Making the projects look good

Am I the only one who cares less about making my portfolio items look good and more about getting them to work and then moving on? I put a lot of effort into the tribute page but it felt like a waste because, in my experience, the layout design of a site/page is generally going to be done by someone else and not by the one coding the CSS/JS/HTML/etc. Granted, it might have something to do with the fact, in my almost 20-year IT career with large amounts of graphic design and software engineering, not once has any prospective employer asked to see a portfolio. For some reason, I simply feel as if the CodePen portfolios are more for our own respective entertainment/encouragement than anything, which is not bad per se. However, I also feel as if there is an unspoken presumption one should spend tons of time making it look nice and I am not convinced it adds anything other than potential frustration and delay in learning the next lesson.