Advice on projects please

Hi, so I have reached the second guided project. Before I start it, I was keen to do my own project.

I had plans to do alot, but when it come down it, I found myself stuck alot. The good thing is I think I’m starting to get a good grasp on the basics, but when it all comes together and the code gets longer, (even though it’s basic) things just fail.

I find myself kind of stitching code together and tweaking it to make it work. Even with the basics, it’s still very challenging.

Do portfolio pieces need to be perfect code?, I was hoping to add it to my portfolio but it might be too basic. It’s still work in progress.

Thanks

This depends a lot on who you’re going to show the portfolio to.

The first thing to consider is the general idea of a portfolio: a collection of projects that demonstrates your capabilities. In that sense, every project can be part of your portfolio no matter how basic and incomplete. Even if you don’t show it to anyone, at the very least it can provide you with a sense of progression and you can see and appreciate the steps, big or small, you took to get to where you’re now.

But if you want to show it to an employer, then yeah, maybe a project that’s basic might not be the right choice to put in a portfolio. Depending on the jobs you are applying too, the complexity the employees require might differ.

Yet, focusing on how basic the code or project is can be the wrong way to look at things. What matters is not the complexity, but how well your code is able to solve problems. If you can solve problems with basic and simple code, well, that’s super great. There’s this article that illustrates clearly how simplicity is an advantage:

Another thing is relevance. How basic or complex the project is doesn’t matter to the employer if it’s not relevant to them. Because of this, it might be better to curate the topics you choose for projects to be more in line with what domain you expect to jump into. It’s fine to be eclectic and have multiple disparate domains, but having a focus is the minimum. Maybe something like the T-shaped person:

With that said, whether the project is basic or complex, when the portfolio is for a future employer, it should be somewhat complete and polished. That’s on you to decide though. Sometimes you might have completed half of what you intended to do, but that half is good enough to be considered a full project on its own; if that’s case, then put it in the portfolio.


Maybe the case can be made that a portfolio changes a lot depending on who’s going to read it. If we consider all our projects as a portfolio, then the portfolio that we show to potential employers will be a subset of that main portfolio because not all projects will be relevant them.

And speaking of portfolios, I recently read this interesting article:

It could be helpful.

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Hi Wan,

Thank you for this. Your answers are always insightful and thought provoking at the same time. I enjoy reading the articles you send over. So i will be sure to read them - they look interesting.

I might keep this one private to refer back on in a few months and come back to it. I’m still going to try to finish it.

Thanks Wan

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No worries @Frankie.

Yeah, that’s perfectly normal and fine.

To be honest, it’s possible that after a few months you will lose interest in the project. It’s also fine to drop the project altogether at that point since future you is likely a very different person, much more skillful, knows more about what projects are relevant, and thinks differently than the current you.

Then again, maybe that’s for your future self to decide.

Cheers.

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Hi @Frankie

I have a mentor who suggested the below projects. Hope this helps :slight_smile:

  1. Click-Through Rate Prediction - Predict whether a mobile ad will be clicked
    Click-Through Rate Prediction | Kaggle

  2. Vehicle Insurance Claim Prediction: Identify the appropriate risk for each vehicle owner.
    Allstate Claim Prediction Challenge | Kaggle

  3. Product Classification: Classify products for an e-commerce company into its main categories
    Otto Group Product Classification Challenge | Kaggle

  4. Driver Alertness Prediction: Ford Challenge: design a classifier that will detect whether the driver is alert or not alert
    Stay Alert! The Ford Challenge | Kaggle

  5. Salary Prediction: Predict the salary of any UK job ad based on its contents
    Job Salary Prediction | Kaggle

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