How complex do front-end portfolio projects need to be?

Hey there! I want to put together a portfolio and start applying to front-end jobs. So far I’ve learned HTML, CSS, JavaScript and React, working on APIs and AJAx now.

My question is how complex do the projects in the portfolio need to be? So far I’ve only build small applications like the projects at the end of FCC sections and in the JavaScript30 course.

In my opinion the right project should stretch your current skill level. You might be able to code 80% without much effort but 20% should be challenging and teach you something new. You don’t need super complex projects on your portfolio but the projects should not be to simple either.
If a project takes you too long to finish it’s too complex.


The most important thing is the quality. Build a simple one that works perfectly and is coded cleanly. Then you can add complexity, keeping that same focus on quality.


As a frontend developer you want to show that you can work with dynamic data and that you have a good eye for design, even if you are not a designer. Get an API and make HTTP requests. Your project should have pagination, filter and probably sorting as well.

Make sure the UI looks clean and well designed, bonus points for adding animations.


It depends on what you’re going for. Typically small application is enough. It not about how many things you can use in 1 project, rather the level of attention you give it.

Context is very important here. If you are specifically targeting front-end then I would suggest your ‘complexity budget’ be spent demonstrating a familiarity with responsive layout, css grid, css transitions, web performance, and a11y. For the code structure and quality I’d want to see that you have a clear grasp of JavaScript (+100 Typescript), the component driven design model and follow the best practices…

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To be clear, I am making a clear distinction between ‘front-end’ and ‘full-stack’. As someone actively hires engineers across the stack, if we specify the front we generally mean CSS Ninja…

OK, if you have done quite a few JavaScript30 course.and you understand the code, you are good to go for junior developer :wink: . I got a junior role mainly just with these projects.

I had in portfolio few small PHP apps like membership sites visualising data, but I aimed at front end jobs.
However I find better is to build your own projects and showcase mainly those projects, if you just wolloed a tutorial and build a complex app and you cant really maintain it, your managers would be negatively suproced. Because everyone assumes you are master at what you are building.

If you want to take a low salary with a junior dev job, start applying NOW. And I mean TODAY. You are fare better off working as a inhouse developer that doing tutorials on your own. If you can do basics of React, APIs and AJAx mostly companies would be glad to tajke you as a junior dev for front end.

Best of luck :wink:

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