My portfolio site, please critique

I posted my resume recently and received great feedback so now here’s my portfolio site: http://seandz.com.

I’m open to any minor critiques, and also broader ones that a hiring manager might not like.

By the way, here is a small list of site specific issues I already plan to tweak:

  • Change the title tag
  • Compress background images
  • Thumbnail the project images and have them click to expand
  • Figure out why direct links to the subpages result in 404 not found.
1 Like

Cool, it looks pretty good.

Some observations:

  1. Like you said, the title should be fixed. You should also change the favicon.ico so something other than the CRA default.
  2. I would be nice to use an SSL cert so you don’t get the “not secure” warning.
  3. The nav buttons should change to indicate which page you are on.
  4. The nav buttons should be sticky.
  5. I don’t understand how the background images relate to you as a web developer. As a visitor to the page, they seem random. But that’s a matter of personal preference.
  6. Your homepage is kind of empty. Why not list every library and technology you use? Don’t make them work to get pertinent information. You have about 5 seconds to convince them you are worth their time before the skip to the next of the 127 portfolio sites they have to look at before lunch.
  7. For your portfolio, you would ideally have a live version of the app they can try. For your first project you have a “TRY NOW…” that looks like a button, but I don’t know how to get to try it. I like the pictures, but they may want to actually try it.
  8. In your projects, I would have a list of every tech/library used on that project, maybe above or below “Technical Highlights”. They may not want to spend the time to read through the paragraphs at the end. At the top you have " Typescript, React, Express, PostgreSQL" as a subtitle, but I would rather have them less “hidden”. I’d want them very obvious, maybe in a list with the relevant icons for each of those things.
  9. In the about section, I might fill out your coding journey more. This is a chance to sell yourself.
  10. “I’m a React Typescript developer currently in Miami, moving to Atlanta for greater job opportunities.” Unless the move is in the distant future, I would just say you live in Atlanta. Why make a site that will soon be obsolete?
  11. “On the back end I use Express.js and PostgreSQL. That is my main stack.” That isn’t a fullstack. If you do React, mention that. And TypeScript and Node.
  12. “I also know PHP and Wordpress, and have written a couple small plugins.” WP plugins, I assume?
  13. “I didn’t complete the last 20% or so for them to be presentable, so I didn’t add them to my portfolio.” Then don’t mention them, i think.
  14. They don’t care about what you might do in 6-12 months.
  15. “mis-step” It is “misstep”.
  16. I would want a downloadable resume.
  17. I would want general links to github, any relevant social media, a phone number.

Still, it looks pretty good.

2 Likes

Firstly. Well done! It takes a lot of effort to be made a portfolio site like this - both in coding, design and copywriting.

Here are my comments, compare them to other comments, decide what you think is most appropriate. Apologies if I am giving you more work after all your hard efforts. Feel free to disagree and push back, this is just my opinion after 5 minutes of looking and as someone who occasionally does hiring in their job:

Writing a portfolio site is selling, and selling means knowing your audience. Whether this is good or not depends on who you are targeting and what you are selling.

I think the current site is more aligned with selling your services to small businesses as a freelancer, and less for a full time developer role.

As someone who helps hire developers, I would want to see something more business-like. Fewer animations and background images. You can have on arty project in the portfolio, but make the site more straightforward, using a typical responsive layout like Bulma/Bootstrap etc.

I’d use a more straightforward font, as the sci-fi looking font is a bit weird looking to me.

Looking at a specific example for http://seandz.com/portfolio/asana-task-repeater - I would show just the app screenshot rather than the sales copy for it, and I think it would benefit from an animated gif or video as it seem a bit bland as a screenshot only.

Technical highlights are good, but they can go later, I’m most interested in what YOU did (not what “was done” as a team), who you did it for, what value you delivered.

E.g.

“I was hired to create Asana Task Reporter as a freelancer for Asana. My role was to create the front-end using React, write unit tests and ensure a high quality bug free UI. After creating this app, they released it and had 100 users use it right away, and got feedback from 20 customers saying how much they liked the UI and that it was easy to use”.

1 Like