In the first alpha groups that went through our curriculum, we just ushered them through the lessons day by day. We didn’t want to show them any of the “end” of the course because we thought it was important to keep the focus small and on the concept of the day.
But as we’ve learned from this wonderful student/teacher feedback loop, we’ve found that it’s helpful to see an overarching timeline for the bigger project sprints.
Here’s a high-level view of how the portfolio website will unfold and change throughout the course.
There are just so many ways you can build a “portfolio” site. First off what even is a “portfolio site?” It seems like most people create a 1-page React app with a very silly list of language and framework icons, three crappy projects from a follow-along online “boot camp” with some ugly thumbnail screenshots of the ugly sites, a sob story about how they are new and just want to have any job and help people, clunky scroll animation, and a handful of copy-pasted little CSS hover tricks. The code is crappy, and they can’t really explain how it works.
It sounds rude. But you know what we mean. You’ve seen them. There are thousands of this same ineffective website getting pumped out every day. It screams “Hey, I just learned coding! and I’m a total mess!” and you don’t want that. And everyone means well. But what is a portfolio really?
You’ll start building out some simple web pages and connecting them together.
You’ll write your first blog posts and some more intentional/practical web pages. You’ll have a bunch of little projects.
You’ll outgrow your projects as you learn more. But you can save them in your archive for old time’s sake.
You’ll also start using version control to save a history of all of your files and changes in cloud repositories via Git.
alpha-six is about right here
Your projects will mature. And you’ll begin seeing things at a higher resolution. You’ll formalize your process through case studies.
You’ll also be exploring many areas of visual design not represented in these charts.
During all of these projects, patterns will start to emerge. We’ll be able to start collecting reoccurring patterns. To really hone the layout/HTML/CSS skills you’ll start a responsive layout garden and add to it throughout the course.
So far you’ve been introduced to some practical programming but here is where we start exploring user interaction with form input.
At this stage, all of the concepts will start coming together with more clarity, and you’ll be able to fold them all back in on your personal website. This will solidify a clear style and structure that encompasses everything we’ve built so far.
alpha-five is about right here
And surely, you’ll create more one-off projects as you mature.
This is roughly where alpha-four is right now
Choose your own adventure
And there’s more…
At this stage, you have a super solid foundation in the entire web ecosystem.
But it will depend on what you want to do.
This is roughly where our interns are.
How does that sound?
Any questions? 😉