As some of you will know, I am currently trying to complete my final year project on web application security, then I thought that some of you might be wondering what to do next year for your project – or looking for something to do on the weekend. So below is a list of some of the ideas I have had which could be really good projects.
Robots / NXT
This is my next thing. Had a NXT since my birthday, however with the Imagine Cup and Uni I haven’t had time to sit down and play. If you haven’t heard of the NXT, its from Lego Mindstorms, it comes with bluetooth, senors, motors, and other bits of kit to help you build the robot. The main part is a ‘brick’ which everything plugs into, this is what can be programmed using Lego’s own application, Java or .Net. The NXT is even compatible with the new Robotics Studio and with various books being released over the next few months could make for a great project.
More information at: http://mindstorms.lego.com/
If you interested in games development, then XNA is definitely the way to go. XNA allows you to use the .Net framework to create great looking applications on Windows and XBox 360 platforms. It has been out for a while now so lots of help available online. Games development is out of my scope, but if its your thing then I’m sure you could make something really cool using it.
More information at: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/xna/default.aspx
Next big platform? Mobile phone applications are still not reaching their full potential, its a fun platform to develop on and it really needs a killer app. The project doesn’t have to focus solely on the mobile application, maybe it could communication with other platforms such as Windows Home Server…
Windows Home Server and Home Automation
Windows Home Server is on its way and could be used for home automation. Your project could focus on integrating everything which as lights, alarms, door locks, phones with a great UI. Problem is you have to deal with hardware, but as long as you have the hardware before you start its ok. NEVER rely on unreleased or hard to obtain hardware as if it never arrives, you in trouble… unless you use Mock Objects but still. Make sure you can get access to it.
Still yet to reach its full potential, lots could be done around this…
http://blogs.msdn.com/coding4fun/ has lots of different projects which you could find useful to gain ideas from.
Technologies to look at and keep in mind when thinking about your ideas include:
WPF WCF WF / .Net Framework 3.0
Windows Mobile 6
Linq / .Net Framework 3.5
But most of all, keep it fun, make sure your really interested in the topic area as its going to take up a large amount of your time. Also, make sure you can actually do it, don’t attempt to create Gears of War II for your project but at the same time don’t sell yourself short by only attempting to create a ASP.net application reading data from a database.
One of the points I was told, last week, was reader/marker of the project should learn something from the work you have completed. Basically, don’t re-invent the wheel for the 100th time.
These where just some initial ideas, personally, I wish I had done my project using the NXT and if not that then Mobile Phones. If you have any questions or other ideas, then feel free to post a comment.