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Cover image for Keeping A Portfolio Page Current While Learning

Keeping A Portfolio Page Current While Learning

lucsedirae profile image Jon Deavers ・3 min read

As a new developer, still deeply in the learning process, there are so many interesting tools introduced each day. I am currently enrolled in a bootcamp and loving it. Sometimes the curriculum is like trying to drink water from a fire hose. There's a ton of information coming at us during class and it's a lot of work to produce solid results for the homework assignments.

Once in a while you have an assignment where you really click with the material and the work only takes a few days instead of the whole week. The first time I was lucky enough for that to happen, I spent the rest of the week packing my current homework assignment with additional features and refactoring code down to the most efficient blocks I could produce. That "extra-curricular" work taught me quite a bit and the practice time spent going a little overboard was invaluable.

This week, I really felt comfortable with our assignment and came to that same fork in the crossroads; do I continue to improve this project or do I work on something new? The practice would come in handy and it would be fun to share the extra features with the like-minded students of our study group. But I am approaching web development with the goal of freelancing and building my own business.

So I started to think; what holes are in my portfolio right now? I brainstormed for a solid hour and most of the projects I dreamed up would require more knowledge than I currently had. I'd also rather improve my grasp on past material than study forward. Eventually it dawned on me. Let's take a look at the portfolio to date and start to apply to those old assignments what I've learned in the weeks since those prior assignments had been completed.

The natural first project I thought of was my profile page. Created in the first week of class, this page was woefully outdated. Sure, at the time, it received a grade I was proud of. But looking back and knowing now what I didn't know then, all sorts of ideas on how to redesign and improve the page started popping into my head.

So I spent the better part of a weekend building out version 2.0 of my developer profile page. I incorporated a ton of features from bootstrap that I had become more comfortable with. I used jQuery and JavaScript to consolidate the page from multiple html files down to a single dynamically programmed index.html. I finally learned some palette restraint and made conservative but unique styling choices with CSS. And I published the page to GitHub pages with a feeling of satisfaction that was more than just the type you feel when you finish a homework assignment. This time I knew the project had been real-world productive. I didn't have time constraints or instructions to restrict me, and so I felt free to be as creative as I wanted. All while showcasing the skillset that continues to evolve with each week.

The conclusion for me is to make this a regular part of my learning process. Revisit old projects, look for improvements, and continue to seek out new tools, techniques, and tricks. If you'd like to see my newly redesigned profile page, feel free to visit https://lucsedirae.github.io/

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Jon Deavers

@lucsedirae

Jon is enrolled in the Trilogy full-stack web development boot camp at University of Richmond.

Discussion

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This is something I do all the time with my portfolio websites when they become stale and out of date. It's also an opportunity to put my new coding skills and technical stack to use in a real live project.

 

Totally agree. Thanks for the read Andrew

 

I really like this idea of revisiting content and practicing again. Even though I am self-tought, there is always new stuff to learn and i'm often overwhelmed by the fact that I don't know which step to take. Going back and consolidating knowledge is a great way of giving myself a direction, because it allows me to be aware of what I truly know and what I don't know. Thanks for the read!

 

Totally agree and you're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read.

 

Good read and good advice!

 

Thanks William!