How to start with portfolio projects

hi fellow programmers Ive finished the js course and the respnsive web design course at freecodecamp plus i have a front-end developer certification from meta I have one portfolio website that I have accomplished but im looking to make at least 3 more do you guys know where I can start? or get an idea for a project?

I genuinely consider projects that are built purely for a portflio to be a waste of time. Build a large and complex project that you are motivated to keep working on for months and months. The experience of building this real-world application will help you tremendously both in bringing your skills up to standard and improving the quality of your interviews.

I am one of the few engineers I know who bothers to look at the links provided by applicants I’m interviewing. When I see a handful of “toy” projects that were built for a portfolio and abandoned, that makes the applicant look considerably worse than if they didn’t provide any “portfolio” at all. It’s the sort of artificial resume padding of someone whose skills aren’t mature enough to work on complex codebases and with professional dev teams.

So you’re basically saying that we should work on big projects rather than creating some small demos for our portfolio. I agree and I was wondering if you can give some advice on how we should approach this method. Like creating real world applications for example. I started my first project creating a complete complex website ( Although I knew only html and css ) and I am still working on it. Of course I had to search and look for code to make a part of the page work and I think it has helped me a lot, because along the way I have learned working with databases, JavaScript, jQuery and many cool stuff. But I always thought I was doing it the wrong way, like I should have first learned all these languages and then started with a big project. Which one do you prefer as an experienced software engineer? Learning along the way or learning the languages first and then starting big projects?

1 Like

A lot of the value of larger, long-term projects is actually struggling through the mistakes you made or realizing that you would have done it differently if you had known then what you know now. Managing those complexities is the day to day life of software development. You’ll not only be building your core coding skills, but also the more ambiguous skills of figuring out when you should go back and redo something vs when you should just keep moving forward. The conversations around lessons learned the hard way tend to be what makes these candidates stand out in interviews. Sometimes that might even mean something like “After working on it for 6 months, I decided that I had painted myself into a corner with that project, so I abandoned it and applied those lessons to my next project: ______”

As for when you should start working on a project, I say “When you’re excited to get started.” If you have an idea for something that sparks your interest, start breaking down your goals, requirements, and plan. Identify what a first, basic version would look like. If you look at that and think “I could probably figure that out,” then do it. You’ll proably have to stop and learn something new multiple times, but that’s part of the point.


Sometimes I think I am completely going the wrong way and doing stuff a coder is not supposed to do but when I read comments from senior developers, I realize it’s just all part of learning and coding. Thanks again!

1 Like

Three reasons for yuou here:

  • Focus on Real Projects: Instead of creating portfolio-only projects, invest your time in substantial, complex endavors that genuinely interest you.
  • Long-Term Commitment: Choose projects you’ll stay motivated to work on for months. The hands-on experience gained from building real-world applications is invaluable.
  • Skill Enhancement: These projects elevate your skills and enhance interview performance. Quality matters more than quantity.
1 Like