What is your thought process when making projects for portfolio?

Hey guys!

How do you decide what projects to do and how you gonna do them when considering portfolio? I’m at the moment in a tutorial hole and I want to do something on my own, but I’m not really sure how to approach this.

Should I just pick any project, make a blueprint and do it with what I know as well as asking questions and googling answers to them, or should I just go through several sample tutorials and then modify them to fit my needs? Or should I know everything from scratch in advance even before setting out to do a project?

Any help or tips/resources would be much appreciated!


at the moment I’m doing a portfolio so I could get hired as a react developer. I did one tutorial with hotel reservation, but it was a bit too complex, so I will not include it in portfolio page. Was thinking about making a login system with registration, but I don’t know how to do it so I was thinking to google answers, read docs and piece by piece make it. I wonder if it’s the right approach, but then again, this could be then made in a wrong way or is there no wrong way when starting out, haha.

Hey Ricarda,

I always try to solve my own problems.
That’s how I build all my side projects.

Then I create a feature list, e.g. “the user can see all his/her entries”, “the user can create a new entry” etc. Then I setup the whole thing, e.g. create-react-app, testing, CI, CD etc.

Building stuff from tutorials builds false confidence in your skills.
The thinking part (what do I have to do at which point and how can I solve it) is the hardest part, that’s where tutorials take away your tasks and in the end your opportunities to develop your skills, because they do it for you.

That doesn’t mean not to look up stuff, but not after 1 minute of “Oh, I don’t know it, but actually I only don’t feel like it…”.

The first thing that goes through in my mind is to analyze all the moving parts within the project and visual the problem from start to finish to see if I actually understand it.

If I don’t understand it fully, I will try to think of an alternative solution as temproary work around.

The projects I decided to do needs to be challenging and meaningful. For example, build full responsive website without bootstrap. From my perspective if you say you know CSS, you should be able to do it the skill. It might not be efficient, but it demonstrates how well you know a particular language. This goes for Javascript, React, etc.