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Author Topic: Developing a portfolio  (Read 498 times)

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Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Developing a portfolio
« on: August 20, 2012, 01:05:17 PM »
Today is the day the next semester begins for me. I just have this one online class left to take to get my degree: portfolio development for the web designer.

I had to drop this class last time I took it, but now I have no choice. The problem is, I don't know what I'm supposed to do here. The course description says that you have to build example projects from web design and development applications: HTML, Javascript, Flash, Photoshop, and everything in between. This course is different from everything else I've ever taken in that it never specifies exactly what I should add to my portfolio. I can find tutorials for these applications and follow their directions to the letter, but I can't "make my own thing". I couldn't draw anything to save my life, and while I understand the fundamentals of programming, I always get hung up on the syntax of every single programming language. Even if I did know exactly what I wanted to program, I would not know how to write the necessary code because the programming syntax is at odds with intuition.

What is the point of a portfolio class? Am I supposed to just wait around and hope that I'll suddenly get inspired to create something before the due date? There hasn't been anything to inspire me for a long time...what am I going to do here?

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 03:06:26 PM »
I am currently developing my own portfolio for a front- & back- end web developer, but I do know what I'm doing, so it might be a bit different for you.

A few questions - does your project have to include other projects made in html, JS, etc? Or it has to include those things -- as in... the portfolio can be about... sweaters you've knitted and the website has to be created with the said web tools and languages?

If you have to create an actual web developer's portfolio - one including projects that has something to do with web dev, then you might have a bit more work to do, but not too hard. If you can follow tutorials and such - start with those. That's how I started long time ago - I liked a given tutorial - made it, then changed the basic graphics - like turning something blue instead of grey, changing this or that banner, making new buttons, etc.

If you have to make an HTML project - go for the cliches - no one asks you to be original in here after all, but to display your knowledge - make a fictional company's website - welcome, about, contact, etc. - no need to put real text - you can use Lorem Ipsum (google it if you don't know it). Javascript - why don't you make a gallery? Or a mini website with tabs that navigate through it, loading the content through the JS? Flash... I've done only a few things in it - but I made a mini website as well - click on this, go there, click on this, open that, etc. Photoshop... well just make a wallpaper or a flier - after all in the end you would use it or a similar software to create all/most of your graphics.

The point of a portfolio class would be... to make a portfolio and later use it to get a job. That is if that is what you are looking for - a job in the web dev world. >.> But for that you'd need those programming skills.

As for the wait - don't wait - just start gathering tutorials, start following them, then editing them and in the end you will have your thing. It's a lot of work if they want an actual big time portfolio. If it's just a website 'Portfolio' created using HTML, JS, etc - maybe a few days work IF you know your stuff - programming, maybe a month or so work if you are a complete noob.

If you can copy/paste the actual requirements for the course, or whatever you've got as an info on it, would be helpful to give you some better tips ^^;

Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 03:41:51 PM »
Well, one assignment ask me to develop "3 small" projects from the following skill sets, but I don't know which ones to go for:

1. Photoshop (Somewhat proficient in this, but I can't afford it and I don't know how to pirate it)
2. Web development (No idea what is meant by this)
3. Javascript (Never got the hang of the syntax of this)
4. HTML (See above)
5. CSS (See above)
6. Visual Basic (See above)
7. Photography (Couldn't take a good photo to save my life)
8. Flash (Couldn't draw to save my life; animation tools are counterintuitive)
9. FireWorks (Never learned how to use this)
10. InDesign (Didn't learn much about this, wouldn't know what to use it for)
11. Illustrator (See above)
12. Other (???)

Another, more immediate assignment is to find a website of a demonstration of one's web development portfolio and write a paper about it.

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 03:56:40 PM »
Why would you sign up for a class that you know nothing about? Have you ever done anything that has to do with web development?

How come you're proficient in PS but you don't have it? If you can work at school or wherever you've got it - go for it. Other ways can always be googled >.>

Easiest would be - Photoshop - make a wallpaper or whatever - or take a picture and edit it, HTML with CSS (pretty much can't do one without the other) - a basic website - you can google html templates - download the code, learn from it, edit it, and follow tutorials on those - tons of free ones. As for a third one... if you know how to work with InDesign and Illustrator... make a template for a resume? -at least that's what I'm gonna use those for.

As for the immediate assignment - google something like 'best web developers portfolios' and something like 'how to create a good web developers portfolio' - tips, and pointers, and you'll come up with samples, a few words why they are  considered the best, so you can base your paper on it. Pretty much - graphics, colors, message, style, work, fonts, what they've used - languages,etc.



Offline Chaosfox

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 04:02:34 PM »
My Step mom does Web Development for a living I don't know if she has a website up for her Portfolio but I can find out and Im sure she would not mind if you wrote a paper on if she has one.

Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 04:09:26 PM »
Why would you sign up for a class that you know nothing about? Have you ever done anything that has to do with web development?
I've been taking web development courses these past several years. This is the last course I have left to take to earn my degree. I passed all my classes by following the directions to the letter.

How come you're proficient in PS but you don't have it? If you can work at school or wherever you've got it - go for it. Other ways can always be googled >.>
This is a little like asking "If you're so good at golf, why don't you own your own golf course?" I always used PS on campus, but this class is an online course, and I have no such luxury.

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2012, 04:16:21 PM »
Don't you have computer classrooms that are free to access where you can use the campus's PS? - as for the golf bit... one cannot say they are  good golfers if they never go to the field, right? And I do believe you can download a trial version of PS... and just about any other software product out there.

If you've been taking web dev courses, have you done any projects for those? If yes - what have you used to make them - can you use them for the portfolio?

Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2012, 04:19:53 PM »
My trial version of PS may have already expired. Is there a way to renew such a trial?
I'll have to ask my professor if I can use projects from previous classes, though I'm not counting on it, as he has taught many of those exact same courses himself.

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2012, 04:28:18 PM »
Google 'how to renew trial photoshop' and you will find out how.

Well, yeah... if he is the same professor I guess he would expect his students to know the material from the old courses...

To be honest right now I'm not sure what you're asking for - help to get ideas for your mini projects, or help as in 'someone please do this for me'? I've already pitched you a few ideas and if you don't know html and css and all those - there are tutorials, online courses, free ones, read, try, do. No one is born knowing those things, and no one can really just pour the knowledge in your head so that  you no longer know nothing.

Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2012, 04:58:28 PM »
What I'm asking for is help to get ideas for these projects. Nothing really interests me about the tools involved in web development at all, and what I am currently interested in would not make for good material to make a project out of. I would either need to put together something very generic for the sake of completing an assignment, or something phenomenal would have to come along and inspire me.

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2012, 05:15:02 PM »
Well, I might be wrong, and I do speak from my point of view and the point of view of the professors over here... but when it comes to such school projects - the topic doesn't matter as long as you've done the assignment via the requested means. Right now your professor, by the looks of it, wants to see whether you can apply everything or most of what you've learned in one project.

Do a basic website - html and css (because css without html is impossible, and html without css is quite ugly and noobish). Then make a few posters in PS, InDesign, Illustrator, and as for Javascript - get those posters you've made into a JS gallery. Put all those in one website - the portfolio, and you're done. A project for PS, ID, Ill, can also be a website layout - no coding, just the layout. Go on deviantart and search for those.

Isn't the point to make it after all? Take the credits and graduate?

And, I'm sorry if I may be coming off as rude, but if something phenomenal comes along and inspire you, it will most probably require to get the hang out of the things you would need to make it come true - and according to your own words, you don't get the hang out of those languages and programs.

Offline Aaron SteelTopic starter

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 07:30:10 PM »
What would I use to make the website? I'd rather use an editor like DreamWeaver to make one, but I can't afford that. What would my website even be about? No ideas come to mind. Are there any tutorials available for building such a site? As I said before, I can follow directions...

Offline Izu

Re: Developing a portfolio
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2012, 02:00:02 AM »
There are a lot of free editors. My personal favorite is Notepad++ - though it won't have any fancy  stuff like Dreamweaver.

As I said - a fictional company. It's a cliche, but you can definitely display all your knowledge into such a thing - tabs, buttons, images, styling, forms. As for other ideas - google website templates, go into any of the sites that offer to buy or download for free templates and search through those - that's how I get my ideas what to do.

Tutorials - as many as you wish for anything you are looking for. Google.

And now that I think about it - why don't you use Gimp for the graphics? It's free, it's quite close to Photoshop, and if you know how to work with PS you can get used to Gimp in a few days.

Seriously - saying that you can't do this or that just because you don't have the software is not a good excuse - just about all paid software has free similar versions. Or trials. And ways to renew the trials. Just use google.