Am I ready? (No. But should I try anyway?)

Hey Everyone, I’ve been studying Web Development full force now for about a year and although I’m not completely ready who really is. It’s hard to measure when you know enough and when to start pursuing a job or at least know how long until you should start.
As a rule of thumb regardless of being ready or not I always throw my resume in a couple of places to see if possibly someone might be willing to hire me. But even looking at the requirements and qualifications make me feel like I shouldn’t even attempt to apply.
You might be thinking “Oh well you should try anyway as long as you can do 70~90% of what they’re asking.” and I’ve read so many articles saying just try anyways. To that I would say I’ve tried to apply for jobs with my current status and I know I haven’t actively applied but it begs the question “maybe i’m not ready”

Either way I have a request for those who can help please take a look at my portfolio page and answer these two questions.

  1. What can be improved and or added to the page?
  2. From the looks of my project page would you consider me to be ready for a real-life job?
    (Optional: Why or Why not?)

Any feedback is greatly appreciated, and also real-life examples.
Here is the page: Portfolio Page

Also I am asking because specifically where I live there’s not many Web Development jobs not to say there aren’t any but if I really was to start pursuing a job it would most likely need to be somewhere I would have to relocate to, or at least a 2 hour commute :grimacing:


Hello Myles,

You can add some highlighting effect when hover your projects, maybe also make the background image on this section little bit more transparent.

“Ravenous in React” - Maybe it’s unfinished, it seems like there should be a list loading or something, but there isn’t, when I click Let’s Go the app crashes. - fix that.

Other than that, looks pretty good.


@borispov Thank you for the feedback the Ravenous page has some flaws and technical issues that I need to work on, but it does works you have to be very specific and it doesn’t give feedback on why it cant load certain items so I will work on that.

Do you mean like a simulated ray of light?

What do you mean by this, like it’s to blurry?

a) Some people change the project’s card content to show a description of the project on hover, you may just add some box shadow, up to you.

b) Possibly blurry, but not necessarily. You can lower the opacity of it, you can grey it out. You want the project to stand out, or rather make the background stand out …less.

Oh, about Ravenous page.
From a quick glimpse, there is a bad request to yelp’s api which does not return the data you need, but instead returns undefined(perhaps?) and passes it along to businessList, and then businessList crashes the app.
I think you might add find it helpful to add some errorHandling functions, or even check what’s in the props passed to businessList component before you .map it/render it.
Also, maybe prefetching some data in a lifecycle method like (componentDidMount) so you can show something to the users before they search.

I am sorry, this is deviating from your original question. I hope this helps anyway.


Now I understand what a), and b) are and that is very helpful feedback.
As far as Ravenous I’m surprised it returns undefined I’m assuming you are looking at the actual code but I understand that I need to fix those errors, and added better functionality. I definitely want to add some type of preliminary businesses list before searching anything but it is a work in progress.

Thank you @borispov for your feedback it is greatly appreciated!

I’m also learning to code at the moment but I’m currently an employer in a technical field (as part of my role) so I can give you a first impressions perspective with my HR / someone that can pay you a salary hat on.

From an aesthetic point of view your page needs a lot of work. Even if you’re not a designer or someone that wants to work in front end, it’s still relatively amateurish looking and there is a lot you can do to improve it. Some nicer fonts, some CSS effects, some subtle page scroll animations etc. None of that should be too difficult to implement. And if you don’t want to do that then just make it incredibly clean.

I looked at the website and immediately thought “not ready” and that might be an inaccurate representation of where you’re at, but the first impressions are normally the most important if I’m hiring someone. Nothing about the landing page gives me the impression you’re a seasoned Web designer.

Remember that as a Web Dev you’re competing with sites like Square space and Wix that can create a brilliant looking site without having to code. I know for a fact I could make a better landing page using Wix than you have there, so you need to offer something visually interesting or something that makes me smile or wonder “hmm, how have they done that”.

If a Web page is good enough, I’ll always inspect it on Chrome to see how they have laid out their html and css and Java. That’s always a good yardstick for me.

But don’t be put off. You can obviously code well but you need to give a little more thought to how you present yourself online. That page is basically your CV. Even if it means making some new sites that never go live to add to your portfolio do so. Take down the “my first website” link - ultimately who cares? It looks bad and is saying to an employer “I’ve only got a couple of examples so I’ll shove this in here to make up the space”.

Sorry if this sounds a bit brutal but critiquing someone’s first efforts are a world away from the question you have asked and it’s important that we’re all honest with each other on here and I hope that people do the same with me when I’m ready for my peers to have a look at my work.


@Ascii Thank you for your feedback. While I must admit it was more brutal than I expected, it is helpful to get some constructive criticism

  • In your opinion aesthetically what are you saying should be improved, and changing the font isn’t a bad idea I will probably do that but it seems kind of like a knit picky thing if your saying the whole page needs a lot of work.
  • I have a couple CSS effects here and there I know it could probably use more, and definitely some JS effects because there’s not a single JS effect on the main page so I see what your saying.
  • Then you said " or make it incredibly clean" could you explain what that means?

I get what you mean but I put that there to show a drastic difference between my coding skills overtime, but I probably will remove it.

Thanks again BRUTAL but APPRECIATED! I’m glad you took the time to review my page and be honest, i’m not gonna lie though I might have shed a tear in the process lol.

If you could answer these questions that would be great!

  1. In your opinion aesthetically what are you saying should be improved?
  2. Then you said " or make it incredibly clean" could you explain what that means?
  3. Overall do you think the site needs improvement as far as HTML/CSS or is it more of an interactive improvement like functionality with JavaScript.

Thanks again!

I am very impressed. You should look into remote work jobs and freelance work as well. Working from home can be sweet.

Thank you @ChrisCline1138 that is very encouraging! A remote job would be great! I probably will start “advertising” myself to get freelance work soon.

I was thinking about your question and it occurred to me that there are different levels of ready.
For example I myself feel like I am almost ready to look for freelance jobs where the client needs a basic splash page and a contact form, nothing fancy.
I am not ready for projects beyond that scope. But that should not limit me to not trying to find work within those parameters. (soon)
Likewise you know what skills you have and what skills you are still developing put yourself out there and start bidding on projects you feel ready for.
Worst case you will gain experience on the bidding process and how to look for work. Best case you will get a project to add to your portfolio and some money on top.
Best of luck.

1 Like

I agree with you completely,

Even in my self-studies now I always like to test the waters and see who might give me a chance. Iv’e mostly sent my resume casually to a couple places and got some interesting responses one company said “Although your background and skills are very competitive, our hiring team reviewed your application and did not select it for further consideration. We will keep your resume on hand for future positions”

Not a response I would hope for but not a bad one, and it at least let’s me know more information about myself as a up incoming developer. But I will definitely look for freelance work once a get a better grasp on JavaScript and back-end development.

Thank you again for your feedback it is very helpful, and Best of Luck to you as well!

Take a look at Google and search for “best dev portfolios”, something like that. It is - from what you’ve shown us - your aesthetic you need to work on.

Here is a link to some FCC examples of great portfolios:

Take a look at them and see how they differ from yours. Note the relative lack of preamble in most of them - no one wants a bio of your whole life, they want a website examples and vindication of the coder.

I bet if you did 10 job applications with your current website and 10 with a really polished attractive site, you’d get double, triple the responses with the latter situation.

When it comes to people asking questions about ‘readiness’ and jobs, in my opinion, it’s absolutely vital that we’re all as frank with each other as is possible on this forum. It would be absolutely mortifying if we gave a casual consensus on someone being ready for the sake of politeness - only to find out that person gave up their livelihoods and financial stability because of it.

Also, one thing I noted whilst replying - your projects page has no styling on it. Make your subpages follow the same design aesthetic as the rest of your website.

None of this should be seen as negative - just areas where you will need to improve to survive in a profession with other hugely competent candidates.


Lots of good discussion and advice here already. Here is what you can do with your projects and portfolio… see if you can optimize assets a little bit.

For your Ravenous project it loads up 3MB background image. You can use something to reduce that size, like ImageOptim or alternatives like Squoosh (made by Google).

Run your images through this stuff and you page will be loading way faster.

1 Like

@Ascii Thanks again for your input so far of made a list from all the suggestions you guys have gave and after fixing and tweaking my page I will post an Update. With the project page i’m probably gonna get rid of it and host all my projects on the front page because I don’t think anyone who visits my page goes there as much but for future projects I will take that to note about same styling.

@vaidotasp that’s very helpful I never even thought about that but correct me if i’m wrong but I use the Yelp api to display the data including the pictures so I don’t know if it’s possible to reduce the photos. Luckily I am hosting the Ravenous page on a different web-page and my project page links to it.
Maybe your reffering to the photos I have that display the projects before clicking them if so I can’t thank you enough for the help!

Hey! I am talking about your splash image, it is definitely coming through the static folder. It loads up before we are making any API calls. This is of course is a detail and probably would not make or break your job searching prospects, but something to be aware of. That 3MB file could be a low handing fruit for you to tackle and shave off seconds :slight_smile:

1 Like

@vaidotasp Now I get what your saying, I never even thought about that especially since not many courses teach you about speed management and the like Thanks again :+1:

I will answer these questions as I agreed with a lot of what the other user said, and I’m going to be honest with my answers because I believe your ultimate goal is to get a job as a developer. Keep in mind that I’m in the same boat as you, I’m currently looking for a job and I’ve seen the harsh reality, it is tough, but I’m confident that it’s possible if we work hard.

1.The aesthetics of your portfolio looks very amateurish, it screams like you just completed some tutorial for beginners and put a static site together. That is impressive no doubt, but it’s not enough. You are working with HTML, CSS and JS, that’s considered front-end job and whether you are a designer or not, as a frontend developer you should be aware of good design practices. You can go to sites like dribble and get inspiration, you don’t need to design anything from scratch.

  1. I think he means to use clean design patterns. Like for example, that background image in your projects section is the complete opposite, It is hard to see what’s going on because of that. I wouldn’t recommend you to use background images for your projects section, but if you are going to take that approach, at least put a layer on it and make it darker (so that the content on top of the bg seem highlighted). However I would suggest you to use a light background for the entire site, it is way more readable (like your contact section for example), remember, your portfolio is like your resume, you should make it easy for people to take a look at the content. For this same reason I would remove the wall of text from the about section, recruiters won’t read all that, they don’t have the time. Instead, highlight some of your qualities and list your skills. This will also make your site look cleaner.

  2. Without looking at the code I can’t say if there’s anything wrong with your code, your portfolio page is working so that’s good. Some people like animations and stuff, personally I’m not really a fan of that but I can definitely see some projects making use of CSS animations. I don’t think a portfolio needs cool CSS animations other than hover effects. But this is a very opinionated topic, you should take the approach that you like the most. As for the JavaScript, maybe you can use some smooth scrolling effect to make it look more professional, this in case if you are already using JS.

Having said all that here some advice:

Replicate projects. This is the most effective thing you can do when you are starting out. Go out there and find a website or app that you like and try to do it yourself. This will save you the time of designing things and coming with ideas or functionalities by yourself, you will only focus on writing the code. It would be like if a client asked you to do that for them. These projects will more likely look good design-wise, so it’s definitely something you can show in your portfolio and impress people.

With this approach I promise you 2 things: you will struggle a lot (especially if you challenge yourself and pick difficult projects), but you will learn a lot too and it’s totally worthy.


@Gilbert1391 Thank you for your response, i’m glad so many people have given me feedback on my portfolio because sometimes it’s hard to see where you need improvement so I will take everything that has been said to me in mind, and use that to make myself better.

Also I hope you are able to accomplish your goals, and find a job since we’re in the same boat! :ferry:

Trust me, I know how you probably feel. When I first started I was also exciting to apply for jobs after 3 months of coding, I had seen the stories on this very forum of people who made it after 3 or 4 months of teaching themselves how to code and I thought I could do the same. 9 months later, I still don’t have a job.

I’ve had my expectations crushed twice by the hard reality, mainly because I was feeling like I was in a race. Now I’m just taking my time and working on my skills, I recently started applying for jobs again but that’s only because I feel a lot more ready after a lot of preparation, but I know I still need to work on my skills if I want to land a job, it’s extremely competitive out there, so we need to show our best to stand a chance.