Practice Projects

Hello all!
First some back story. If you don’t care, my question will be in the next paragraph. Six months back I somehow got an L4 Systems Admin position with Amazon. Since then, my management noticed I’m going for my BS in Computer Science and like to tinker with development; Becuase of that I was tasked with helping out on a project that got me recognition by one of the Software Development teams. Now they are trying to groom me into a Software Development Engineer to be on their team in the near future.

So the question is, what kind of projects have you done to practice web development? I like to tinker, but without a real goal, I just kinda fiddle fart around and get nothing done. The main technologies they use that I want to improve are jQuerry, Bootstrap, and Flask. I have a good understanding of Python already, and a very basic understanding of JS.



We used a lot of Angular at my last shop (been a few years).

If you’re not alread familiar with it, you’ll want to have an understanding of the commit-to-production pipeline.

Git, various linting tools like jslint. They’ve probably got some kind of scaffolding tool if they deploy a lot of frontend apps, you should find out which one it is and poke around with it.

Docker’s probably in there, too. You don’t need to be a guru, but you should know how to create a basic container, build it, and run an app locally successfully. That’ll be a common workflow pattern.

Testing frameworks. Whatever they use.

Understand the basics of CI/CD. All the better if you can get hands-on experience with whatever their pipeline tool is, but familiarity with the concepts help no matter which ones you use.

You probably do some/all of that already, but thought I’d toss out some ideas.

Finally, as a side note… make sure you actually want to program. I did an SRE -> Backend Developer move and hated it. I love writing code to solve my own problems, but when I was doing it full-time, using a set of tools that had largely already been chosen by other development teams, it was an absolute slog.

Burnout’s a very real thing, and it functions a lot like depression. Be mindful of it, especially after a role change.

Good luck!


Look at bugs your mentor on that team is working on, talk to that team manager if you don’t have someone, he’ll be able to find someone who’s lacking “mentoring” in their portfolio and connect you two together for double impact in their career development duties if it works out.

That person, mentor, if at all sane and capable, will basically give you a practice project (ie. not something mission critical). And will figure out based on your skills what to give you to do that you have a realistic chance of completing (otherwise they’re stupid cause giving you something you can’t do would make them look bad, or bounce back as too much work for them). Look at that team’s existing code as a template, if you don’t have access, ask. Don’t try to invent new things as a newcomer, because it’s hard to do right and there’s always friction to change. Make yourself useful first, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to change everything later.


Thanks for your responses . I am a bit worried about burning out, wish I could know ahead of time if I am going to enjoy it as much as I think I will. Only time will tell I guess.

@risk Funny you should mention him giving me a task to practice on, he did a full 180 and gave me something to work instead of working on my own for now. Sounds like other people on his team (probably the senor dev) gave him some advice. Now I’m just jumping into an entire web app. Wish me luck!