Now back on to a topic more similar to that of the capstone project: our own personal side projects.
Of course, now a lot of our time is concentrated on our capstone project, but I’m sure there are going to be people out there that want to work on some sort of side project because this capstone may have given them that they could really use the skills they learned throughout the course of this degree to make something and expand their knowledge. Well I’m here to do two things, one much shorter than the other: help you figure out what projects you can do, and my own project that I will be taking on.
Let’s start with the shorter one: finding your project. Personally, I have looked a lot at different project idea lists out there. A lot of them are incredibly helpful in order to learn different parts of building software, from taking input, databases, web apps, and so on. But while those lists are great, I found that I wouldn’t be very motivated to actually even start them. They were definitely going to be of help in learning, but I never really was able to start something that I didn’t have at least a passing interest in. Sure coding/programming was and still is a huge interest, but I didn’t want to put in time to make something that I would just discard basically right after.
So what I figured was to find something I was interested in and look for an idea in there. There are so many ideas that you could find in your everyday life or a hobby. For example, my first project was about half a year before I started here at Oregon State and it was a simple desktop app to get the info you wanted about Board Games from BoardGameGeek.com and output it to a .csv file. I wanted a fast way to get the info without having to go in and manually search it up each and every time. Simple project that took a long time just because I was learning about programming a desktop UI for the first time and learning new concepts. Looking back, I could definitely improve the app, but I had a lot more incentive to make it because I was going to use it.
Now that ties in perfectly with the side project I’m going to work on. I don’t remember if I mentioned, but I’m a huge soccer fan and on top of that, I’m a huge Football Manager fan too. It’s a game where you become the manager of a team basically anywhere in the world and try to turn your team into a world beater. Sounds fun, right? It truly is! But I’ve found that tracking my saves can be a bit of a slog at times. I want to be able to go back in time and see my squad composition 5 seasons ago and see where I improved, or to see my results against a specific team or manager. And on top of that, compared players and teams across saves AND version of Football Manager (20 vs 21 vs 22 for example). So my idea was to make a save tracker for FM. And honestly, I need to put this down on paper in some capacity in order to get my ideas down right.
Now it sounds pretty pedestrian in how to make it, just a few forms to add some players, results, etc. But the issue is that there are so many stats to take into account and some people may want more specific stats or the like. And on top of that, manually adding players, results, transfers, and so on can be a massive time sink with how many stats there are to add. So I would have to implement some sort of backend database (SQLite in my case only because its a desktop app) and be able to read a file (either .html or .txt) and imput the players that way.
That’s just the basic functionality I’m talking about here, and I know there’s so much more I can talk about, but it gives you a glimpse into what my plan is after I complete this capstone project as well as the program and have time after my full-time job in the night.
Feel free to comment on my project or even about an idea you have for a project. Enjoy your little project hunting on the side, but do make sure to actually write the ideas down so you don’t forget later on!