Is my portfolio sketch too simple?

Hello all,

So, I’ve been applying to places as I’m finishing up the FCC curriculum (my goal is to be done within a month) and I’ve gotten a few phone calls back.

I’d say that I’ve applied to maybe 6-7 places and have heard back from maybe 3 but never any follow-ups after communicating with a company representative.

I’m wondering if my portfolio is a little too simplistic and would appreciate feedback.

My thinking, when I made this sketch portfolio, was to avoid looking like a lot of portfolios I’ve seen by keeping things streamlined. I’m thinking now that maybe things look a bit too simplistic. I’m considering redoing things with flashy animations and whatnot.

Happy New Year, and thanks for responses!!!



This thread probably belongs in “Getting a Developer Job,” but to summarize advice I’ve seen there:

  1. Make your skills readily apparent
  2. Avoid self-deprecation.
  3. Grammar and precision in general matters.

In your “About Me” section, there are examples of all these problems:

Countless hours were spent staring at pages uncomprehendingly, non-working brain flickering like a lightbulb about to go out, until at last I found elusive solutions!

Using the numbering system above:

  1. The skills you list are at the bottom of a huge chunk of text:
  • I have studied HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as a sort of curiosity for a while now but up until recently I haven’t touched any frameworks such as React. The apps that I’ve built and present here showcase my growing relationship with React as I learn by doing in React.

  1. I initially read the quote above as “I’m stupid.” If I had that impression, what about someone who has to sort through hundreds of applications? Even if it just shows a tremendous lack of confidence (as which it took me a full 3-4 seconds to re-interpret), it’s not good.
  • Followup cross-connection to point 1: “a growing relationship” with React isn’t mastery. If you can’t qualify a skill in a positive way, don’t. Just list it. So, this is bad:
    • I have studied HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as a sort of curiosity for a while now but up until recently I haven’t touched any frameworks such as React.

  1. The link in the navBar says “Name”, and the heading is “About Me.” If this was originally “Firstname Lastname” in red & blue, that’s fine.
  • You have a preposition without an object “think of as,” This wasn’t off-the-cuff speech, you took time to write this up, and kept the grammar mistake.
  • Lower in the page, you have images that don’t correlate to the projects to which they link, and are not descriptively named: “react app one”…, etc.

Perhaps because this is an example, but where’s the React? It’s the one technology you mention, and it’s nowhere on this page. The design isn’t the problem, but I’d like to see it be reactive.

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Simple portfolios are good.

I would say on yours that you need to condense space. You have to do a lot of scrolling to get to content. I think if you reduce that you’d be good.

Other than that…keep adding to it :smiley:


Wow–thanks for taking the time! I will definitely work your suggestions into my developing portfolio.

I didn’t think to my organize skills in a clear, easy-to-understand way as I assumed my resume will handle that but you make a good point about how quickly these things are scanned so I shouldn’t assume both my resume and portfolio will be closely read.

I appreciate your analysis about the use of voice. In my mind, I was approaching things with the idea of wanting to appear human but I see your point and will incorporate the criticism.

One criticism to your analysis and made with haste so I might be shooting myself in the foot via a mistake: “problem-solving training” is the gerundive noun with modifier.

Thanks for the feedback! :^)

The problem isn’t your gerundive + modifier, it’s the slang separation of preposition from object. “to think of (n.1) as (n.2)” is the base phrase, and here, n.1== “what”, and n.2 == “training”. The whole root of the problem (from a Markov-model perspective) might be the use of “[verb] my way through” because that’s the preposition which demands an object—“what”—which then has to be the object of two prepositions. The right answer would probably make any reader cross-eyed, so I would suggest a lateral move with a thesaurus workaround “enjoyed my experiences in what I consider problem-solving training.”

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with trying to let your personality show. But, perhaps subheadings? (for example, the layout below):

(Put the skills you talk about here. Keep it simple - don’t draw attention to weaknesses - you can answer that in an interview)

Problem-Solving: College coursework taught you how persistence pays off in solving problems.
Education: Recent grad! (Major? this is a chance to explain why a non-CS major taught you useful skills)
Music & Audio Engineering: Talk up the electrical/electronics aspect here.

I’d cut out “(Fairly) diverse.” Just call yourself a problem-solver.

  • Make thumbnails of your apps. Make them well-named. Maybe add a description on hover. Have all of this implemented in React.
  • Show off with some CSS transitions (eased scroll effects on clicking navs).
  • Show good design: on viewports <= 716px, your nav is a small black rectangle that only goes to the “work” section. I only looked now to see whether your design is mobile-first. It isn’t. Keeping a hamburger menu at top on mobile/tablet viewports is fine, but at least implement a “back to top” link below each section (right-aligned) so that they don’t have to scroll all the way back. This is a good way to show that you can use React to “react” to window resizing.

Simple design with deep reactivity is what I’d do if I were in your shoes. Good luck, man.


Haha, you lost me on our grammar debate and so I stand by my phrasing in its correctness (perhaps I’m being too idiomatic with my usage as “…to think of as…” is widespread) but will probably change it after reading your feedback.

BUT, I am honestly very grateful that you’ve taken your time to be so thorough!

I hope things go smoothly for you as well!

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First off love the design. You mention your hobbies before you mention the technologies you have experience in. I think this should be the other around. It comes across as though music is more important than web development to you. (That’s fine if it is but you don’t need any potential employer to know it!)

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My general approach is to keep portfolios simple, I never quite understood all these fancy pages with tons of effects. You can show off those things in your projects if you like.
Should be easy to navigate and get to know the person and what he/her can do. I prefer to keep everything quite strict and short, if they need to know more about me they should contact me.

Heres my list for a portfolio:

  • About me section, a few lines of who you are and what your interests are.
  • One serious picture of you from the front.
  • Portfolio with some of your recent work, don’t need to be everything.
  • A way to download your full resume as a PDF.
  • Links to sites like LinkedIn, GitHub etc.
  • A way to contact you, mail, phone number or a working form (example, EmailJS).
  • Plain color theme (2 different colors), easy to read fonts.
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This is definitely a personal pet peeve, so you can chalk this one up to personal preference, but I am not a fan of "mystery meat navigation’ I first scrolled past your portfolio, not realizing it was a portfolio til I scrolled around a bit then clicked on your work link. When I hovered over it, I saw the ‘react app 1’, ‘react app two’ titles and assumed they were just placeholders til you put your projects in there.

Right now, the pictures do not have anything to do with your projects…maybe instead use actual images of your project? Or at the least, instead of just react app, you put what the project is. Maybe a title above that section? That way its a bit clearer what is going on there.

Btw, def not too simple…very clean design…def with others on it that I like what you did with that.


“mystery meat navigation”–ha!

The advice on clarity is def’ very useful to me and I appreciate that you took the time to respond!

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Thanks for catching that! I’m switching the order as we speak (wait, that’s impossible!). Appreciate the response :^)

That’s very encouraging and freeing advice–thanks!

I saw that you cleaned up the about me and bullet-pointed it. Everyone likes visible structure to information. Good job!

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Maybe instead of saying you are working on a full stack project to put on this page, say I am working on a blah blah web app that does blah blah. And keep which technologies you are planning to use with it.

That will be less vague, more interesting to read about and also leave out that its “to put on this page” Dont give off the impression you are making stuff just to put in your portfolio, give off the vibe you are working on stuff because its something you are excited to build.

Also, I would link the project even if its not 100% complete yet… Personally, I link my projects to my github page, from there they can read detailed info about the project in the readme, review the code, and also see a demo of it.


man, what the heck?! this place has such a supportive community–you actually followed up and checked! I think I’ll post here a final portfolio once I’m through with the projects I’m working on if it somehow benefits the freeCodeCamp people.

Thanks for the support!


That’s excellent advice! It almost encourages a perception of competency even though the project isn’t finished yet :^). And I appreciate the heads-up about the importance of having a passionate vibe and so I’m gonna try to communicate that.

I’m thinking about holding off on applying until I get my projects finished (that process seems a rabbit hole I don’t wanna get lost in lest I forget about my projects) but I’ll include your suggestions.

Thanks again!

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My advice is still apply. Just getting an interview is tough…and it can take forever…there are places I applied to that didnt get back to me for a month or so… One place finally got back to me after like 4 months wanting to set up an interview. The application process can take forever too, so may as well get some coals in the fire…

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Yikes–that’s a little disheartening. But the 5 months I’ve been doing FCC passed by like a quick dream and maybe the job-hunt will as well (hopefully).

Nah dont be disheartened…its just info and its good to just be aware of whats can happen. I don’t know about job hunting being like a quick dream lol but I do like your perspective!

You mentioned its only been 5 months since you started, so I can totally understand that youd like to keep studying and work more on your projects. I was the same way when I first started. Just dont get too wrapped up with the idea of “done” because the more you learn and the more you can apply new knowledge to your projects, you’ll find yourself always wanting to improve and build on it. Which is awesome and how you learn, but dont let doneness hold you up from applying for jobs.