Portfolio Project Ideas for a Full Stack Developer

When you’re starting out as a dev it’s good to have a portfolio of projects that you can show off to a prospective employer. It’s best if the projects aren’t straight from tutorials as that will show that you are able to build something without step by step instructions. So with that, here are some ideas for projects you can add to your portfolio!

1. Virtual Terminal

Build a web app that is essentially an online cash register. Allow someone to enter a credit card, enter an amount and click a button to charge. You will also need to create a way to view existing payments as well as process any refunds. If you want an extra challenge, also add a way to accept an automatic recurring payment.

This will show that you:

  • Can work with API’s (Stripe or Braintree are free API’s that allow handling payments)
  • Are able to build a backend that can handle processing payments, something a lot of companies will like to see.
  • Understand the kind of information you can safely store (payment tokens) and the kind of information that you shouldn’t store (actual credit card numbers).
  • Can build a frontend ui to interact with the backend payment processing functions.

2. Info API

Create an API that allows someone to pull data about a topic that interests you. You’ll need to create a way for someone to generate an API key (or if you want to get extra fancy, implement oAuth authentication). Then using the key, the user can pull the data from various endpoints.

Some ideas for APIs:

  • Your Favorite Sports Team

    • Create a way to pull all the players on the team.
    • Create a way to pull a specific player with their stats.
    • Allow players to be filtered by position.
  • Your favorite movie, book or video game.

    • Create a way to pull all the characters and some information on them.
  • Programming Languages

    • Create a way to pull info on different programming languages.

When you’re building the API, be sure to follow RESTful standards (i.e. Accept GET requests when querying for information, POST requests when creating something new, etc). This will help show that you can build an API that can be used by the public.

3. Admin Dashboard

Build an admin dashboard that can show stats, reports, charts and graphs. This project is mainly to show that you can build a frontend interface so it can use dummy information. You don’t have to create the charts and graphs from scratch, using a plugin is fine. If you are like me and aren’t good at design, you can take a look at Theme Forest (not sponsored), for some ideas on how the dashboard could look. If you really want to, you can copy a design exactly, just don’t copy the code, treat it like it’s a photoshop file and you need to make it come to life.

4. Restaurant Menu Manager

This will help show off both your frontend and backend skills. You’ll need to create an admin area where a user can create menu items and categories to display on a restaurant’s menu. Then you’ll also need a customer facing page that displays the menu nicely. Again, if you’re not good at design, Theme Forest also has templates you can get ideas from if you need.

5. Create a Frontend for an Existing API

One final idea would be to create a nice interface for an already existing API. This will help show that you can both interact with external API’s but also create a decent user interface.

Some fun ones to choose from:

If none of those interest you, take a look at this collection of public APIs.

Hopefully some of those ideas were useful and you were able to use one for your portfolio. If it helped you, show me what you built in the comments below!