Feeling overwhelmed to start Personal Portfolio

I just finished my tribute page, which I feel pretty good about at this point. I didn’t realize that I would get thrown straight into the Personal Portfolio project without learning a few more things. I could probably put something together that basically just satisfies the user stories but I wouldn’t feel very good about it.

So my question is, are there any other materials, videos, strategies, etc I should check out to learn some more stuff before trying to tackle this? Am I overthinking this? Some guidance would be appreciated!


You might be over thinking it. The point is to learn, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t look the way you want it to at first. I just finished my portfolio page and I definitely learned a lot more just by doing. If you don’t understand how to do what you would like then go back and read some more documentation or look at some examples. You might start off by sketching a wireframe of the layout till you’re happy with what you have come up with, then once you have the layout coded you can start coding it piece by piece. If you’re using bootstrap, it’s a good chance to get familiar with a lot of the features and how to change a lot of the css rules to give it your own personal style.

Hey I think your tribute page is good. It responds well and is easy on the eye.

You’ll have no trouble doing your portfolio if you do a quick sketch of how you want the layout and get cracking on code pen.

Put fillers such as pics off Google, or some lorum ipsum, in for content at first and enjoy doing the build. Honestly just start and you’ll find your flow.

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I would second the comment on CSS or bootstrap, it’s worth looking at the CSS method if you havnt already.

I’m practically a novice and I never use bootstrap at all. You simply don’t need it. Learn flexbox it’s easy and quick to use. Honestly it’s not hard. I dumped bootstrap after the first go because I realised I’d never learn anything by typing in bootstrap classes.

The components are easy to duplicate too with jquery ui.

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Agreed what’s important. Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of bootstrap a lot and obviously the great results you get with it can be better than what I can come up with right now, but all you learn is how to use bootstrap.

I suppose it’s a bit like learning jquery without much javascript. Not really recommended but not going to ruin your career either.

Judging by your Tribute page, I don’t think you will have too much difficult with the portfolio. But it will never harm you to go out and do more reading. Personally I used a lot of bootstrap, but now I think it is better to get a good handle on the underlying CSS first. Using the frameworks without learning the underlying code is a bad strategy I think. And if I were to have one criticism of fCC, it is that it doesn’t explain the underlying theory very thoroughly.

I found it useful to look through the W3Schools documentation on CSS and bootstrap and do some extra reading on layout. But I was learning as I went, so my page is a bit mixed up.

Anyway - good luck!


I would agree with you about learning, practicing, perfecting CSS layout FIRST. Flexbox and bootstrap will seem like childsplay after you get that down.


Oh, and you should take the quick 30 days to learning CSS and html at envato here: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/courses/30-days-to-learn-html-css

This was a HUGE help for me. I did it in like 7 days. Its great


One of the challenges I ran into was lack of content to fill out my portfolio, so I would concur with the advice that suggests you go back to the portfolio page project. Not only will you have more confidence, but also work to display.

Just extend / modify what you did with the tribute page. Have 3 sections instead of one: a bit about yourself, empty boxes for showcasing future work, and contact details.

The only new thing you’ll need to figure is being able to scroll to a section with your navbar, which is simple enough with html unless you try doing something fancy.

That’s it. The project is a simple one, but it leaves room for creativity. There’s no need to make a crazy good portfolio now, just refactor or remake it once you get the front end certificate. That’s what I did, and you can see the difference:

My first portfolio: https://codepen.io/imtoobose/full/oxGQmG
After front end and some React+node experience: https://imtoobose.github.io

People try to do too much too quickly with the portfolio project, and I have to admit something so practical/personal will make you want to make a crazy good site, but learning to code is a process and you can’t jump to the end by reading a lot. Do the other projects, come back, and make an amazing portfolio 2.0.


Flexboxes rock! Although i wouldn’t say its not hard. For a person starting out, getting everything right with flexboxes can be quite daunting.


In your new portfolio, how did you achieve the neural network kind of animation on mouse hover?

I completely agree and am doing the same thing. The bootstrap pages look great, but using the classes provided teaches nothing. Once I have learnt how to use the underlying technology I will probably use frameworks as they are quicker. But for now, it is vanilla for me!!

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The portfolio project is one of the more intimidating projects because you have to put yourself out there.

In my coding group I recommend one of two things:

  1. Skip it for now, and do it after you complete the rest of the front-end certificate.

  2. Just use bootstrap and keep it simple: 1 div that tells who you are, one div for your projects, one div with contact information. Use a neutral color scheme. Bam, done. Should only take an hour or two.

As for me personally, I skipped it and I’m saving it for last. My plan is to put it up on Github pages, but it won’t be anything too fancy. It will be clean, functional, and keep the emphasis on my projects, which is what I imagine people will skip down to, anyway.


Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. I’m digging the supportive vibes here. I will get cracking on something simple!

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Thank you for that, they’re right too, the “inspiration” I get from pro web developer and designers work actually frightens the hell out of me

I felt the same way. What I did was research other camps, like Codeacademy, codeavengers, etc. Still did not work.

Recently I discovered the best course so far at udemy. It is a fullstack web developer course by Colt Steele. It is awesome. Most of the guys at udemy take the courses there and come here at FCC to complement what they learn.

That’s my plan too.

Apart from that, I found some great stuff here:

www.tutorialspoint.com (also free)

And i check MDN - Mozila Developer Network very often.

After that I’ll revamp my tribute page, go for the the Portfolio page and go on here on FCC.

So, the tip is: do both, UDEMY and FCC.


These are some great tips.

Thanks for the reply guys, currently in the position and you response as been so helpful, I will get right to it.

Great suggestions here, particularly @imtoobose. Really feeling overwhelmed after starting to work on my personal portfolio after the tribute page.

It doesn’t help that when I search for Portfolio on Codepen, all these amazing portfolios with cool animations appear :slight_smile:

I will now focus on fulfilling the user stories and I will revisit the portfolio after learning a bit more.