If you are looking to learn new skills or you are a college student looking to build out your resume, Devpost is a great resource. Devpost provides an online portal that organizes and runs “hackathons”.
Hackathons are typically sponsored software or hardware build events with prizes for the winning team or individual. There are usually at least a couple dozen online hackathons running at any one time. The sponsors often include big names such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Square, Atlassian, etc. The sponsor usually provides a challenge to build a project using their services.
There are online and in-person hackathons. In-person hackathons are typically just a couple of days to a week while online hackathons usually run at least a month or two. You can either team up or go it alone. I typically go it alone because I don’t always know how much time I can commit to a project.
One reason I like hackathons is they have deadlines. It helps motivate you to finish your project. Once your project is submitted, and the deadline has passed, you are done. If you want to keep going on the project you can but you are not committing to the ongoing care and feeding of a production system.
Your hackathon submission will usually be a GitHub repo, a working app, and a video demo on Youtube or elsewhere. Here’s my portfolio on Devpost: https://devpost.com/MkFoster
If you are into hardware also check out hackster.io. I have a couple of projects there: https://www.hackster.io/MkFoster