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Thread: Is this portfolio site good enough for an entry level front-end designer/developer?

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    Is this portfolio site good enough for an entry level front-end designer/developer?

    I've been trying to get better at desiging websites so this is my third time trying to make a portfolio site that looks more modern. Does this site look professional enough to submit if I'm looking for a front-end developer internship/ entry level position? Or do I still need to improve? (ps. don't read the website text just look at the design)


    Thanks,
    Lindsay

    Here's the site:
    [EDIT: moved to URL box by TheGAME1264]

    ******some sites in the portfolio are under construction...don't worry about them!*****
    Last edited by TheGAME1264; May 08th, 2014 at 06:22 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    I think it's decent.

    Just be prepared to talk about the scope of your work. If you bring mockups, diagrams, flowcharts to the interview, I think the interviewer would be highly impressed by the detail and organized effort of your development process.

    Please remove Amazing Grace from the church website. Autoplay audio is a BIG nono in web design. It was cool back in 2000, but not now.

    PS Is "King of Prussia" a real location name?????

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    Hello, thank you very much for taking the time to give me feedback and tips :}

    Unfortunatly the autoplay audio was a non-negotiable feature requested by the webmaster, certaintly not my idea lol. I'm glad you pointed that out though, I may want to mention that it was a requirement when I'm sending out emails.

    King Of Prussia is infact real haha! What an epic name right? It's a decent place to live but sadly not a land of great nobility.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDesignista View Post
    PS Is "King of Prussia" a real location name?????
    Yes. There's also a Climax, Pennsylvania which may or may not be twinned with Intercourse, Alabama.

    Lindsay, please understand that what I'm about to say comes from the standpoint of someone who is a project manager and has hired freelance designers and developers over the past few years on behalf of my clients and that this is my viewpoint. But to answer your question, no, I wouldn't hire you based on this portfolio. You inadvertently missed the point a bit when you said "don't read the website text just look at the design"...most evaluators will read the text, and specifically they'll read the text associated with your portfolio pieces. You only have one piece in there that isn't of the "practice / testing" variety, which indicates a lack of experience solving real-world problems. That's something a lot of companies are going to look for, and justifiably so.

    Don't get me wrong...your site looks nice. But the thing with a web designer's site is that it's supposed to look nice. You have no unique selling proposition to make yourself stand out. I look at your site and think "okay, she can draw, what else can she do and what does she know?" I don't see the answer to that question.
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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I've never been a project manager, but here's my thing. People can say what they want about what a "front end developer" is or isnt, but if I'm looking to hire you for that position, I'm going to be looking at what you've done in that space. I really don't see where you're telling me that. What are you capable of? Did you make that slider on the homepage (going with no)? What problems have you had to create solutions for? How did you come about those solutions? Why did you choose to go that route for that particular problem? The only thing you tell me about PHP is that you know it. What have you used it for?

    Basically, you aren't showing me what qualifies you as a front end dev at all.

    Furthermore, you're throwing up a couple of red flags. You list jQuery as a skill, which it really isn't (and I know I do the same on my super ancient site. It's old, and I'm working on a redesign). It's a library. Do you actually know Javascript? Could you do what you do without jQuery? Or perhaps with another library? You're doing the same with Bootstrap. It's a library, and a bloated mess of one at that. Can you design/dev without it? How well do you know CSS?

    As for the design of the site, it's ok. The color choices aren't bad, and the layout works. Your content is problematic, though and that makes the UI worthless.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.
    Ron Roe
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    @TheGAME1264

    Hello and thank you for your advice. I hear what your saying, however, the truth is that I really don't have much experience making websites for real clients. I'm aware of this fact. I've been in school taking java related classes that really have nothing to do with what I'm actually interested in. Right now my focus is A) to see if I actually have a chance of becoming an adequate designer, and B) making enough little practice sites just to show that I have potential.

    At this point I'm comfortable if employers see I don't have experience, that's why I'm asking for an internship. When I do contact people about jobs I intend to say I'm 'working on' a portfolio site but you may look at these three site for now. I intend to pass along the portfolio site, the church site, and the database demo. If they think from those samples that I could learn what they need me to hopefully they'll hire me.

    I'm really looking for a modest job from a small company so I don't expect things to be so competitive that I can't just show what I really have. I know peers who never made a portfolio site at all and found work. Also I suuuuck at writing content about myself. Iol. It was painful.

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    @Ronald Roe

    Hello, thanks for looking. I DO know that Jquery is a Librabry and JS is the language....but I really do mean to say that I mostly like working with jquery and not as much raw javascript. I'm able to use javascript but seriously 90% of what I need JS for can be accomplished quickly with JQUERY.

    At this point I don't care to jump through hoops proving what I know, if an employer see's potential in my work they can contact me and if they don't they'll look elsewhere. I think for the modest position I want this is plenty to show. I just wanted to know if my site are looking better because that's actually really hard to see by yourself sometimes.

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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindsaynichole View Post
    ...but I really do mean to say that I mostly like working with jquery and not as much raw javascript. I'm able to use javascript but seriously 90% of what I need JS for can be accomplished quickly with JQUERY.
    It's fine that you prefer jQuery. For most large projects, I do too. You'd be surprised how many people know how to use really basic jQuery well enough to pass themselves off as capable when they don't have the foggiest clue about Javascript. I think it's important to note that you do know JS on the site. And to be honest, if you know JS, you can work in jQuery, and the people you're looking to have hire you will know that. Unfortunately, it doesn't work the other way around.

    Quote Originally Posted by lindsaynichole View Post
    At this point I don't care to jump through hoops proving what I know, if an employer see's potential in my work they can contact me and if they don't they'll look elsewhere. I think for the modest position I want this is plenty to show. I just wanted to know if my site are looking better because that's actually really hard to see by yourself sometimes.
    How can an employer see your potential if they don't know what you've done? Sure, they could view source and tear apart your code, but why would they? For all they know, you've thrown up a template you downloaded and linked to it. You're billing yourself as a front end dev, but I don't see anything on your site that you've done to that effect. Front end dev != design, but all you're showcasing is design. Front end dev is more about building interaction that can adapt as necessary to users as well as communicating with the backend. I see none of that on your site. In fact, what I see is that you've used a pre-built carousel, which isn't necessarily bad, but it doesn't exactly scream front end dev potential.
    Ron Roe
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    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    What Ron said.

    Lindsay: no one is saying you don't have graphic design ability, just to be clear. Your stuff looks nice.

    The problem is that, even for an internship, it's probably not enough and I think you're looking at this from the wrong perspective; yours, not the standpoint of your potential employers. You want to learn web design and presumably development and you're looking for an internship, and by "internship" I'm assuming you mean "unpaid". But just because you don't want to be paid doesn't mean that anyone who hires you doesn't assume any risk in the deal, and just because you're looking for work doesn't mean that any potential employer is under any obligation to hire you. If they put you to work on a customer project and you can't handle it due to your lack of experience and the knowledge you might have gained otherwise, the employer loses that customer and the reward that goes with said customer. Yes, that's true of any position in the world, and yes, smart employers will mitigate that risk by putting inexperienced employees in positions where they have potential to succeed and expanding employee roles from there. With that said, there is still risk and you need to show the potential for reward. That means that you need to show that you've got the potential to deliver said reward.

    The church site shows a bit of that, but it's not enough by itself either. Maybe volunteer for a not-for-profit (I'm not a fan of that as a long-term strategy, but it might work in the short run and you might pick up contacts from it). Maybe you build some sites based on hobbies and things you're interested in and come up with ways to make them unique and of interest to others. Do things that show your knowledge and more importantly your ability to apply it. Practice sites don't really cut it.

    Basically, what you need to answer comes down to one simple question: "who are you, and why should any potential employer care?" When you understand how to answer that question, you'll find what you want.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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    @Ronald

    I don't mean to argue with you. I know that your very active on here and you give lots of people helpful advice.

    It's just difficult to communicate an individuals entire story and perspective through forums. My particular concern right now happens to be making things look decent and I do have reasons for that. I do wish I could include more proof of other abilities, but right now time is my enemy. I need money and shortly I'll be in need of health insurance so I don't have time to put as much into these sites as I'd like.

    I also never really embraced plugins, templates, or any pre-made things before now... so for me in particular, using some of these tools is actually kind of good exercise. I have really learned that they can be useful, and as I experiment more I'll begin to learn when they are useful and when they are not.

    In any case I emailed some companies today and heard back immediately from one place, so I have an interview tomorrow. I'm just glad things are moving along.


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