You do not need any job experience to land an amazing developer job.
7 things to make your portfolio projects stand out and make any employer hire you:
🏘️ Build projects with real-world use cases and solutions. Consider yourself a contractor, and someone came to you with a real problem, asking for a real solution. Build it and launch it like you are working for a real business. Deploy it, purchase a domain, make it live and functional. Add it to your resume as prior experience. Make the code open-source. Do 7 of these, and not only your skills, but your experience itself will shoot to the roof.
💅 No ugly projects. Build a beautiful, fully-branded solution. For example, you are building an airbnb clone. Don't call it that. Give the company a name, for example, Vacasa. Go to ui8.net, buy a Figma design for the kind of project you are building. Implement the design from scratch. Make it perfectly responsive, create a logo for the project. How do you know you did a great job? If someone sees the website online, they should be sold and think this is a legit existing business.
📝Document your project completely. Write a useful and fully detailed case study. Explain why you used x framework or y technology. This explanation should be in the project readme, or be part of your projects on your website. Your documentation should have the designs for the project, explanation of design patterns used, project architecture, how it was deployed, development problems you ran into, and a list of all features and functionality.
🛠️ Your code should check all the boxes for production grade software: Accessibility, testability, scalability and maintainability. Write semantic HTML, create accessible components, fully test that your code works on both the backend and frontend, make sure its Easily maintainable by any developer, clean code best practices, fully typed, can scale to millions of users without performance drops, and beautifully structured and organized code. You can ask for feedback and make as many tweaks as needed to get the perfect code.
🚀 Collaborate with other developers. Create a 3-4 people team, distribute tasks, work together to complete the project. Full history of collaboration should be on Github and a public Trello board. Show your employer you have team experience, and can fit into their team.
👓 Take some time to find a very experienced developer to review your code on Github, provide Github PR reviews, and give you the best tips to make your solution the best quality possible. If you can't find someone willing to do this for you, pay for their time. I promise you its worth it.
📻 My final tip is a list of possible projects you can build that will match the quality I am talking about:
vii. Implement a design system from scratch. Pick any one on Figma and write the code for it. Make it open-source. I got my eyes on sargam.design.
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