How to quickly build your developer portfolio

Building a new developer portfolio can seem daunting and it's easy to continuously delay going live. I've been there and know how frustrating it can be. But not to worry, I have some tips to help you cross the finish line and publish your portfolio.

First and foremost, start.

It may sound simple, but this is the most important piece of advice I can give you. No one but you is going to create your portfolio. So, get started!

Before you start coding, pick a theme.

Having a theme in mind while building can significantly speed up the creation of your portfolio. By "theme", I mean the overall look and feel you want for your website, such as minimal, a black-and-white palette, a grid-focused approach, etc. Once you have decided on your theme, stick to it!

When in doubt, look for inspiration.

Looking at websites other developers and designers have created can be an invaluable source of both inspiration and knowledge. However, I'm not suggesting that you copy someone else's work. Instead, let their designs spark your creativity and teach you new design techniques and trends.

One of my favorite inspirational resources is  Siteinspire.

Write your content before building a new page.

Before you start on a new page, try writing down your content or most of it. This allows you to focus solely on the content of your page without worrying about the coding or design. Plus it will also speed up the building process as you'll have real content to work with.

Finish one part and quickly move to the next.

Avoid making constant changes to the same section. This might be great for exploring new designs and ideas but not for finishing your portfolio in a timely manner.

Get your basic layout, colors, and content setup, and then move on to the next section. Once you've built out your page, then go back through and make any necessary changes.

Projects: If you're proud of it, include it.

This is one is pretty self-explanatory. There is no need to include every project you have ever built since you started programming.

Ask yourself two questions:

  1. "Am I proud of this project?"
  2. "Would I be willing to show this to a potential employer or client?"

If the answers are yes, then add it to your portfolio.

Set a [soft] deadline.

Even if it's two weeks or two months, set a soft deadline and try your best to stick to it but also be realistic in regards to your own life and how much time you have to work on it.

Two months is a reasonable deadline to set for yourself. This is long enough to spend quite a few hours working on your portfolio. Remember, the goal is to finish your portfolio, it does not have to be absolutely perfect. You can always come back and make changes later.

Share your progress.

Sharing with friends and family, or on social media is a great motivator to finish your portfolio. It provides accountability, feedback, and support when you need it most.

Accountability to help us with our deadlines, feedback to fine-tune and fix areas we might have overlooked, and support for those days when we need a reminder that we're doing a great job.

Most importantly, have fun with it.

Try not to overthink it. This is your little slice of the internet and you can do whatever you want with it. Make it as simple or as complex as you want.

And finally, go live!

Take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back, and hit that publish button! There are plenty of options out there for hosting, so do your research. We share a handful of recommendations in our  Where to Host your Frontend Projects article.

Until next time, happy coding!

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