Wanting to get my first dev job || Portfolio Review :)!

Wanting to get my first dev job || Portfolio Review :)!
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#1

Hey Guys, I’ve been coding for about 5-6 months now and I want to redo my portfolio because im not landing jobs yet :/. this is my current portfolio

http://santdeleon.co/

I was hoping for some feedback and thoughts on whether I should remodel my portfolio or if ya’ll think its good! I want to be a React dev so remodeling in React seems like a good thought.


Portfolio Feedback/Thoughts
#2

I find your projects area confusing. When I click on some thumbnails I get a github repository but no actual live demo and on others I get a demo but no github repository. You should have a way of linking to both for each project. Even though the ones with a github repo have good summaries, I still think there should be a short description of the what the project is and what technologies you used for it.


#3

I agree with Randell. I would also add that some of those images are much larger than they need to be. The image gifsearch-screenshot.png was almost 4Meg and took 7 seconds to download. Is that worth it for an image that you’re going to render at 200X200? They talk about perception of performance being hurt by delays of a tenth of a second.

Also, the color schemes in the About section are hard to read. And I tend to dislike center justification, for aesthetic reasons.

Additionally, I found some of the pizzazz to be a bit much. Granted, I’m big fan of subtlety, but the animations were distracting. And do you really need three different pointers? I would definitely get rid of the crosshair one. Having a change of cursor over something clickable is nice, but just randomly showing off can be off putting. I suspect that employers would be wary of people trying to throw all their low-level tricks into their page - like they are compensating for not knowing anything else or that they lack taste. I know there may be some that disagree, but that’s how I see it.

And what is that image above the contact section? I can’t tell what it is or what purpose it serves.

The last two paragraphs remind me of a friend of mine that became an architect. He told me of an old professor that used to complain about “angles for Jesus” - useless things put into designs that served no purpose but to satisfy the vanity of the architect. I think it’s important for (nearly) everything to have a function. A little pizzazz can be good, but when the ratio of pizzazz to content gets too high, it can be distractingly capricious.

Those are just my thoughts. All in all it’s good. I’m just nitpicking.


#4

Also, you list your resume as a web dev project? I would consider putting that as a link in your About section or something else.

Also, you describe yourself as “American Front End Web Developer, Recording Engineer & Producer, and Speaker of the Stars.”

First of all, it makes it would like web dev is only 25% of what you do. And when I hear something like “speaker of the stars”, to me (as an old fogey) it just makes you sound flaky. I think a hiring guy wants to have the impression that you are a web dev and that is your passion. If you want to mention that you also do recording work that’s fine, but I’d briefly mention it in your About section. Putting it as your headline isn’t going to help you at all (they don’t care that you’ve recorded - how does that help web devs?) and it may actually hurt you.

I would have a more professional register in your About section. Don’t talk about how little time you’ve been learning or how proud you are of your progress. Just tell them what you’ve learned and what you can do. Tell them what you’ve built. Tell them what techs you’ve learned. Tell them what education you’ve had. Sound enthusiastic about coding. Don’t tell them you like comic books. Don’t tell them you’ve been a model. Why would they care? How does that make you a better coder?

I’ll also add that I think you need more projects. And as Randell said, you need links to them - both code and working examples.

I might consider spending some time looking at other web dev portfolio sites. Just spend a few hours doing some google searches.

Sorry if this sounds negative. It’s the negative observations that help us the most. When I posted my first few projects, I got a lot of negative (but constructive) feedback. I learned from all of it.


#5

Thanks for the quick and timely responses! I prefer all the feedback, positive or negative. The aim is to be job ready! So yes, no harm at all I NEED the truth. As for what i’ve read so far, im honestly more eager to work on a new portfolio page asap.


#6

Your website says you had an internship at a startup in Austin TX, so I’m confused. Internships are technically jobs, so if you mention that when you apply for jobs, that should be able to help you out.

That said, no offense intended at all but I can see why you haven’t landed a job yet—the UI/UX on your website just plain isn’t very good, and the source code could use some improvement as well.

  • The first issue is your black background. I understand that might be a creative choice on your part, but you should understand that a lot of people don’t like black backgrounds. You should read this article for more information on the subject: https://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/08/the-dos-and-donts-of-dark-web-design/

  • Cursor changes are generally annoying to most people, and that target cross-hair is particularly annoying as it seems to serve no functional purpose and lacks proper color contrast.

  • Your self-photo likely projects the wrong impression for potential employers. A better photo would show your face with either a neutral expression, or a smile, and from a frontal or slightly-off side angle instead. Not from an upwards-facing angle, which can make the viewer feel uncomfortable because that can imply condescension.

  • Animations, or animated effects, should be used sparingly in general, particularly repeated animations. They get visually annoying as they draw all of the attention.

  • Your website took too long to load. Performance is critical because a long-loading website will not only annoy users but potential employers as well. Neither audience is one that you want to annoy! And potential employers will also be a LOT less tolerant of loading times—as soon as they see that, they’ll just move on to the next applicant.

  • Some of your text is too small, and you should use standard 100%/16px/1em sized text throughout your website, and make things bigger as needed.

  • Some of your color choices make no sense at all and visually clash with each other (pink text on a brown background?).

  • If you’re going to have a top navbar, it should have a different background color from the rest of the page to show that it’s a navbar. Otherwise, you should let the entire page scroll as the user scrolls down, instead of fixing the navbar in place.

  • Your “About Sant” section needs to be vertically taller by a large amount. It feels too vertically compacted as-is and the compacted size makes the section look like something that can be ignored. It needs to be bigger to encourage people to actually read what’s in it.

  • The content in your “About Sant” section needs to be proof-read for grammar, particularly when you say that you’re American (most other Americans will be nitpicky on your grammar, syntax, & spelling). Also, the second paragraph seems to be irrelevant to Web development jobs, so I’d recommend deleting it.

  • No one knows when “As of when this site is being created” is supposed to be, when there’s no date shown on the page. You need to type out the date of creation (so you’d say “As of January 2018” instead) so the sentence makes sense in context.

  • If you completed one of Udacity’s nanodegrees, you should mention which one.

  • I’d recommend deleting “I can safely and confidently say that I am a conditioned enough developer to handle any entry-level developer task” for two reasons: (1) It contradicts the quality of work that you’ve actually done on your website (your UI/UX is honestly not very good and your HTML code isn’t written properly—more on that below), and (2) It makes you come across as arrogant, which you should avoid doing.

  • Your social media icons are a bit small and don’t stand out enough because of that. Make them larger so it’s easier to tell what they are, and fix the Instagram one so the link works.

  • Repeating that animated effect for a 3rd time is really annoying and further slows down the page.

Technical stuff:

  • Avoid using Bootstrap on your personal website—not using it will force you to write code that will be more likely to impress potential employers.

  • jQuery and Bootstrap should be served up using CDNs, instead of being stored on your website.

  • Your website has a lot of errors being reported by the W3C Validator (https://validator.w3.org/) which all need to be fixed.

  • Width and height of images should be defined in CSS, not HTML, and if your goal is to reduce the size of high-resolution images by a large amount, then you might as well re-size those images manually in an image editor to reduce bandwidth consumption.

  • Some of your class names don’t make semantic sense, like an HTML footer with a class of “foot”? The HTML tag is already “footer” so that class name adds no meaning to it. If you don’t need a class name for a tag, then don’t use one, because you don’t need one. You can style HTML tags directly in CSS without using a class selector.

  • Your website performs very poorly on Google PageSpeed Insights (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/), particularly on Desktop, and needs to be hugely improved in that aspect.

  • Your CSS code contains a variety of bad practices—using the universal selector, using !important rules, inconsistent code styling, incoherent ordering of the selectors. Those are all things that you should avoid doing.

  • Based on the quality of HTML and CSS code that you’ve written, I’d recommend doing Lynda.com’s Front-End Web Developer learning path before applying for any more jobs: https://www.lynda.com/learning-paths/Web/become-a-front-end-web-developer


#7

My review:

  • In less than 4 months he became proficient in the use of HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, JavaScript/ES6, React, and Node.js, and developed 4 projects to completion plus a portfolio.
  • Each project was for the most part completed, from start to finish, within a day. He was on fire on November 30, building both Gifsearch and Frogger.

He should be a top candidate at any company. Maybe even Google.

Sounds like just the type of person we need on our team. But I do have questions…

  • Why the abrupt end to projects after one incredible week of contributions and what’s been happening during the last 2 months?
  • Does he not know how to push code using Git, or does he simply choose not to?

All valid concerns, but I’m sure he’ll clear things up when we talk to him.

Don’t be so sure. Look at this.

What is it? Huh? TeamTreehouse, Udacity, Udacity, TeamTreehouse, Udacity… You’re saying, his projects… They’re all…

That’s right. They’re from TeamTreeHouse and Udacity.

I see… Well, this is not good. No, this is not good at all. I mean, for all we know…

He copied it and he pasted it. Every last line of code.

Dammit!

You’ve always been a trusting person. I admire that about you. But you need to be more vigilant. Not just for yourself, but for all of our staff who are affected by your decisions.

I know you’re right. But look. This is a good kid. And his moxie would outmatch that of any person in this building.

No argument there.

So I’m givin’ him a chance. Just like you gave me a chance.

So be it! Have him brought here today! But he will NOT be hired before passing at least 3 rounds of interviews. That is including an extensive technical interview, covering computer science fundamentals, data structures, principles of JavaScript, ES2015, React, Redux, CSS, Node.js, and RESTful application development! Am I clear?

Yes, Sir! You are clear, very clear! Thank you! You won’t regret this! I’m telling you, this kid can do it. You’ll see. Maybe then, you’ll learn to trust people.

Maybe? Maybe not. I may be trusting, but you’re stubborn as a mule.

I’m also impatient. So bring the boy to me, now! Your emotions have clouded your judgment, hence I shall test him myself. And I will not go easy on him by any means!

Ha! I’m not worried, at all. I’m emailing him as we speak. Sent. Just you wait! I’ll show you. My judgment has never been more clear in all my life!

Hmph. Very well. When he arrives, have him sent to me without delay.

Yes, Master.
:grinning:


#8

I was gonna post some recommendations but ASTV99 did a better job then I would have. Listen to his advice…especially the part about your visual design or lack thereof is not pleasing to see.


#9

This is an update for anyone reading this after the month it was posted.

I currently have an updated portfolio put up at the link. It was completed rather quickly. I spent about 2 weeks working on it, while working 40+ hours at my current job. However, I just now went live with it.

I am aware of the performance of the current site, it is not that slow, but definitely could be better, and I am going to start learning, in depth, the optimization aspect of web development so I can take care of that issue.

As for the rest, feel free to critique and inform me of what you think about the site currently. BIG Upgrade from its pervious form. Thanks again for the solid help guys!

Cheers