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General Discussion

Patrick Vanegas
Patrick Vanegas
6,971 Points

Where/how to get started on projects to add to my portfolio?

Hey, everyone. I recently saw a friend of mine on my college campus and found out that he was graduating this semester. He told me he received various offers from companies that wanted him. When I asked him how he managed to get those offers, he told me that on his resume, he only had 1 line reserved for his college diploma, and the rest were filled with projects that he had worked on by himself.

I've been in college for 4 years studying computer engineering and I still have 2 more years to go, but I don't feel as prepared as most people that I meet on campus. I feel like everyone knows EVERYTHING , yet I still don't. And it's all because I haven't really worked on projects outside of school.

I've taken Java, C++, a data structures class, discrete mathematics, etc. But the only projects I've ever worked on were in-class projects that don't give much insight as to how it's actually done in the real world. This is one of the reasons I started treehouse.

Currently, I'm focusing on front end development because it's a subject that interests me a lot (mind you, my school only offers one course on this), but I want to start practicing what I've learned so far. I could pay 200 for the projects in the techdegree, but it's not in my budget right now, and I don't know where to even begin. I have ideas for projects, but I think it'd be better if I had someone giving me an assignment, and then having me complete it since I'm still new to the whole game.

Right now, I just feel like my time in college is being put to waste because I keep running into people who have gotten amazing jobs without ever having to go to school. So, my question is just this: how and where can I start building projects on my own with the knowledge I'm gaining on treehouse, and also for the other skills that I have already obtained in school?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this!!

1 Answer

Andrew Litchford
Andrew Litchford
9,282 Points

This is probably one of the hardest things for people, including myself. To be honest, you have to just jump in head first. You said you have some ideas for some projects, I would start with those. If they come out good then put them on a domain for people to see or on GitHub with a public repo or on code pen.

The biggest thing employers want to see is examples of your work and then simply who you are. To get examples of your work you just have to start trying things until you get some decent projects put together. I know what you mean about feeling like you'd do better if someone were to give you instructions and then you follow but to be honest you will be doing yourself a favor by figuring a project out on your own. You will develop an independently motivated work ethic which is good for employers to see too. While they want you to be able to work on a team they also need to know that you can take charge and figure things out yourself and the only way to get good at that is by doing it over and over.

If you don't feel confident in your project ideas there are a ton of practice ideas online for front end work. Just google project ideas for front end development and you will find some fun stuff!

I hope this helps answer your question!