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David Sima
David Sima

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Personal site/portfolio

I delayed the thought of making a personal site or portfolio for a long time. The main reason was that I didn't think that I had enough experience or projects to show off. On top of that, I needed a professional domain. So when .dev domains came out I got one basically forcing myself to build a personal site.

I gathered most of my projects, some of which I found scattered throughout different folders and uploaded them on GitHub (The ones that weren't already there). Then I started thinking of the design 🤔. I am not an artistic person but I was sure that with my personal site I wanted to show a part of me so I decided to include things that I like in general, not just development oriented. I used Adobe XD for designing as I am on Windows and I find it a pretty good replacement for Sketch. I finally settled for what I would call a minimalistic site. My main inspiration was Ali Spittel's article Building a Kickass Portfolio. Thank you @aspittel .

Then I probably made my first mistake. I didn't even think about what I was going to use to make it. I just used ReactJS even though it is so minimalistic that it can be created very easy without it. I also built a backend using Express.js for handling the form submission. I used an npm package called nodemailer to mail myself the form data. On top of that, I also added a Matomo script for tracking, optimized for a SPA and an opt-out option. The final step was building and deploying it on my RaspberryPi 3 B+ (which I love so much), getting a free SSL certificate, figuring out how to make NGINX serve content on two different domains, setting up Cloudflare (🍰) and automatically updating the IP inside Cloudflare because I have a dynamic IP. Really, apart from setting up Cloudflare, the backend part was way more challenging than the frontend. But, after all of that, I am proud of what I got.

Now, it is your turn. I ask you to check out my site and tell me: what do you like, what you don't like, what you would do differently, and overall, what are your thoughts on my site and my projects. 🤗

Here is the site:

Thank you for your time! 😄

Top comments (4)

terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Overall, I think the site looks very good and performed very smoothly - great job!

Getting a bit nitpicky:
About me:

  • I like the React logo behind the word "React" conceptually, but think it is a bit hard to read.
  • There seems to be inconsistencies between which words are getting emphasis (or rather aren't). React, Node.js, Java, and Godot are all specifics that have emphasis, while HTML, CSS, Express, and PostgreSQL are left behind.


  • I would remove the "Unfortunately, I didn't won the contest" from the end of the Thriving Cities project. It brings attention to the fact that you didn't win instead of focusing on what you learned & what the end product is.
  • Same for the "Ugly Tic-Tac-Toe". I would keep it simple with "CSS only game of Tic-Tac-Toe" to call attention to the fact that you built the thing instead of pushing the reader to feel like you're not good with CSS.

I love the use of the icons to demonstrate what you used to build it, so I'll leave you with a closing remark about the icons:
"Racoon saying I want you to know I'm stealing that"

the24thds profile image
David Sima

Thank you for your answer!

That is very good advice. I will change project descriptions and I will take a look to the about me section. Maybe making the React logo more transparent will fix the problem. Also, I should give some love to the other techs as you suggested.

Thank you again! 😄 I am glad that you liked it.

paulc_creates profile image
Paul Caoile

First off, great article. I can relate because I have been stalling on creating my portfolio website as well. I do see your point and so I'm currently working on my own site.

You're website looks good. I like the simplicity and how you show a part of your personality.

Not to be overly critical here but I would include more spacing between the project section and the contact. I just think having even white space adds to the style of the overall design. Just my two cents.

the24thds profile image
David Sima

Thank you :) I will take that into consideration.