Completed The Responsive Certification - Now What?

Hello. My name is Jesse. I’ve just completed the Responsive Web Design certification:

Upon reviewing my projects on the certification page, it’s obvious that I just did the minimum requirements to pass the tests and, per the instructions, built something “functionally” similar to the previews the tests provide. However, since there were no requirements for the CSS, it makes me feel like my certification is a fraud instead of feeling confident in my work. Additionally, I can’t imagine these projects bode well in the eyes of a recruiter - except for the fact that I can explain I got the job done (earning a certification) even though it wasn’t pretty.

My question now is - should I finish the CSS for these projects before moving on to the JS course, or should I move on to the JS course immediately?

I can do the CSS so I’m proud of the certification, but it will require a bit more time & patience. Whereas, right now, I’m eager and motivated to jump into the JS stuff immediately so that I can keep growing my skillset & becoming more valuable to recruiters.

What do you think?

FYI, here’s CHATGIPPTY’s response:

Summary

Hi Jesse, congratulations on completing the Responsive Web Design certification from freeCodeCamp! It’s great to see your enthusiasm and motivation to continue growing your skillset.

Regarding your question, it’s important to strike a balance between improving your existing projects and moving forward with new skills. Since you mentioned feeling that your certification projects are not visually appealing and might not make a strong impression on recruiters, it could be worth considering spending some time to enhance the CSS for these projects.

Taking the time to improve the visual design, responsiveness, and overall user experience of your certification projects will not only make them more aesthetically pleasing but also showcase your attention to detail and commitment to producing high-quality work. This can have a positive impact when presenting your portfolio to potential employers.

However, it’s also important to maintain your momentum and keep expanding your skillset. Learning JavaScript is a valuable step in becoming a well-rounded web developer, and the sooner you start, the better. JavaScript is widely used for adding interactivity and functionality to websites, so it can greatly enhance your projects.

One approach you could consider is dividing your time between both tasks. Dedicate a portion of your time to enhancing the CSS of your certification projects while simultaneously learning JavaScript. This way, you can make progress on both fronts and continue building your skillset while also improving your existing work.

Remember that the learning journey is continuous, and you will always have opportunities to refine and improve your projects. Strive for a balance that allows you to make progress on new skills while also investing some effort into making your existing work shine.

Good luck with your learning journey, Jesse!

It’s a great response - but splitting my time is really challenging for me. So, I’d like to stack my goals one after the other.

Why not do both? If you just want to mess with the CSS to make your projects look fancier that shouldn’t keep you from starting the JS unit. Just work them both in at the same time.

Thanks for your response @bbsmooth.

Why not both? Well, I’m limited on daily time resources, so I’m trying to understand which should come first as priority. Ultimately, I’ll be able to get them both done in the grand scheme of things, but I know splitting between both of them will hurt my present momentum.

That being the case, do you have a recommendation on which should come first? Do you think the CSS of these projects even matters to a recruiter checking these out or was doing the minimum to earn the certification actually sufficient?

My honest answer, no, because you won’t be showing the projects you completed in the responsive web design course to a recruiter, or at least not in their current form. When you feel like you are ready to look for jobs you will need to have much more advanced projects in your portfolio. Don’t get me wrong, these projects are a good start and hopefully you learned a lot doing them. But they are not something you are going to show a potential employer.

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@bbsmooth Thank you for your honest opinion. It’s valued.

I don’t intend to showcase these smaller certification projects in my portfolio, as they are just tutorial projects, but I do intend to showcase the certification as it does show I put in some time getting reps in. So, my thought process was that a recruiter may browse the certification, and then see these weak projects and immediately discredit the certification. Do you share that sentiment?

Regardless, in the grand scheme of things, this conversation illuminates the fact that it’s the show-cased projects that are actually important and makes me think the certification tutorial projects are simply an extra side that I can get right later if I need to but aren’t actually a high priority.