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29 January, 2018
by Nicole Nelson
Content Marketing Manager
Craig Newman’s passion project idea was an email newsletter to help friends to discover social events in the San Francisco area. When the list grew, he used his skills as a Java programmer for IBM to create a web interface and voila, Craigslist was born.

Not all passion projects take off with the virility of Craigslist, but that is not the objective. A ‘passion project’ is a self-initiated endeavor that’s enjoyable and helps you build new skills or hone existing ones. To employers, it can be a powerful demonstration of self-motivation and showcases your interests, skill-sets and problem-solving abilities. To get started first get inspired! We’ve got five passion project ideas to kick off your next creative venture.

1. Karlie Kloss – Kode with Klossy

Kode with Klossy

Model Karlie Kloss is more than just a pretty face. She has an entrepreneurial streak and a desire to help empower young women via her non-profit, Kode with Klossy. Kloss got the idea after learning some coding herself and recognizing the opportunity to help support more teenage girls in technology. Camps held throughout the U.S. enable girls aged 13-18 gain skills and proficiency in both back-end and front-end web development through building their own web apps “Like a Kloss”!

2. Michael Miller-Hairston – oSource

oSource, Michael Woz U Final Project

It wasn’t until he started a course in Objective C and Swift that this Woz U graduate really started developing a passion for coding. He began the Software Developer course at Woz U HQ in Scottsdale, AZ and he and his team were tasked with completing a project in 3 weeks! They knew they wanted to do something with open source, but did not know what was out there. They decided to solve their own problem. oSource allows every user to search GitHub’s repositories for open-source projects that they may want to contribute to. He used the mean stack (Mongo, Express, Angular and, Node) to make a super nice MVP (minimum viable product).

3. Shannon Byrne – A Song A Day

The founder of A Song A Day, Shannon has been annoying her friends with music suggestions since childhood. She became passionate about curating playlists and thought she might help others find the joy she does in jamming out to a quintessential song. After buying the URL, creating a Squarespace site, sending it to a few friends and sleeping for a few hours, Shannon “tweeted it, and three hours later it was trending on Product Hunt with 500 subscribers.” Just goes to show that you don’t even need to be tech savvy to start something that makes your heart sing.

4. Jared Adams – Design Pickup Lines

Woz U Design Pickup Lines

Ever since 13-year old Jared Adams “tricked out [obsolete blogging platform] Xanga through HTML/CSS” he fell hard for design. Since then, he seeks “innovative ways to display content on the web, whether it be through responsive design, new CSS3 elements or new jQuery plugins.” This simple, small project idea got big love from the Muse and a twitterpated social following whose tweets now serve as a new source to pick up lines.

5. Thomas Fuchs aka “madrobby” – Vapor.js

Vapor.JS

The coding community is always looking for ways to help out a fellow developer, but they also have been known to pull a prank on occasion. Code libraries are like templates for coders’ personal or professional projects and they have become overrun, especially in popular languages like JavaScript. Often times, newbies rely on these libraries when learning how to write the code themselves might actually be more beneficial and efficient. For example, in the time it might take to look up the commands, they could have created them already. In response to this, Thomas Fuchs or “madrobby” on Github, created the most efficient library ever, containing exactly 0 lines of code. Don’t try to pass something similar off as a final project idea in Woz U’s Software Developer program, but by all means, if satire inspires you, get your goof on in Github!

Nicole Nelson

Nicole is Woz U’s social media and content manager who loves to build communities and break though barriers to find common ground. After graduating college, Nicole joined Woz U as an intern and quickly rose up in the ranks to become the voice of the brand on social. When she’s not documenting Woz U’s Demo Day, you can find her cheering on her local soccer team or getting her ‘zen' on practicing yoga.

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