I was my own worst client...

It's been over six months since I decided to make my own website and this time (for a change) I actually intent to finish and deploy it! There were times where it felt like the labor of Sisyphus, I'd try one look, decide that it wasn't "good enough" and then scrape the whole thing and start all over from scratch! But, I figured out if I tried to make it "perfect" I would never finish my portfolio and it doesn't have to be perfect, after all I'm a junior with a long learning journey ahead of me!

This time I decided to make the "final" version of my portfolio using React and since I'm more of a developer then a designer, I went with a pre-built theme to get started.  I chopped it up into React components and modified the theme's styles heavily.  Breaking down the site into several smaller components, for me at least, makes it easier to work on and maintain the code. I'm still tweaking it, I'll probably change the fonts and fiddle with the coloring scheme, and a designer friend of mine will make me a real logo, to replace the current scruffy looking placeholder logo. 

Current look of the navbar and intro-heading

Navbar component, using react-bootstrap

After completing the menu/nav and the introduction area, I added the About section right after that, featuring just image (img-circle) of me and two relatively short paragraphs. I tried to give it a balance between sounding friendly and professional. And included a few relevant links.

About section

I've found that working on a concrete project, one you care about and want to finish, is very motivating. When you are taking, let's say a project-based course, you have the instructor holding your hand, often providing support and often the code itself. But when you are on your own, while it can seem overwhelming at first, you are forced to learn more ; you google like crazy, go through a ton o StackOverflow posts,  learn by reading a lot of official documentation, for the tech you're using and frequently learning a few things that you didn't plan to learn but they come in handy!

Sites made by yours truly

Following the About section, I added a few of my projects. I wish I had more to display, but so far I got four sites that are live, most of theme are for friends and a few paid projects I worked for, where I did not make the sites but I contributed to them, by fixing bugs, installing SSL improving SEO, etc.

Sites I worked on but did not make

I used a service to give screenshots of the sites a device frame, and used bootstrap cards in a grid to display the projects, including name, shorts description, link to live site and for sites I made link for GitHub related repositories. Bellow the projects I made, I placed a carousel with quotes from clients.

I managed to collect eight recommendations, three from Upwork clients, others from regular clients and friends. I kept the slider pretty minimalistic and put it on a repeating loop, which I usually find annoying but in this use-case it actually made sense to me.

Example of a recommendation

The last section is the contact, which is still in progress I'm thinking about using Redux-form for that. The footer will also be very straight to the point, logo, social network links (font-awesome) following by copyright year and "Powered by React" statement. 

And that's pretty much it, I will need to make more improvements on the site but I plan to deploy it by the end of this month! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read!


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