Software Development Ideas: Where to Find Them + 25 Software Ideas to Inspire You

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Publish date:

October 14, 2022

Updated on:

June 12, 2024

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Software Development Ideas: Where to Find Them + 25 Software Ideas to Inspire You


They say ideas are a dime a dozen, but when it comes to software and web development, things might just be a bit different.

In fact, if you work in the software development industry, you can consider yourself lucky. Not only is this market forecasted to continuously grow over the next few years, but it is also a still largely unmined territory in terms of how much can still be done.

In other words, everyone can strike gold: regardless of whether you find your base ship in JavaScript, data science, mobile, or elsewhere on the software development spectrum, the software dev industry will continue to be very attractive.

Where to find the best ideas for software to develop, though?

Let's take a closer look at the process you can use to find good software development ideas.

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How Good Ideas Are Born

Let's get this out of the way: there's no secret trick to getting good ideas. No magical retreat, no set recipe, and no step-by-step guide. Building a process that helps you sift through your learnings, experiences, and mental chaos is the only "key" to success when it comes to finding good ideas.

You might think people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or Larry Page are the best at generating new ideas. But the reality is, they're not that different from other people. They just have a better process for efficiently handling their thoughts and experiences – and no, their big ideas weren’t born out of thin air.

In other words: if you can find a way to systematize your idea-generation process, you'll be set. Although different people have different strategies when it comes to processing their ideas, here's how some of the best in the industry do it.

They Set a Timeframe for Brainstorming

When it comes to brainstorming, one of the most important things you can do is set a specific timeframe in which you allow yourself to generate ideas freely.

This could be an hour, half an hour, or even just ten minutes. The key is to make sure you don't allow yourself to get bogged down in the details. The goal is to come up with as many ideas as possible within the set timeframe so that you can go back and start refining the most promising ones.

They Stimulate Their Creativity

There are a thousand ways to stimulate your creativity, from watching movies to reading books, and articles about industry trends, participating in discussions, or taking a walk in nature.

Some people find that they're able to generate their best ideas when they're doing something completely unrelated to work. In contrast, others find that they need to be actively engaged in problem-solving in order to come up with new solutions.

The important thing is to experiment and find what works best for you.

They Practice Mindfulness

This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying that mindfulness can be helpful when it comes to generating new ideas. It allows you to be more present and aware of your thoughts and surroundings.

This can be beneficial when starting a brainstorming session because it allows you to catch any stray thoughts or ideas that might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Plus, it doesn't hurt to take a few deep breaths and clear your head before diving into a brainstorming session!

They Keep a "Seed File" of Their Ideas

This is a file (physical or digital) where you keep track of all the ideas you come up with, no matter how good or bad they may seem.

The goal is to have a designated space where you can quickly dump any thoughts that strike your fancy, so that when it comes time to brainstorm new ideas, you're not starting from scratch.

A seed file is also a great way to keep track of your ideas over time. You may not be able to use all of your ideas immediately, but it's helpful to have them recorded so you can return to them later.

They Don't Try to Be Original

It may sound like a paradox, but unique ideas don't come when you try to be original.

Instead, they come when you're building on the ideas of others. So, don't be afraid to look for inspiration in the work of others. You can use it as a starting point for your brainstorming sessions!

In the 21st century, originality is a myth, so by trying to be original, you will only push your ideas and your creativity into an area that’s either too obscure for the ideas to catch on or simply an area that doesn’t lead to any palpable result.

They Read, Listen, and Pay Attention

This one should be pretty obvious, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless. To come up with new ideas, you need to be exposed to new information and understand what people need. This means reading books and articles, listening to podcasts and TED Talks, and paying attention to the world around you.

The more you know, the easier it will be to find great ideas. The more you listen and pay attention to others, the more likely it is you'll come up with ideas that provide value and meet other people's needs.

They Take Action

Ideas are worthless unless you do something with them. So, once you've generated a list of potential ideas, it's important to take action and start working on the ones that interest you the most.

This may mean fleshing out your ideas with a mind map or creating a prototype. The important thing is to get started and see where your ideas take you.

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Why Look for Software Development Ideas?

There are a million reasons you should be looking for software development ideas. You may be a Ruby on Rails developer, a front-end developer, or a full-stack web developer.

No matter what your specialty is, being on the lookout for new software ideas can help you in a number of ways. Here are some of the best reasons to start searching for new software ideas:

  • It's an excellent exercise
  • It can help you build a portfolio
  • It can turn into a successful business
  • It helps you connect with like-minded professionals
  • It's fun!

25 Software Development Ideas to Inspire You

Although not in any way exhaustive, the following list might help you generate more software development ideas.

  • Develop a plugin for a popular IDE that provides support for a new language or framework (like Node.js or Python, for example.)
  • Create a library that makes it easy to work with 3D data.
  • Develop a tool that can automatically refactor code to improve performance.
  • Create a system that can automatically detect and fix coding style violations.
  • Develop a library that makes it easy to work with web data.
  • Create a tool that can automatically generate code documentation.
  • Develop a tool that can help developers find and fix security vulnerabilities in their code.
  • Create a system that can automatically generate test cases for code.
  • Create a free app your community can use to collect and donate food to those in need.
  • Design and create a program that would teach children how to code.
  • Build a website or tool that makes it easy for people to find and donate blood or plasma.
  • Design and develop a game that can be used to teach people about a particular topic.
  • Create a tool that can help people learn a new language.
  • Develop a system that can automatically translate documents from one language to another.
  • Create a mobile app for tourists in your area, pointing to spots locals love.
  • Create a system that medical workers in your community can use to volunteer for shifts at local hospitals.
  • Build a platform where people can buy and sell locally-grown produce.
  • Design an app that makes it easy for people to find and donate clothes they no longer need.
  • Design a platform to connect elders in your area living alone with people willing to help out.
  • Create a platform that helps people in remote locations of your country connect to software development recruiters looking to pool new candidates.
  • Create a tool that helps small businesses become more compliant with GDPR, CCPA, or other data privacy regulations.
  • Make a tool to help local businesses in your area become more accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Build a tool that helps your team stick to a software development framework.
  • Create a system to help busy people plan and manage their time more efficiently.
  • Design a tool that helps people collect notes and ideas in an organized way.

Finding Good Software Development Ideas: Conclusion

There are lots of great software development ideas out there — it's just a matter of finding the ones that interest you the most. Once you've found an idea you're passionate about, the rest is easy! If you're still having trouble finding ideas, try talking to other developers, looking online, or reading non-fiction.

With a little effort, you're sure to find the perfect project to work on. Don't worry about being "original" — even if there may be a tool already built in your specific area of interest, there will always be new angles to approach and things to improve about it. So go ahead and make your idea come true!


Q1: How Do I Get Software Development Ideas?

There are a few ways to get ideas for software development projects, but they all start with the right mindset. Listen to the people around you, find out more about their needs, and develop software that genuinely helps them. The best software companies were born this way, and you can do it too!

Q2: What Are Topics in Software?

There are many different topics in software development, but some of the most popular ones include web development, mobile development, game development, and data science.

Also, Internet of Things, data security (and how privacy laws affect various aspects of Big Data), and the way in which everything is moving towards a “code-free” world are also topics debated in the software world.

Q3: What Are Innovation Projects?

Innovation projects are software development projects that aim to create something new and original. This can be anything from developing a new tool to improving an existing one. The key lies in the impact your software will have on people, communities, or even society as a whole.


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Octavia Drexler

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Octavia is on a mission to drexlerize the undrexlerified, which, as narcissistic as it may sound, is actually not that self-centered (and neither is she, on most days). She is a marketer with nearly a decade of experience behind, over, through, and around her (like an aura, that is). She is also super-duper passionate about marketing tech products and translating techy gibberish into human language.

This is why, for the better half of her career, Octavia has been working with a variety of SaaS businesses around the world (give or take her sabbatical year in Agro-Tech, which she will tell you about five minutes into meeting her, somewhere in between confessing her passion for Leonard Cohen and Seth Godin, and complaining about sleepless nights she cannot really quit).

Aside from marketing and writing (d’oh), Octavia enjoys reading, science-fiction-y stuff, trying out new tools, and contemplating the inevitable moment AI will finally take over the world. She’s also into pretty bad music (not super-bad, but bad enough for people of good taste to raise a suspicious eyebrow).

She also has no idea why she wrote this entire piece in third-person, but it’s 1 AM, so she’ll leave it like this.

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