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General Discussion

Project Suggestions - Rails

So I'm through a variety of introductory courses as I have been in the past but I'm at that point where I'm looking for a project to work on. The project ideas I have are huge and not good starting points to build foundational skills. (For instance, a couple projects require finding JSON data to download which used to be easier but now with JS libraries it's harder to find).

I was wondering if anyone out there had any good 'starter' project suggestions beyond 'build a blog' (which I a am working on ) in rails.

Thanks in advance.

Greg Kaleka
Greg Kaleka
39,021 Points

Wait, why is finding JSON data hard? If your big project ideas include fetching JSON data, it may not be a bad idea to start with a simple project that does the same. And there are TONS of REST APIs out there that respond with JSON data.

For example, you might create a page on your site, or a plugin-type thing for your blog that shows the current top videos on YouTube using their JSON-responding API. Or recent tweets about the topic of your blog post on Twitter using their JSON-responding API. Or if your blog is political, a list of recent speeches in congress about a particular topic from the Sunlight Foundation's JSON-responding API. There are thousands of JSON data sources out there. Find one you like and build something simple :).


My bad, I mis stated, the JSON data I want is hard to find. I tried a project a few years ago via ESPN.com and NBA boxscores, it was mostly XML - i built it in ruby - but the boxscore was HTML - but I ran into some issues I couldn't work through at the time. What I want now is specific JSON data from places that interest me. I know it's available because others download it but I have to figure out how to download it properly.

(It would be nice to have some 'advanced' rails courses that focus on advanced topics like cron jobs, deployment, updating existing sites, etc...)

Greg Kaleka
Greg Kaleka
39,021 Points

You can probably find third-party sources for just about any mainstream info you're looking for. For example, a quick google search turned up this API for NBA box scores:


Yes, I'm aware of numerous pay optoins that are quite expensive. the nba box score thing was just an example. The point is to build it myself - to understand it - plugging things in without understanding them doesn't make you a developer. (Also XLMstats is not current either)

1 Answer

Kevin Mulhern
Kevin Mulhern
20,374 Points

http://www.theodinproject.com/ruby-on-rails I am going through this at the minute. It has quite a few very good projects to work through.