People have different reasons to learn programming. Some are really interested in technologies, some want to have a well-paying job, some love to build new things. And for sure you can combine all these reasons.

And there’s an interesting group of developers who use their knowledge to make fun or artistic projects. So here are 5 of my favorite projects that really inspire me.

Orville the Crow

Stephanie Nemeth made a fun project with the help of the crow. Yes, real crow! She set up the Raspberry Pi to run JavaScript and share live photos of a hooded crow that really loves peanuts.

I think the crow really appreciates Stephanie’s programming skills.

The Pudding

These guys are my favorites! They create visual essays with data. And all of them are awesome! For example, Rappers, ranked by the number of unique words used in their lyrics, an interactive experiment about the birthday paradox and how ‘gayborhoods’ in 15 major American cities are divided by gender.

I can’t stop being inspired!

Telegram bot as a doorbell

My friend Artur Paikin made a really cool project using JavaScript and ESP8266. When Artur lived in New York, he didn’t have a doorbell. So he built a Telegram bot that sends a message when a delivery man push the special (self-made) button downstairs.

I can’t stop thinking about how fun it was to build this thing!

The Flemish Scrollers

Belgian developer Dries Depoorter has developed a Python project that analyzes livestreams of the flemish government meetings. When a livestream starts the software scans for cell phones, identifies a distracted politician, and sends blaming tweets.

Don’t forget to check out other projects by Dries Depoorter. You’ll be inspired, I promise!

All the lonely people

Ilia Blinderman – as I know he’s part of The Pudding team – analyzed data from Craiglist’s Missing Persons section and created a visual map of missing person reports. The idea and the visualization of the data are really great.

At the end of the article Ilia shares the methodology of creating this project.