When to start build portfolio?

Hello Fellow campers, this is Mariem from Tunisia.
today is my first day in FCC and in my coding journey. so far, I am enjoying the challenges!!
my question is when I can start creating and building a portfolio?


You can do it as soon as you are able and have some idea of what you want to have in it.
(And welcome to the forum! :balloon: )


I’m still not entirely convinced of the merits of a “portfolio” unless you are planning to be a freelancer.


I’m honestly surprised by this statement. It’s sold as a standard to have a collection of work samples to show for your job search. Even the fCC curriculum includes a developer portfolio?

Many hiring managers do not have time to check portfolios. But they may be useful as something to talk about in an interview. (Though likely rarely even then because the likelihood of the content of the portfolio actually being of real world interest to the hiring company is small.)

Sorry OP for hijacking your post, but this is important:

The messages I get here are very confusing and I’m a few months in and no newbie:

Everyone and their mother tells you: You need to prove that you are able to build basic applications and present them, especially when you have no CS degree.

Now you are telling me the hiring staff doesn’t even look at the works you are presenting in your application? So why bother and code them in the first place?
What do recommend instead?

It would be great if devs hiring other devs would give their two cents to the topic, this is essential given how much time and effort goes into building a portfolio.

Here is a thread you may want to read. Note the lack of emphasis on portfolios and the emphasis on networking How to get a job? - #5 by jwilkins.oboe

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They really don’t have time? Or are they sometimes lazy? I don’t know, it’s just that I think that portfolio, resume, LinkedIn and Behance (etc.) checking should be a big part of hiring managers job :slight_smile:

No. They don’t have time. Especially not before an interview. They have many resumes to look thru and they have their own work to do that doesn’t become smaller on days they are looking thru resumes.

Here is a post that highlights what hiring managers need to see as well

I’m still not entirely convinced of the merits of a “portfolio” unless you are planning to be a freelancer.

I don’t know, when I was applying for my first job, there was a lot of interest in seeing my portfolio. True, I could list them on my resume, with links, but I could put more on my portfolio. I suppose you could put them on github and put links to live apps there, but I think a portfolio sells it better. Plus, it’s a chance to show some coding. But maybe it is different in different job markets.

They really don’t have time? Or are they sometimes lazy?

It’s also not necessarily their job. They may not be able to do a technical evaluation. Often the first gate keeper may be just some hiring manager or recruiter that is just looking for keywords that they only vaguely understand on your resume. They don’t have the time or the job to check out your work. They also may have to look at 300 resumes today.

@mariam_yahia As to when to build one - I don’t think you’re going to have the skills to do it right or have projects worth showing until after you’ve done the front end libraries. But if you’re curious, go ahead and try. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to start over - I ended up doing that a lot in the beginning. I think I ended up writing three different version of my portfolio.

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thanks, Kevin. Your answer is the best. to be honest the other replies are discouraging especially for newbies!

it is important to note that every market is different. A north-american market may work differently than one in India than one in Tunis.
There is merit to having a portfolio (that is why fCC has a porfolio project) but it may not necessarily be a significant factor in hiring processes.

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I think everyone was trying to be helpful. It’s a very supportive and friendly community here. The discussion got a little side tracked, but it’s all good information.

To clarify, I absolutely preach that you need to be able to build applications beyond the basics. I just haven’t seen a strong use-case for a portfolio. In 10 years I’ve never made one or been asked for one. I can count on one hand the number of coworkers who have anything resembling a “portfolio” (to my knowledge). When I interview candidates, the only ones I’ve seen who include a portfolio-style link in their applications are those with no professional experience - usually ones who have only completed a bootcamp or series of online courses. That’s why I’m not convinced of the value of a portfolio, especially as something meriting particular effort. A GitHub (or similar) profile that shows extensive work on one or more projects? Yes. The ability to speak in depth about your most significant project? Absolutely. A portfolio website? Only seems relevant for creative jobs or freelancers because the goal is to show the highlights of your body of work to display your range, style, and potentially a catalog.

I’m certainly not telling anyone not to build a portfolio. If nothing else, it’s an excellent practice exercise. However, when people are asking about it in the context of career advice, my personal suggestion is to take that time and energy and devote it to a cool project that you are excited about.

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In my case I started to build my portfolio when I decided that I would apply for jobs. Not sure if it has been useful? But I remember that in one of my interviews the interviewer mentioned a project that was in there.

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