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Thread: Is a "portfolio" site relevant for a web developer? Need some advice....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Is a "portfolio" site relevant for a web developer? Need some advice....

    I posted something similar to this as a reply to another thread, but it never got any responses, so I thought I'd try posting as a new thread.

    I graduated college with a web design degree, however, I am not a designer/artist in any way. I struggled through the artsy classes, as I was mainly interested in the coding/development side. I started as a web dev, but mainly handled multimedia, audio/video, and Flash projects. Soon after I was fortunate enough to be offered a job doing 100% Flash game dev, which I promptly took. I've been lucky to have been able to do nothing but Flash games most of my career without ever really needing to fall back on my web dev background (which I've still maintained and stay up to date with over the years). Well it occurred to me that, should I ever need to look for work, I dont think Id want to target game dev. Flash isnt used like it was in the past and Im happy to ride it out as long as possible, but sooner or later I'll have to face the reality that it will be easier for me to find traditional web dev work instead.

    I always see designers with awesome portfolio websites that show off their designs, and I thought about what I can do to show off my skills. So this leads me to a few questions:

    1) As a developer, is having a portfolio site relevant? I'm not a designer, so if I used a template (or even just someone elses general design asthetics), my thought is that it wouldnt do much for me as far as showing off my skills since Id be using someone elses design and code (granted Id modify it for my needs, but still). Am I correct in assuming that?

    2) If having a portfolio site IS relevant for me (and I think it SHOULD be relevant for a web dev to have a web SITE, right?) then how do I approach showing off my skills? I'm a talented coder, and I can certainly list all the languages/technologies I have experience with, but what about actual samples of my past work? The only actual "projects" I have to show are some of my Flash games, and while that definitely shows off my general dev skills, it doesnt really spotlight web dev in particular. So should I just give a long list of websites or brand names I've worked with? Or is a list of languages/technologies, along with a bio, enough?

    3) If I decide to list some sites/brands I've worked with, I could use a general blanket statement at the top to mention that "while I didnt design and build the sites as a whole, I have had my hands in several aspects of them, including updating photos, content, etc, blah blah blah...". Do you think it would be acceptable to present the info in this way? Or does that look like kind of a cop out? I want to be honest, but not take away from the work Ive done and the experience Ive gained from it...

    Again, the goal here is to basically have an online presence that shows off my coding skills, just like a designer would show some screenshots of their work. I just need to figure out how to approach it. Maybe I dont need to do anything, and just post a resume. Maybe the "portfolio" aspect is meant for designers and not so much for developers. I'm not sure. what do you think?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Should do a portfolio if you feel you'll need one.

    Best thing you can do to show off your coding would be to have little working examples of what you can do, as well as listing and describing others. Always good to show what you can do, as this is what people will look at.

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