So much to ask!

So I have been on FCC for maybe two months. I am working on my last project for the HTML-CSS build a personal portfolio web page. Though I have re-done the lessons on free code camp many times. And spend a minimum of five hours everyday practicing on codepen or watching youtube tutorials. Then studying notes I have taken at night. I do not feel ready to build the portfolio. When i look at others people have posted for feedback I am blown away with the level of talent. I am sure I could turn one in that passes, and move on to next steps in learning. But should I. Or should I keep practicing trying to improve my current skill level first.
Or turn in something that passes and use my future learning to later go back and create a real portfolio somewhere like github.
Also thoughts on codepen for practice versus github
Sorry to ramble, but would appreciate your thoughts and opinions.
Thanks, Gabe.

Just some rambling thoughts…

You will never really be “there”. Don’t let the stop you from moving forward. Someone will always know something more. Some page will always seem a little more put together. There will always be some new library or technique that you have yet to master.

You are not married to one portfolio. Portfolios evolve (hopefully for the better). Start working on one that truly reflects your talents now. You can always revise or replace it later.

If you feel you are not yet capable of realizing some portfolio that you can see in your mind then break it down into manageable parts. Perfect the responsive navbar you want. Master the scroll effect you envy. Review flexbox until your cards behave just like you think they should.

See something you like? Learn from it. Copy it. Mimic it. Make it better. Figure out what libraries were used. Open it in dev tools to find out what makes it so appealing to you.

Codepen for practice, projects and sharing for criticism. Github for your “real” portfolio when you get there.

Good luck


I bet if you post links to your work we will think you are more there than you do.


Dont compare yourself to what others are doing…thats step one.

You are ready to build the portfolio…just build it. Concentrate not so much on the design and making it look good and impressive, concentrate on your basics, the foundation. Get the fundamentals down and fulfill the requirements…then, this is the important part…move on to the next project.

I say its important because the more projects you build, the more you will develop your skills, and then you go back to your older projects and use the knowledge you’ve gained along the way to improve the ones youve already done.

Another note on not comparing yourself to others…not everyone is starting out from the same skill level. When I started, I already knew HTML and CSS, and design and layout came super easy to me…others are in the same boat. Another thing, just like how Im suggesting you go back and fix up your past projects, a lot of people do that. So when you see an awesome project, there is nothing saying that was the first try.

So dont compare yourself to others, only compare yourself to yourself…make it a goal to do better than you did the last time…thats it.


As a music teacher I often ran into this problem, composition students in a paralysis about writing something bad. But the only way to learn to write well is to write a lot of bad stuff. I’d say the same about coding. Don’t worry about writing something perfect. Just write something that works. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Or look at it this way - be proud or your mistakes. The only people not making mistakes are the people not trying anything new. Every mistake you make is a chance to learn something. Don’t judge yourself based on “perfection” or how well you think others are doing - judge yourself on how much you are learning. That is your primary goal. That is the most important skill you can pick up because that is the constant of web dev - there is too much stuff to learn it all and it’s constantly changing anyway. I basically learned web dev from FCC. I struggled. My first projects were crap (and they were usually on the third try). Now I’m a professional developer with an awesome job.

Just keep learning and building. Don’t worry about perfection. Worry about learning and getting better. It will get easier. It will get better. Just build stuff.


I think codepen is a good place to start. If you’re more comfortable with the local/github thing, then that is fine too. But for many beginners, codepen is a gentle introduction. The other nice thing about codepen is it makes it sooooo much easier for you to get help from the forum.

And if you run into a problem, ask the forum. Check google first and work at it, but if you get stuck, post a link to your pen and ask the question. Just be very specific - what you want to happen, what is really happening, what you’ve tried, etc. That’s why the forum is here.

These feelings are very common. I think the vast majority of us are terrified when we build those first projects.


I want to thank you all. Your thoughts mean a lot and have inspired me . Thank you for your feedback. I will push on. And with that would like to wish you all a very happy new year;
Thanks, Gabe.