I recently asked for program ideas. I got five downvotes (or more if someone upvoted along the way ;), and the question was closed.

Where should I ask that kind of question?

(No one say Google (or another search engine). Please.)


Think moderately-sized, one-person projects for someone who already can program (at least to some standard).

  • 4
    program ideas, wtf is that? I don't need them. I usually come up with them myself, if I even get the time
    – sehe
    Apr 25 '11 at 21:57
  • Consider asking on Meta, or on Programmers.stackexchange.com?
    – AllenG
    Apr 25 '11 at 21:57
  • 5
    I hope you realise this is like asking how to make billions of money without doing anything. If people have a good idea they will try to do it themselves. I'd advise by asking people you know, what they would like to have. I often encounter people that do not know anything about designing software but still have very good ideas for new awesome projects. If you are looking for learning stuff, I suggest searching for opensource software, tweak it, you will learn a lot that way
    – Antwan van Houdt
    Apr 25 '11 at 21:57
  • Better would be to delete tag "ideas" from Stack Overflow :)
    – daemon_x
    Apr 25 '11 at 22:04

There is no appropriate place in the Stack Exchange network for "Give me ideas" type posts. This primarily due to the network focus on trying to find the single best answer for a given question.

These types of questions can accrue tens, and hundreds of answers, all equally valid, and in some cases none particularly useful to the person who asked since they did not define the question narrowly.

Further, there is no "wrong" answer for this type of question.

I'd suggest going to the chat rooms in the languages you are interested in, and asking the people who hang out there what they think - it's more a discussion than a question and answer.


Think moderately-sized, one-person projects for someone who already can program (at least to some standard).

The problem with this approach is that I could suggest to you "make a kazoo database" and since you haven't put any limitations on it, that's a valid answer. I'm not as familiar with the FAQ on programmers, so I don't know how specific you'd need to be for it to be a valid question.


Ask yourself. I've had several of these questions. This is how I fixed it:

  • Learn one programming language. Well. For me, this was C, I read through K&R and did all the exercises.

  • Reinvent the wheel a few times, write a webserver, etc.

  • Do Project Euler. Programming is about solving problems, not learning new languages.

  • Figure out what you're interested in, for me, this was mathematics, networking and graphics.

  • Learn more about what you're interested in

  • Try choosing an open source project to join. For me, this was Redis and Apache.

By the time you're done with this, I am sure you will think of something. I guarantee it.


This could be an example of, what Jeff and Joel talk so much about on the podcast, simply an inadequate question (don't mean to sound harsh there sorry).

Perhaps what you're really wanting to ask is more along the lines of "Where/How do you find (or what gives you) inspiration for new projects?" or "What are the key / most important characteristics of development project that indicate it will have commercial viability?" or conversely, "what type of development projects should I consider to learn about X?".

Remember, the goal is canonical questions that add value for future visitors.

Even then it may be better on programming or startups stackexchange sites.


Find an open source project that interests you and contribute


Have you checked if the Halfbakery is suitable for programming projects?

  • +1: This doesn't answer this question, but thanks!
    – compman
    Jun 9 '11 at 22:06

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