Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Projects Launch Careers

Show passion & creativity - build skills

 

Why Do Projects?

Personal or "side" projects are a great way to gain experience and skills without having actual internships. Start simple and keep it fun. You do not need to build the next Google. You can work with new technology or try to go in depth with something you already know.

Ideas to Get Started

  • Program a simple game

  • Create a personal website (HTML/CSS, JavaScript)

  • Deploy a web project (students get free credits from most cloud providers)

  • Automate daily tasks (e.g., build useful Alexa skills or Siri shortcuts)

  • Develop an app that helps you solve an everyday personal problem

  • Replicate front-end features on well-designed websites (e.g., Airbnb, Apple)

  • Implement research papers (pick an older paper and implement it in a newer framework)

  • Write a chrome extension

Other Types of Projects

Group/Class Projects: Professor-initiated CS projects for groups of students to apply classroom concepts and skills. Examples: Software Engineering (CS320), Web Development (CS326), Inside the Box (CS335); Make (CS290M)

Student Orgs: Collaborate with classmates who have similar interests. Examples: BUILD (pro-bono tech consulting projects for local non-profits), Learn Swift Amherst, ACMWiCS

Open Source: Community projects where contributors can view and modify code, resolve bugs, or provide documentation. Example: Squash bugs for an open source framework

Hackathons: Events where a group of people get together and develop a project in a short period of time, and then often showcase it on DEVPOST. Example: HackHer413HackUMass

Project Portfolios

An easy way to increase visibility for your projects is to share them on LinkedIn. If you are feeling more ambitious, you can create a personal website by using your web development skills or by hosting a Google site (examples from alumni Sagar Arora and Marco Chiang or Debarghya Das). Make sure to use the right keywords and hyperlinks to improve search results.

Career Development Tips

  • Use projects to offset limited professional experience, proving the quality of your work while also demonstrating initiative and passion

  • Add projects as a main section on your resume, LinkedIn, and Handshake profiles

  • Market your projects, giving them a memorable name and describing your goal, actions, and results - the application of skills to real world challenges is valuable