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I Built My Portfolio With Wordpress

kaydacode profile image Kim Arnett  ・3 min read

Yup, that's right, and I'm not sorry either. Let me take you on a journey of building my portfolio and a few things I've learned along the way.

In 2012, while searching for my first developer job, it became apparent quick that if I wanted to gain the attention and trust of recruiters/companies, I needed somewhere to show off my skills. Not having a "portfolio" or really any real world experience to call my own, I decided to hold off until I had something to show for myself.

Lessons:

  • I SHOULD have shown off my school work and group projects! Any experience is valid experience and is worthy of being shared. Especially any pain points that occurred and how you overcame them, hiring teams LOVE hearing about how you've solved problems.

In 2014, I launched my first iOS app in the store. It was called Recipbee, and was a way for you to store and sort recipes on your device, without being forced to share with the world (hello, Pinterest). I built everything from the iOS app to the service, to the database and although it was rather buggy, I was extremely proud. I took this as an excuse to build out an official portfolio website and kimarnett.com was born. It was very basic, on the home screen was a screenshot of my app(s), the navigation bar was an opaque white to mimic iOS's design patterns, and the navigation linked to my Twitter, my resume, and my blog.

For 2 more years, I updated, managed, cared for this site.. and it honestly took a lot out of me. The kicker was in 2016ish when I found myself hacked. Not going into web development, I was pretty stuck on where to go from there. Eventually with the help from Twitter peeps, I got my site back to a working condition, and even made some improvements. It was then I realized, I really had no business limping this site along from my web education that essentially ended with my last web-focused role in 2014. I also had no time to spend days debugging problems as I had with the hack. Additionally, during a few job-searches I made some realizations:

Lessons:

  • Not one hiring manager, hiring team, recruiter mentioned, or asked, anything about how my site was built. They cared about the content that was on it, the apps I created and the blog I had. At this point in time, I still had web technologies listed on my resume, so it should have been relevant. Note: I realize my experience could be vastly different from someone looking for a job solely in the web realm.

  • As mentioned above, limping my site along on out dated practices wasn't helping anyone. I needed to find another solution that maintained itself and was more closely aligned with the content I wanted to focus on: Enter Wordpress.

As Developers, I think we get caught up into the details wayyyyyy too often. It's important to take a step back and analyze what's a better use of your time, and where the investment is worth it.

Today, my website is still sporting Wordpress, and no, it doesn't even have a customized theme. Maybe someday I'll get there, but right now, I'm solely focused on providing content through blogs and a store I'm building around my designs. Wordpress, although a curse word in some communities, has made it a stress-free task for me, and as long as it's meeting my needs.. I'm totally ok admitting my site is not developed by me.

Posted on by:

kaydacode profile

Kim Arnett 

@kaydacode

Senior iOS Developer at Expedia. I enjoy watching my creations work wonders while making a positive impact on the population. Interested in technology, feminism, mental health, and Iron Man.

Discussion

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I'm personally using a static site generator for my site and the initial setup and design changes have taken days to get going. I feel your pain; however, with a static site generated and served through github pages with a simple CICD job, I could quickly revert the code base or replace it with my local copy.

The sentiment of focusing on the content and not the presentation is 💯 on point. Good luck making it work for you and your career.

 

I love the "not sorry" attitude towards WordPress.

 

Approved. Whatever works, right? Developers as a whole have a peculiar fetish around tools rather than what they can get done with them.

Who cares that you don't write your own website - in fact, you could argue that you're actually sending a message to the world about your priorities as a developer.

 

I came to this realisation too. I got ridiculed for not having a lot of projects on Github and then I did, not one employer has looked at my profile (I still have some stuff though), I setup a simple ghost blog and applied all the modern practices I could and use that as my talking point to show I do continuous deployment etc etc. In the end, it is my writing they notice.

 

Definitely! A team might checkout your stack, but in the end, where is your contributions more noticed? Go there! 🙂