When I was first learning to code, I found a different website to copy every day. I'd give myself 60-90 minutes and try to recreate the website from scratch using vanilla HTML/CSS/JS. I certainly wasn't getting paid to do this, but it also turned out to be helpful when it came time to interview. (I did this with AltSchool and they hired me as a contract developer to update their marketing website and then later build them an entirely new one.)
I think that as an individual, you learn a lot by building something like this. It's also a great exercise that puts you in the shoes of the employer, which many applicants fail to do.
From a hiring standpoint, I'd like applicants to have chosen Key Values above all (or at least most) other companies for X, Y, or Z reasons. I'd also want them to demonstrate that they'd spent time considering what problems I'm currently facing and how they'd contribute. I don't know if I'd read what Nina did as desperate... but I'm sure everyone has their on opinion on it!
Copying websites from scratch seems like a solid frontend exercise & a great way to learn how to put them together.
But it's possible to learn like that, and even to show the results off in an interview if you like, without falling all over yourself -- "hire me! Please, god, hire me! I'll make you coffee! Need your shoes shined? I have X Y Z qualifications and A B C relevant experience with this or that and could put my skills to use at a thousand companies in this area code, but I'm stuck on you specifically so just in case you're not looking to grow in these areas or implement my business plans yet how about I just refill the soap dispensers in your bathrooms? Please?"
When I look at that website I don't think "wow, that's dedication, we should all be so fortunate as to hire Ninas", I think "holy shit lady, have some self-respect".
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