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Website/Portfolio Review


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#1 c0uchm0nster   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:44 AM

Hi all. I'm hoping some of you could take a look at my website, portfolio, and code samples and be as brutally honest as you can. I'm about to graduate college and looking for my first job as a junior programmer. http://www.jesseolmer.com Besides general advice on improvements I only really have a few specific questions: 1. Do you see any odd rendering artifacts on the website? If so, which browser/os? 2. What problems do you see with my code samples? 3. Should I even bother posting code that doesn't compile by itself (part of a larger system)? 4. Should I bother posting the pre-alpha C# code samples for variety in languages, or will it only hurt me having samples which aren't finished or very impressive? Thanks very much everyone. [edit] That I did Haladria - it's been a long week =). Thanks for pointing that out. [Edited by - c0uchm0nster on February 7, 2010 6:03:00 PM]

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#2 Haladria   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:59 AM

I think you forgot to post the link?


#3 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10242

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:14 PM

I don't want to sound too harsh here, but I find your colour scheme indescribably awful. If you have any friends in graphic design, might be a good idea to have one of them look it over for you.

#4 c0uchm0nster   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:21 PM

Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
I don't want to sound too harsh here, but I find your colour scheme indescribably awful. If you have any friends in graphic design, might be a good idea to have one of them look it over for you.


Is it the color scheme or the background pattern? The colors were part of a "group" which was highly voted on one of the color patch websites. I'll talk to a few artist friends of mine though.

#5 zer0wolf   Members   -  Reputation: 1018

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:25 PM

I'll apologize ahead of time that I'm going to be a little harsh ...

Yeah, your crappy website design is an immediate put-off. The text isn't even remotely easy to read. Don't put patterns under text. Just find a decent website template somewhere and use that. You're looking for a game programming job, so look for a portfolio related template.

Your Portfolio page has some videos and "technologies" used, but doesn't really say what you did. Which ones were solo projects and which ones were group projects? The ones that were group projects, what were your specific contributions?

Your Resume page says that your resume is available on request. WTF? Expecting people who could be potentially wanting to hire you to dig to get the information they need is NOT good for you chances of anyone hiring you.

Your website doesn't give any indication of how you are presenting yourself as being a useful asset to a game team. What role(s) are you wanting to fill in a team, and how exactly are you an excellent fit for those role(s)?
laziness is the foundation of efficiency | www.AdrianWalker.info | Adventures in Game Production | @zer0wolf - Twitter

#6 Haladria   Members   -  Reputation: 132

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:28 PM

I'm quite tired as well now so I will only comment some parts.

The black background around the menu text looks odd. And maybe there should be some padding around the content-text.

Why not put the resume online? Maybe as PDF.

Nice use of youtube movies. :) But you could write some more info about the projects. For example what parts you did (if it was a done by a group).

It doesn't say how many years you've been programming C++, this is often important.

The sliding red headers does not always align properly in IE8.

[edit] I recommend using wordpress for the homepage. So you can download a good template and tweak it easily. It's also much easier to keep a wordpress site alive compared to a "hard coded" one.


#7 c0uchm0nster   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 12:42 PM

Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
I'll apologize ahead of time that I'm going to be a little harsh ...

No problem... Harsh is what I'm looking for.

Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
Your Portfolio page has some videos and "technologies" used, but doesn't really say what you did. Which ones were solo projects and which ones were group projects? The ones that were group projects, what were your specific contributions?

Good point. I guess I got a bit carried away with not wanting to duplicate resume content.

Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
Your Resume page says that your resume is available on request. WTF? Expecting people who could be potentially wanting to hire you to dig to get the information they need is NOT good for you chances of anyone hiring you.

Yeah I haven't decided on this yet. Originally I had a PDF and RTF of my resume up, but took it down only yesterday on the recommendation of some very notable hiring managers in the industry. Their reasoning was that a) you can't post a customized resume for a specific job so it won't be the ideal one, and b) there are lots of shady recruiting agencies who will start passing your resume around without even contacting you first, which means if you ever want to deal with a company they've sent your resume to you have to do it through that recruiter.
This seems like a valid worry, but on the other hand I don't know how many recruiters will waste their time with a junior programmer. Opinions?

Quote:
Original post by zer0wolf
Your website doesn't give any indication of how you are presenting yourself as being a useful asset to a game team. What role(s) are you wanting to fill in a team, and how exactly are you an excellent fit for those role(s)?

[/quote]
I was planning on making customized landing pages for each job I applied to with arguments/examples specific to it (again on the recommendation of a number of people in the industry). I guess I'll put up a mock up of one of those.

Quote:
Original post by Haladria
The black background around the menu text looks odd. And maybe there should be some padding around the content-text.

Hm, I don't have any black backgrounds on the page - maybe just differences in our monitors. I'll definitely be looking at changing the color theme.

Quote:
Original post by Haladria
The sliding red headers does not always align properly in IE8.

I'll look into that, thanks.

Quote:
Original post by Haladria
[edit] I recommend using wordpress for the homepage. So you can download a good template and tweak it easily. It's also much easier to keep a wordpress site alive compared to a "hard coded" one.

I thought about wordpress but it seemed like it had too many features / was too busy for my tastes. I'll take another look.

thanks for the input so far guys.



#8 Wan   Members   -  Reputation: 1366

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:07 PM

Quote:
Original post by c0uchm0nster
Quote:
Original post by swiftcoder
I don't want to sound too harsh here, but I find your colour scheme indescribably awful. If you have any friends in graphic design, might be a good idea to have one of them look it over for you.


Is it the color scheme or the background pattern? The colors were part of a "group" which was highly voted on one of the color patch websites. I'll talk to a few artist friends of mine though.

I'm afraid I have to agree with swiftcoder. Unless you know someone who can make you a nice looking custom design, I would just go with a 'boring' default blog template. You advertise yourself as a programmer, so nobody expects an artistic masterpiece, you might as well keep it simple and readable.

Haven't really looked at the actual content, but the videos are quite nice. I would definitely keep those in, but perhaps with some more background information.

#9 c0uchm0nster   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:21 PM

Made some small updates based on comments (more project descriptions, a bit about my skills/knowledge). Changing the theme is definitely going to take more time.

Looking forward to hearing more.

#10 Skros   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 02:19 PM

I don't have the necessary experience to comment on the content (I'm a college freshman), but here's some feedback on the layout:

Frankly, the text is hard to read, the navigation menu background doesn't match, and the colors don't mesh well at all. My recommendation is to drop that site entirely and find a very simple fixed width CSS template with a nice looking color scheme and no graphics. A relatively small CSS file would be preferable (your website is only four pages), but it should cover things like changing the default link colors and simple menu rollovers, which are pretty much standard these days.

#11 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2176

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 08:22 PM

To the resume showing/not showing stuff:

I don't know if it's a problem that it's getting used without your permission, but I wouldn't worry about customizing it. If you redirect a potential employer to your site that means you have already sent some sort of application to him (ie "covering letter"). You can (=must) customize that. If you want to apply to a totally different position (so the resume is off), send a customized resume with your letter too.

#12 c0uchm0nster   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:20 AM

Alright well I'm working on a new design (changed the colors for now). Until I have that up, does anyone have any input on the portfolio and code samples? And any opinions on my initial questions would be greatly appreciated:

Quote:

2. What problems do you see with my code samples?

3. Should I even bother posting code that doesn't compile by itself (part of a larger system)?

4. Should I bother posting the pre-alpha C# code samples for variety in languages, or will it only hurt me having samples which aren't finished or very impressive?


Thanks!

[edit] Oh, and I put my resume back up as well.

#13 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10242

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 12:14 PM

Quote:
Original post by c0uchm0nster
Alright well I'm working on a new design (changed the colors for now).
The colours (although if anything worse than the original palette) are not your main problem - get rid of those textures asap.

Also note that Safari/Chrome seem to mess up the spacing on your header.
Quote:
2. What problems do you see with my code samples?
Lack of documentation. Source code doesn't belong unless it is thoroughly documented, or at the very least the interface thoroughly commented.
Quote:
3. Should I even bother posting code that doesn't compile by itself (part of a larger system)?
Not IMO. Either package it up as a (well documented) standalone library, or integrate it in a minimal sample.
Quote:
4. Should I bother posting the pre-alpha C# code samples for variety in languages, or will it only hurt me having samples which aren't finished or very impressive?
Regardless of whether it will hurt you, if the code isn't clean and well documented, it isn't going to help you either.
Quote:
[edit] Oh, and I put my resume back up as well.
Your resume looks pretty solid, and black-on-white is a good design choice [smile]

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]





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