny computer is ofter used in teaching programming, and the Raspberry Pi foundation specifically works to make coding accessible to the youth. It's small, powerful and affordable: depending on the model, this ATM-sized microcomputer can cost you anywhere from five to fifty bucks.
Using the Raspberry Pi, you can create websites, applications, and even dip into robotics. Connected to a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard, it can act as your usual desktop computer. However, once you set it up, you can control it remotely – and that's where the fun begins!
The Raspberry Pi Code Club has a little learning path for getting the basics of Python down. This includes a few small Python projects. such as writing a basic Rock, Paper, Scissors game and creating simple encryption programs. After you get the hang of using your Raspberry Pi, you can use it for all kinds of creations, including but not limited to a moving alarm clock or security cameras for your home.
Python projects for intermediate coders
After you finish a few interesting Python projects, you feel much stronger in terms of coding. You've written, debugged and executed full codes and reached the desired effect. What's next? This is where another drought of Python project ideas often comes in. How do you get through that?
You have to remember that first and foremost, Python is a tool for web development. Why not try to create a few simple web projects, then? This way, you can create simple programs you can use yourself, as well as gain skills that might prove useful when looking for a new job.
Python can be used to scrape information from websites, which makes it perfect for a content aggregator system. A good example of such project could be AllTop. As you select a topic you fancy, the system provides you with the most popular headlines. This is truly a project for an experienced coder, as you will need to store the info in a database and use specific Python libraries for HTTP requests and content parsing.
Another one of Python project ideas for the web could be a Post-It program that allows the user to write something down and return to it later. The complex part of this project is adding the feature of personal accounts. This way each user can have their notes private, as well as accessible from anywhere. The easiest way to implement this is by using the Django framework to create your application.
Applications for GUI
Another group of Python project ideas is GUI (Graphical User Interface) elements. With a little experience and skill under your belt, you can create simple tools to use daily for various tasks.
An alarm clock is probably one of the most popular small projects in Python. To put it simply, it's a program that informs you with an audio signal as soon as a specific condition (usually, a set time) is true. The user must be able to set, unset, and modify the alarm. If you decide this is not challenging enough, you can also add a snoozing feature to delay the clock. Libraries will help your clock play the audio. And speaking of audio...
Using Python and some additional libraries (such as
simpleaudio), you can also write a simple MP3 player application. The most crucial element it should have is an interface to display the file information. This project is great for an intermediate user because of its flexibility: there's a ton of supplementary features you can add. Make the player repeat or shuffle their audio files! If you're familiar with working with databases, you can also include a playlist making feature.
Extra tips and tricks for new Pythonistas
If you lack that little bit of confidence to start your own project, collaboration might be a great first step. Try the Up for Grabs platform, where developers and teams are looking for new contributions to their open source projects. Even if you don't find anything you'd want to join, it's still worth visiting just to browse some Python project ideas: as of now, they have everything from as simple desktop organizer to an electronic assessment system for mathematical tests.
However, if it's not the issue of confidence and you simply feel you lack some knowledge, feel free to try BitDegree online courses! Do you have ten hours to spare? Two? Less than one? Maybe you're especially interested in AI or data science? It's okay – we do have something for everyone! And for more ideas, our DataCamp Python guide may help you out!