re: Would fake projects/websites really get you a mid-level job as a web designer? VIEW POST


Definitely, "real" or not a portfolio of work demonstrates your ability to use your skills effectively. The "real"-ness of the portfolio is largely irrelevant in my view.

An interesting reality of the software world is that it's not always possible to showcase your "real" work. Especially if you've worked in a consulting capacity.

Where I work, most of our clients engage us with pretty heavy non-disclosure agreements. As a result, of the last 3 years of work, I have zero "real" examples of the work I have done. The way I get around this is to take the things that are most interesting to me about a particular job, and build a small side project leveraging what I learned, or what I thought was cool.

In my experience interviewing folks, when I ask "Do you have any examples of the work that you've done?" there's no better way to win me over than to say "Yeah! I was reading about X so I built this little app to see how it worked."


Thanks a lot, this is very encouraging and a relief. I have lots of things that I created with the "let me put this cool X into practice"

Do you think that this approach would work even for someone like me with no other work experience having not been able to work for 6 years (I've asked about it here). I'm just trying to get a rough feel of what I'll be facing.

Thanks again


Absolutely. A good quality portfolio of work is always beneficial, regardless of your previous work situation. If anything, it's one of the key differentiators for me when it comes to hiring folks with zero work experience.

I'd highly recommend focusing in on just one of those projects, and fleshing it out a bit. Add some polish, maybe a feature or two, and make sure it's available somewhere where a recruiter or other developer can check it out whenever they like.

Feature a link to your project prominently in the work experience section on your CV.

Bonus points if your project is your CV.

Like the agile manifesto says: 'value working software over comprehensive documentation'. Show me a comprehensive list of places you've worked? Meh. Show me a cool project that you're passionate about? BINGO!

Obviously there are no guarantees when it comes to applying for (and getting) jobs. But doing some of the above can only help you.

I absolutely love it.

Long story short, at the end of 2017 I planed that I'm not ready to start work, after personal issues I needed to take care of. Now though, every time I start working on my portfolio I get angst at the idea that no prior work experience would penalise me severely. So your comment is very very empowering.

Now I'll stop doubting myself and just get to work

Thanks so much

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