Rate my portfolio

Hey guys, I recently applied to a junior full stack role thinking I was perfect for it. I got rejected but they gave me some decent feed back. Apparently my projects are to simple/resemble a simple TODO app. I honestly thought they were pretty decent for a junior.

So please critique my portfolio. Rip it apart if you have to.

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Yes, that’s a thing. I think one problem is that nowadays there are tutorials everywhere, there are boilerplates everywhere.

When looking into your Github, every project has like one big commit. Then you literally threw away the project by not caring about the dependabot Pull Requests. There are also no GitHub issues. If I would be a recruiter, this would be very suspicious to me, “maybe this person just copied some tutorial to put it on their resume”.

So if everyone has these shiny cool projects (that they could have copied very easily), there are other skills that come into play.

So regarding this one application: You have to babysit Juniors. So you need to have Seniors who can mentor them. If this company don’t have them, they need people who can produce from day 1.

So what’s your story?
Who are you?
What can you bring to the table that gives you some unique selling points?
What can you do better than Applicant X?

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Hey @sking, I checked your portfolio and source code and to be honest, it’s pretty good for a Junior developer role :slight_smile:

I used to be an internal Tech Recruiter and have since been a Developer at 4 companies. From my experience, the point of hiring a Junior is for their potential, not their current skillset. The main thing you are looking for when hiring Juniors is a demonstration of their ability to learn. You have a portfolio, with multiple full stack projects on - that’s someone worth starting the interview process with.

Recruitment is often a numbers game as it comes down to luck and timing, so keep going!

One tip I have would be: start looking into testing(Jest, React-Testing-Library) sooner rather than later. It’ll change your perspective on developing and is a super valuable skill that might set you apart from other applicants. Read up and watch anything by Kent C Dodds and you can’t go wrong.

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thanks for the feedback! Other than testing, what should I do to stand out to these tech recruiters?

  • I think a small blog where you talk about your journey in general would be a unique selling point
  • telling what you struggled with and how you overcame it
  • documenting your application (why you’ve built it, why you choose this architecture etc.)
  • using git with best practices (not one huge commit for your whole project)
  • maintaining your applications
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No recruiter or Hiring Manager I know would take the time, or even have the time, to read a candidate’s blog at the application stage. When reviewing an application, a recruiter literally skims the CV for “green flags”, checks there are no “red flags”, and does the some for a portfolio. Whole process is easily less than 30 seconds, then move on to next applicant.

I know at least 2 recruiters from Google and Facebook who contacted me through my blog. So maybe I am an outlier. But I think, looking from a bigger view, that a blog isn’t that big of an investment while also improving your skills (you have to sort your thoughts, learn to communicate etc.)

There’s a big difference between having a blog as a Senior Developer and having a blog as someone trying to break into the industry. There are much better Return on Time Invested activities as a Junior than having a blog. e.g. Build shit.

If you invest 15min per day into your blog, that’s 7.5h per month.
How many things do you build in 7.5h as a beginner?
Especially without copying tutorials?

IMHO I think you can see more of a person’s skill set by reading about their thoughts than seeing their code. Maybe working with them for some days. But looking at finished code doesn’t tell me that much about their skill set, thought process or journey.
I regularly get “invitations” to improve applicants projects. Even some want me to git commit under their name.

Not talking about the meta skills of blogging/writing (clearer thinking, writing, communication etc.)


But yes, both (blog and projects) are probably not that great for ROI.
Go to (local) meetups and introduce yourself to the right people.
In 2h per week you can literally meet like 10 people and introduce yourself.

Strong words! But useful also. Does it mean that you can’t recreate an idea or do you have to come up with a totally new idea like the next facebook?

I’m open for a lot of arguments. “I worked as a recruiter and you don’t know how stuff works” is not a strong one. I don’t think it’s that useful to play the default recruiting game as a self-taught dev.


No, not at all. Do your everyday stuff (build stuff, maintain stuff etc.) and talk about it and your journey. At nearly no additional cost, because you just have to write down the work you already did (thinking).

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