Looking for Ideas for Side Projects

I am a software dev with a bit of time on my hands. I want to start some side projects and looking for some ideas.

My skills mainly lie in developing web applications but I also have experience with mobile app development. But part of this is about skills development so I'm up for learning and trying something new as long as it's interesting.

Is there something you kind of wish exists on the web? A problem which you wish had a solution? Even if you don't know the exact solution, let me know the problem and maybe we can discuss how it could be solved.

I'm looking for ideas which I can develop an MVP in about 3 weeks (about 30 hours part-time). What that means is I'd have to be able to break the idea down into something I could build in a quick and dirty fashion to test out whether the idea has legs or not. If there's potential, I'll keep going.


    • +4

      Rain Parrot (iOS), Brolly (Android), Dark Sky, and CARROT weather (Mac, iOS) do this already

      • Good to know, will check out!

      • +1

        +1 for rainparrot, yet seems less accurate nowadays than it once was

      • +1

        Agreed, Rain Parrot is good.

        Was great when I lived in Darwin and could go from blue skies to bucketing in 10 minutes.

    • +1

      There are apps for this aleady. Nowhere near as many as the traditional weather apps, but they do exist.

    • +1

      This app exists and it is called RainParrot

  • +5

    Maybe an app that generates money making ideas. Because you obvious figured out you need one.

    Or a Google / Alexa app called "rate my idea" and then just listen to the logs of what everyone else talks into it.

    Alternatively look at the free courses and do a short course on "innovation"

        • +1

          part of this is about skills development

          Which "skills" are you planning on developing? What is the other "part"?

          If there's potential, I'll keep going

          What for?

  • +8

    Here's an idea I had, though I don't think it's a 30 hour thing.

    It's a combination of four factors
    1. People like to read physical books, and to own those physical books while they read them.
    2. People don't have room for all the books they read
    3. People donate books to OP shops because of point 2, which have lots of books, but no online presence and no way of searching their catalogue.
    4. OP shops are run by volunteers, who often have slow periods where they can't do much.

    The idea is to have a mobile app that can be used by individual OP shops, to scan their collections of books. The app catalogues the books, imports them into a sales platform like ebay by using data referenced from the isbn, and offers them for sale. Then during down time, OP shop volunteers post out the books.

    The focus will be on books that fit into a standard Auspost letter. Anything thick or over 500g is too expensive to post, and the model falls apart.

    • Most books won’t fit in an envelope except maybe some kids books

    • +1

      libraries are good for people who like to read physical books but unfortunately they’re all closed at present

      • -1

        Libraries are good, until you start factoring in the value of time. Most people don't, which is why they think its pointless to pay money for something you get for free. But if it takes you 10min to get to the library, and 10min to return it, thats half an hour of time spent. At $25 per hour, thats $8.30.

        I'd rather pay $5 for a book, posted straight to me. Read it on my own terms. Then chuck it in one of those donation bins when I'm done with it

        • +2

          Lol - postage alone will be $4.30 so the op shop gets $0.70 per book for sorting, listing, processing and mailing? 😂


        • Do you have one of those donation bins at your front door? Otherwise you’ll “spend” $8 donating it 🤣

        • You can probably get a $5 book posted to you from China.

        • An app that tells you how much your time is worth - you just spent $2.50 taking that dump

          • @modsec802: PooPays is an excellent Android app, I use it to track toilet time and update my friends on how much I got paid at work for doing shit.

        • +1

          Yeah but you can borrow more than one book at a time.

  • +9

    Clean your residence
    Paint your residence
    Do all the outstanding repairs around your residence
    Do the gardening
    Mow the lawn
    Rake up the leaves

    That shoul;d keep OP busy for a while

  • +4

    HI, I'm a UI Designer and looking for a dev/UX designer to do a short term side project with

    • I'm a software Engineer with a lot of parallel education and experience in people/software management and basic UX/UI. Feel free to PM me.

  • A dating app like tinder or bumble where people cant put their insta as their description

    • Isn't it just a dating app with a validation back end to make sure it doesn't link to real profiles on insta or filter the words "IG, Insta, Instagram"

  • +2

    how about an app where you can store details of personal items (records) that are due for renewal or expiry, such as drivers licence, insurance, warranty on items that you purchase on Ozbargain and details of when your purchased items that have a warranty or of significant value.
    Needs the ability to:
    - store a file such as a photo or pdf of the invoice or details of the item.
    - emails me a reminder that the item is coming up for renewal/expiry in x days

    • +1

      Google calendar will do that for you if your input the information.

    • This has good potential. The app should be able to read a receipt and infer data from it such as purchase date, warranty info etc. It's not an easy thing to build it will require machine learning and lots and lots of scanned receipts. If receipts had a standard format this would be very easy to make, but they don't.

      • this app exists and it is called Expensify

        • I see. I know that company I've used it too but I didn't know it can read receipts. When I used it one year ago I would upload the receipt image and manually put in all the info, so it was not machine learning.

  • building bunkers to survive the impending war/ underground storage facilities.

    • With plenty of shelving for toilet paper.

  • Look for deals on OzBargain and buy things you don't need. That way you can save more money on non essential items.

  • +1

    I think a proof of concept worth developing is an application that tracks prices for items you want to buy and sends a notification when they come on sale, below a price you're willing to pay. I developed a proof of concept using a web scraper in Python that works but I haven't got the skillset to take it further.

    The app is similar to price hipster but uses web scraping to list more sites, I wrote scraping providers for sites I'm interested in including Supercheap, Ikea, Sparesbox, Bunnings.

    • i find ozbargain price alerts is pretty good for a lot of common items. Like I bought the Xiaomi Dreame the other day so putting an alert for Dreame and waiting till the next deal happened.

    • Price hipster is awesome for this but as you say doesn't have everything. OzBargain alerts rely on it being posted which doesn't always happen. So yeah I'd love the price hipster concept to be expanded to more sites!

  • I need a simple app to let people clock their hours in. Hours need categories like normal, overtime etc. Overtime needs approval from manager.

    People are in diff teams and working on diff projects, and having iPhone and Android phones.

    App needs to integrate with Office 365 for auth and auth.

    Can u do it in 30 hours?

    • It could potentially be something that could be done in less than 30 hours - depending on the scope.

      What do you mean by integrate with O365? Like some sort of timekeeping app that's integrated within Teams? Or you just want them to be able to log in via their Azure AD identity?

      • Yeah use OAuth from their Microsoft account

      • +2

        This sounds like one of those times the client thinks the whole project will take 30 hours. Then you show them the PoC and they say "WTF where's the rest?"

        • Sounds like you dont really get what POCs do…

      • So will u do it?

        • maybe… have you looked to see if there's something that caters for your needs?

          There's lots of timesheeting software out there, what would be different about this one?

    • If you're on O365, have you looked at Flow? They market this as an app building platform without needing any dev skills.

    • How is the clocking in works? Scanner? Manual touch a button on the phone?

    • Just posting my thoughts, there's an app called Deputy that does this (without Office 365). I worked for Deputy and built their Android app from scratch. You will find it if you google Deputy. It is a paid software of course but it does a lot of things like finding replacement if employee calls in sick, employees can submit leave requests or exchange shifts with manager approval, managers can see employees location at clock in and clock out and whole range of other things. Of course there are many competing employee management apps out there but since I build Deputy app from scratch I felt the need to do a shameless plug. If OP builds the MVP for you all good but have a look at deputy if you haven't already.

      • +1

        Nice, my friend works at Deputy. Seems to be doing pretty well from what I hear.

        • Yeah they're doing alright but of course Covid has left no business unaffected, I believe Deputy have laid off close to 50% of their staff.

  • An app for Ozbargain?

  • +9

    An app that lets you create a list of items that you want and gets the cheapest prices from Coles and Woolies and outputs the lists of things to get from Coles and the things to get from Woolies. There are apps out there which just show prices of items but none of them let you create a shopping list and then outputs them into 2 lists consisting of the cheapest items.

    • it's a good idea. I think the key is to have some way to scrapping the way with coles and woolies (and maybe aldi and other companies) into a consistent dataset.

      • Price hipster has done a really good job of the scraping side of things - their website is super fast. I'd start there for inspiration if you go ahead with this kind of app.

    • I've heard of https://www.grocerygetter.com.au/ but never used them

    • +2

      I know someone who looked into this. The challenge they had was that our research suggested there were two kinds of shoppers: Brand conscious and price conscious. Brand conscious shoppers cared more about the brand and their perceptions on quality, and tended to avoid the "home brand" cheap products in each categoey, so the app you're describing wouldn't interest them. The price conscious shoppers would be willing to buy "home brand" products, which they found almost always were cheaper at Aldi (assuming Aldi stocked the product) by roughly 20% margin on average. So someone using an app like this would pretty quickly figure out the trend and uninstall it.

    • Frugl’s already done this, they released a mobile app recently. The developer made a post about the web app a few years back on these forums.

      I’ve looked into it before. Every state has its own catalogue/specials so you’d have to cater to each of them. On top of this, the Coles API is a PIA the use, it has a limit of 100 items returned, and roughly 20,000 items in their catalogue. So to get the price of each item in all states would take 1200 calls.

      On top of this, Woolworth’s API doesn’t let you specify your location, so it defaults to Sydney. You have to log in to change your location, and you’re provided with a JWT which is passed to the search API. I’m assuming Frugl’s just using the default location, because I tried searching for Fruchocs, which only come up when you set your location to SA, and they didn’t appear in the search results. On top of that, scraping is annoying because both websites use fingerprinting.

      So yeah, it’s not really worth it.

  • Australia supermarket price comparison app.
    - barcode price camparitor
    - receipt scanner

    OZBargain App

    Contractor app and web framework w/ hookins for squareapp touch n go
    -One solid framework / works across private contractors
    - diary
    - uber style locator/ eta (depending on business)
    - quote and receipts tool - integrate to myob, etc
    - customer database with history
    - Social media integrated msg system

  • +2

    What about an app that tells me where those singles which are dying to meet me, actually live. ;)

    • First you must claim the million dollars from the Nigerian Prince. The prince will then tell you where those singles live. You shouldn't have ignored the Nigerian prince's emails.

      • Didn't you hear? The poor guy was found dead last year. Crushed by piles of cash that he'd been trying to give away for years. ;)

        • Oh he's dead too. Don't worry I'm sure his son or relative will email you to take his inheritance as they simply don't know what to do with the million dollars.

  • +1

    Something that autoposts your ad on Gumtree to FB marketplace or vice versa, or with one-click button. Then autoremoves once ad closed.

  • +1

    Great idea for a post.

    I have a few ideas!

    1. Spotify/apple music/tidal share via NFC. Share a song or playlist with someone via NFC. Bump your phones together and you got it.

    2. Reminders or to do list that takes up an annoying amount of your phone's screen and won't go away unless you mark it done.

    • Regarding your first idea - doesn't Spotify already let you do this?

      • Not that I know of but possibly!

    • +1

      +1 for the to do list. Current to do list app doesn't feel rewarding when completed.

  • +2

    Warranty manager. Yeah I know there's receipt managers already… But how about something for multi year warranty, keeping track of receipts, when it expires etc

    • if someone made a universal 'warranty registration' app (so I don't have to find every companies' dumb website and make an account etc. to enter a serial code), and then could hotlink you to support services at the touch of a button…. I would be willing to pay reasonable monies.

  • Have you had a play around with Arduino? https://www.arduino.cc/

  • How about an app to dob in people ignoring social distancing rules.. Name and Shame..or if no name known photo..

  • +1

    If you adopt one of our ideas and it gets success, what happens then?

  • +2

    anyone have an app idea i can build to make me money?

  • Retro gaming machine using a Raspberry Pi is pretty fun. You can go basic with just the Pi, RetroPie software, and controller which would really only take you 30 mins all the way up to fabricating a cabinet, monting retro button pads, and configuring your own emulator within a shell (or write your own shell) which would definitely fill up your time. And if you go all in with a cabinet, it also has resale value if your so inclined to profit.

  • Looking for an app that I was surprised doesn't exist: an easy to use app that flicks your wifi on-or-off, as you move in-and-out of specific GPS coordinates. I want the wifi on my phone to flick on as I hit the driveway of my house and the office building, but not be on (exposed to open wifi networks with paywalls) in the city or on my commute.

    I'm not sure if the reason why this doesn't exist is due to lack of specificity/fidelity with GPS positioning?

    • I don't think my Samsung phone automatically connects to open wifi networks (?) Hence, it already works as you'd like by going in and out of wifi range.

      • I distinctly remember my Galaxy S7 connecting to open networks automatically, as well as my Pixel 1, and more recently my Mate 20 Pro. Regardless, even just not having wifi running all day everyday when you aren't using it would be beneficial

    • This already exists on my s9plus, must be an Android thing maybe.

    • Ifttt does it.

      Ifttt is a generic cloud based scripting engine for home automation


      Might take some time to set up compared to a native app

      • ill take a look, thanks heaps!

  • I notice that of all the budgeting apps, no free tool has the ability to split transactions which is pretty important feature (ynab has it). In a tech stack you already know, this could be a 30 hour project driven with ads. If your trying to learn a new language, i'd double that time to 60 hours. It should be simple and have zero server/maintenance costys if you use a localDB implementation, or maybe just oAuth with dropbox for storing their transaction files.

  • Hi, OP Here,

    Just to clear up, I really am just looking for ideas for side projects. Some have said I'm trying to trick someone out of their billion dollar idea or whatever. Not at all.

    It's very difficult to build a successful startup. It's not just someone having an idea. It requires more than one skill set and it requires taking a level of risk - in financial and the opportunity cost.

    I'm not in a position to do that. I have a full time job and I'm not really interested in giving up a stable job to work 60+ hr weeks at my own startup (not at this point anyway!).

    Being an ozbargainer, I'm not against making money. But really, the main aim here is skills development. I just figured the best way to do that was to help others.

    With that aside, just want to say wow, can't believe how many responses there were to this thread.

    I think ideas get better when they're shared and discussed. Every idea exposes a problem and ideas exposed in a public forum allows them to be fleshed out and increases the probability that someone will implement a solution.

    Therefore, I might contribute my own idea. Maybe we need more of what this thread is. Some sort of platform / community where people can suggest ideas of things that should exist and have other people give them feedback like people are doing here. It could be a custom built site or could just a subreddit, but the aim is to encourage people to talk about problems they're having and possible ways they could be solved.

    • Fair enough, but apologies for my scepticism. I asked earlier, and I'm hoping you can address some questions I have. In your original post, you wrote:

      part of this is about skills development

      Which "skills" are you planning on developing? What is the other "part"?

      If there's potential, I'll keep going

      What for?

      It seems to contradict what you're saying in this latest comment.

      • Which "skills" are you planning on developing?

        The bulk of my experience has been as a full stack web developer but I've been doing this for decades, so depending on what the idea is, I'd be keen to try new things. I have a special interest in Azure right now.

        What is the other "part"?

        To do what software developers generally strive to do. To fix people's problems using technology. There's a reason why the vast majority of code written is open-source and freely available. Most developers really just want to make a difference. Like obviously they want to get paid, it's not a charity but it's not the primary drive. If you find a project interesting enough or for a good enough cause, you'll have developers wanting to work for free.

        What for?

        It seems to contradict what you're saying in this latest comment

        I don't know see the contradiction. If I validate an idea and sees that it adds value, why would I stop following through with it?

        • I don't know see the contradiction

          So are you interested in money or not?

          Commenters have given you a number of suggestions. Are you trying to take the one that has most profit potential?

          Or is this a "skills development" exercise?

          • @bananamacbook:

            So are you interested in money or not?

            Not particularly. That's not to say I find anything wrong with anyone taking any of these ideas and turning it into a successful venture. People should absolutely be rewarded for doing good work.

            But startups are hard and IT is generally a team sport. You don't find many solo devs working part time producing the next billion dollar app.

            The most "profit potential" idea is really more likely the one that motivates me to develop the most marketable skills for my day job.

            • @witsa:

              That's not to say I find anything wrong with anyone taking any of these ideas and turning it into a successful venture. People should absolutely be rewarded for doing good work.

              Agreed, and it's mostly because these ideas are being openly shared. I also agree that execution matters and you deserve what you earn.

              But a "good" idea saves you the time, effort, and costs of chasing a "bad" one.

              The most "profit potential" idea is really more likely the one that motivates me to develop the most marketable skills for my day job.

              I hope you've found something of use.

  • Create an App that can trigger price error of retailers

  • Rehoboam

  • Tracking tool using blockchain to list and record all politicians and their actions. App or a tool sits on the blockchain listing all politicians in a ladder/map view, covering their scope & service area. Any new legislation or law that is proposed or created by a politician triggers a notification with poll of three choices. 1. Helps the common man 2. Eventually helps the common man 3. Common man is out of scope, something in those lines.

    When the new election campaign starts, all the notifications points are wrapped up in to a stats, which is their performance based on the poll results.

    Problem I’m trying to solve is the lack of public memory and history that they cannot change.

    • did you see the cartoon on Sunday's ABC Insiders - Australians being asked to download an app to track their proximity to other people

      and the Australian sitting at their breakfast table - 'sounds fair - if politicians download an app that tracks their proximity to bags of money'

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