Because I worked for many years as a freelance web developer, I’ve had a portfolio site for a very long time. Originally, I used the Grav CMS and a theme to build the below site. It was nice enough, with a simple layout, easy to access information, and the relevant links to some of my very first web work. Unfortunately, it would set the precedent for how much professional documentation I did, or rather, how little. I only wrote a paragraph for each project and only linked to the final product, I suppose expecting that the final product would speak for itself.
After coming to CU and being in TAM/CTD, by the time I took Web I was itching to re-create my portfolio into something that was wholly mine. The first site was fine, but it was a template, it wasn’t really my own complete original work. So, as the final project for Web was a portfolio, I decided to go completely overboard and create something I could really be proud of. The new variant featured a design I created myself, and 100% of my own code save for some standard CSS reset styles. I had learned a bit more by this point, and while still only featured 3 projects, each one had a popup with two paragraphs of information and a video of the final product, this is still woefully short of the documentation that I now wish I had taken.
Now here we are in 2020! This summer I updated the site to include a better footer, way more projects, and re-organized the projects to feature some of my games work. I did not continue adding the extra paragraphs and instead went the lazy route of linking directly to final projects. In the past week I have spent time migrating the site to Craft CMS, which basically allows me to keep all of my original code, but also allows me to build my own custom CMS to make it really easy to add new projects, and crucially, better documentation. Link to current site
So that, brings us up to date on where my current portfolio is, and what goals I have for it going into editing it this next week. The primary weakness of my portfolio is the utter and complete lack of any whiff of my design/development process. This is compounded by the fact that I don’t have or have very little backdated documentation for any of my professional or school projects. Ironically, I actually threw out the notebook that held my process for one of the games on my list. I’m conflicted on whether I should try to re-create documentation for past projects, or leave them be and focus on heavily documenting future projects.
My current plan for this class and portfolio assignment is to turn in a category page of my portfolio that features the three projects with the most documentation (the ones that have the “Read More” buttons) and include two of my TAM fabrication projects that while super cool, don’t really fit into my professional direction. (My pinball table and haptic metronome). Those two TAM projects feature way more documentation because that was required as part of the class. Going forward I need to figure out a plan and a way to document my professional creative processes, and I have no doubt copious documentation will be necessary for both my Capstone and Game Dev classes this and next semester.
So to summarize, my primary goals for my portfolio are:
- To showcase my professional work in an effort to get hired by a company that matches my values
- To serve as a repository of passion projects for those who are interested
- To help me document and record my creative and development processes for future posterity
My capstone goals are a little bit more nebulous, having never had to create a capstone project before. In some of my ideation for a capstone project, I have always wanted it to be something that is both a representation of my growth in TAM/CTD and is challenging enough to warrant several months of concerted effort. With that said, my goals for capstone in order of importance:
- Create a project that is both technically challenging and a good representation of skill.
- Stretch my limitations of a skill to simultaneously grow in an area that I want to continue working in.
- Collaborate with other talented people and build professional team skills.
- (Optional) Create a commercially viable product.
Initially, I was planning on doing capstone alone, mainly to avoid all the team awkwardness. Part of me knew this was a little bit of a cop out, but I didn’t really expect to meet people that would want to help me build an ARG. Coincidentally I bumped into Noelle who is also planning something very similar and so for the moment I’m planning on collaborating with a team despite my original feelings.