Asking for feedback for my self-taught portfolio

Hello!

I’ve been coding since a few years and I have built a portfolio and started to apply to job offers.
I am a self taught fullstack developer from France.

If you could give me feedback on my portfolio: https://mderam.com/portfolio and/or any project there is on it I would be grateful.

Also there is my Github, (I’ll add some README for projects where it’s missing): https://github.com/mDeram

(I can handle critics, just make sure to present yourself a bit if you want to make a tough one so I can better take your critic in consideration.)

Thanks, have a nice day and happy coding,
Mathurin.

2 Likes

Portfolio site itself looks pretty cookie cutter in my opinion - the mobile looks a bit off.

The sudoku game seems neat but it is pretty unclear on how to play, who’s turn it is, and doesn’t seem like it has a single player option.

The blog seems cool but there’s not much content in there to go through to really understand how it works/what you can do.

I think your projects are good but I would try and explain them a bit more in the app itself rather than leaving it to the readme.md

3 Likes

Thanks for you feedback Jumbalin, it helps and I agree with you.
I will work on most of your recommendations this week.

:smile:

1 Like

Hi @mathurin !

Welcome to the forum!

I moved your post over to the #career section since this is a portfolio for the job hunt.

Here are my thoughts :slight_smile:

Resume

Personal statements are tough to write because a lot of times they just come off as to general and don’t add much to the resume.
I also struggle with writing personal statements on resumes for the reasons mentioned above.
In your case, your personal statement here is to generic and doesn’t add a whole lot to your resume:

I am a passionate developer, I have been interested in
computer science since a long time. I love learning and
building.

I would keep working on that.
This is a pretty good article to help you with that.

I would also keep working on your project descriptions.
Descriptions like this aren’t getting me excited to learn more about this project:

Surf Forecast
Group project for “la nuit de l’info” 2020 edition
Coordinate a team.
Setup a server.
Use an existing API to consume its data.
Display the retrieved data on a web page.

It is also important to remember that developers aren’t the only ones looking at your resume.
Your descriptions have to also appeal to recruiters and hiring managers.
I would provide a more higher level description in addition to the technical one, so it better describes what the app does.

For example, you could say something like this:

The Surf Forecast app provides real time data on surf forecasts and reports for beaches around the world.

From there you can write a sentence explaining the technical aspects of the project.
I think that approach will make people want to learn more about your projects and appeal better to developers, recruiters and hiring managers.

Resumes are hard to write because you want to convey the right message and get people interested in learning more about you.
Read through some of these articles to strengthen your resume.

Portfolio
I like your Sudoku but I do think you need to have a simple instructions screen so people know how to play it if they aren’t familiar with the game.

For your Map editor, it looks like an interesting project but I would flesh out the description a little bit because “Simple 2D map editor” doesn’t inspire me to want to click on it.

For your blog, I would also flesh out the description a little bit.
I also think you need to have some more blog posts.
Maybe some with pictures in them.

Overall, I think your technical skills and are ready for a junior job.
But you are going to have to work on your overall presentation for the job application materials.

Spend some time reading up on how to write really strong resumes and polishing up portfolios so potential employers will take notice.

Hope that helps and good luck with the job search. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Wow, thanks for your very complete review, really appreciate that :smiley:
Thanks for the articles you linked, it helps and I will take a look at them to improve points you mentioned.
Also thank you for providing examples, it helps grasping a concrete idea on how to improve my portfolio/projects.

It helps! Have a nice day! :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m looking at this from the perspective of an American in the US, so I’m not familiar with anything that would be different in France. That said:

  • IMO the portfolio site overall doesn’t have a professional polished look to it. And if you’re applying for any roles in front-end, it’d be worth investing some time/effort to make it look as professional as you can. Just because you can use Create-React-App doesn’t mean you should, for this type of thing. Don’t be afraid of using a CMS for your portfolio site, you don’t have to design & make it from scratch yourself. And if you do really want to use CRA, I’d suggest using something like Material UI.

  • None of your projects look entirely professional either, and seem like only one step above something like the early FCC projects. Most companies want to see that you’d be able to hit the ground running in a job, and these projects don’t exactly convey that. If you don’t know how to design a UI, there’s nothing wrong with borrowing one from an existing website - and there are definitely websites that have templates you can use like this one: Webapp designs, themes, templates and downloadable graphic elements on Dribbble

  • I can’t stress this point enough because it seems way too prevalent these days: try to get away from posting “toy” projects that don’t really demonstrate much about your ability. Make more ambitious and complex apps that solve a business problem - i.e. something like Amazon.com’s e-commerce app, built out with multi-user authentication and automated testing. Those are the kinds of projects that will catch much more attention.

  • Is your goal to get into web or game development? You won’t be able to do both, and it’s conflicting to mention both of them on your site and resume because it’ll confuse recruiters/HR. You’re going to have to delete “video game development” interests if your goal is web development, because that will send a signal to recruiters/HR that you don’t want to send.

  • Soft skills are something you should avoid including on a resume. It’s not necessary and could have the potential to send the wrong signal to anyone reading the resume.

  • You can’t self-teach computer science. That’s not how it works - computer science educations are validated through colleges & universities, not by yourself. You should just delete that from your education.

  • Since your resume is in English, it needs to be proofread for capitalization errors (i.e. your list of technical skills) and grammatical correctness.

3 Likes

Your online portfolio looks cool. I like the background pics. They are really fitting to the topic. Clean design, not overloaded or too many play options. I guess this was one of your bullet points in the project.
critics:
Contact: The goal of an Online Portfolio is to get in touch with you, therefor I would highlight the contact options more and put it on the front page - the most HR Manager people don’t like to search for something (more than 20 sec).
About You: I missing that chapter. It is content about your projects, what skills you used - but there is too little presenting about the person. They do not hire skills, they (hopefully) hire persons. I would extend this as well.

//rene

Thanks for your honest review about my work. I appreciate that.
I do agree on most points and will work on them.

Thanks again, have a nice day! :smile:

Thanks for your concise and valuable review, definitely agree on those two points, will work on them :smile: !

Hi there, after having built another project that looked more pro and a new version of my portfolio I applied to jobs again, and I found one in only 3 applications! Thanks for the feedback, I’ll finally be paid to code. I’m so happy to have done that being self-taught. :smile:

2 Likes

I’ve had a brief look at the repo for the Drive frontend and it looks like you’ve used a lot of advanced tools and techniques, e.g. cypress, docker, typescript, custom hooks, really well organised code, and in general the code looks refined and substantial at a glance. It looks like a really excellent project. The design is a little basic so it’s probably worth just putting a little bit more work into that aspect of the project.

If you feel like that’s your best project I would put it front and center in the portfolio, e.g. by making it a ‘featured project’, so if someone is reviewing your portfolio at a glance their attention is directed to where you want it to. Just make it obvious which project you want them to look at first and foremost.

You’re definitely job ready and you should be confident in your skillset.

1 Like

Congrats mate your portfolio is excellent so it’s well-deserved

hi there. an incredible feedback. Here searching for answers as I am trying to build a portfolio. Can you explain the Dribble comment about UI? Currently I design sites with Elementor. Templates are either Elements or Elementor. This activity led me to freeCodeCamp as I had ideas outside of the offerings. :slight_smile:

That being said, early on in this learning journey - what specifically is different with the templates on Dribble versus those available on what I am using? I want it to look professional and land a job. Worried using what I am using isn’t cutting the mustard and looks unprofessional (when done).

My goal is web design and web development. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

My post was in the context of providing a visual guide for someone building a web app, since design and development aren’t the same thing. Most web developers (i.e. aspiring web developers) tend to have a hard time coming up with the UI for a web app - how it should actually look, with things like colors, shapes, and the overall layout. The templates on Dribble are very useful for that kind of thing and provide layouts that developers can start working from.

I’m not familiar with Elementor, but it seems like more of a design tool.

Congratulations,

it’s encouraging that you don’t need the “perfect” portfolio to land a job!

We shouldn’t slack of course, but it’s not worth losing your mental health either.

Best of luck and be nice to your senior devs if you have any :smile:

thank you. from a first look, from a template design perspective Elementor is similar to Dribble. I haven’t dived into that yet.

Thank you

Even though I wasn’t the one you replied to, I learnt a great deal from your reply, and just felt If you could take the time to write tjis, then i could also take a little time to show gratitude.

LMAO, I just check
Experience with docker, react advanced pattern, GraphQL websocket, cypress… even esoteric stuff like LUA.
Man I am surprised that you are still looking for a job. You are not junior programmer anymore, put 2 years freelance xp on your resume and go to meetups/call companies directly, in 1 week you will be hired

What do you mean, “person?” Will you elaborate more on how to write it?