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Portfolio Website - Feedback Request

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Hi,

I am a second year university student in California majoring in computer science with a focus on game design. My goal is to look for internships as a game programmer in the next couple of years. I am still new to the world of programming (I have just over one year of experience with programming) and I have not worked at any computer science related jobs or internships before.

I have heard that creating a website to show of your work is a good way to help communicate your experience. All of my experience has just been with personal projects that I worked on by myself. I have put together a simple website to showcase a couple of these projects.

Unfortunately, I have not shown any of my work to anyone before, so I have no idea if this website or the projects demonstrated on the website will be helpful in my search for an internship. I am hoping to get feedback on what is good and bad about my website, and what steps I could take to improve it.

Here is the link: http://people.ucsc.edu/~zpeterse/

Thanks!

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I primarily interview and hire programmer candidates, so if your ultimate goal is to be a designer, this advice will not apply. However, the first thing that I look for when I do look at a candidates portfolio (I don't always) is source code. Pictures, videos and explanations of projects are great for helping decided which source code I'll likely find most interesting, but ultimately it's really the code I want to see. If you don't post it, I don't really care about anything your portfolio contains.

 

Source code is important for programmers because that's the most visible artifact of your work, and the code of personal projects can tell me a lot about the how a person approaches a problem and how they think about even the simple mechanical aspects of their craft.

 

Your portfolio has no source code.

Edited by Josh Petrie

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I primarily interview and hire programmer candidates, so if your ultimate goal is to be a designer, this advice will not apply. However, the first thing that I look for when I do look at a candidates portfolio (I don't always) is source code. Pictures, videos and explanations of projects are great for helping decided which source code I'll likely find most interesting, but ultimately it's really the code I want to see. If you don't post it, I don't really care about anything your portfolio contains.

 

Source code is important for programmers because that's the most visible artifact of your work, and the code of personal projects can tell me a lot about the how a person approaches a problem and how they think about even the simple mechanical aspects of their craft.

 

Your portfolio has no source code.

 

Thanks for the insight, I will post the source code. Is there a "standard" way to post code for a portfolio that is well organized and easy for you work with as an interviewer? Perhaps by using GitHub?

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Here are a few pointers that will likely help you a bit more as well:

 

  • Stay consistent in what you want: "I am a game design student, focusing on programming, but I can also do art stuff". Just stick to being a programmer (if that is what you want). You can always state somewhere in your resume that you have experience with other specific parts. Unless your aim is to get into the indie game development scene where "jack of all trades" are more common, it's better to stick to what you want/are good at.
  • Not as easy to fix as other things, but more projects would probably help.
  • As Josh Petrie already mentioned: show some code.
  • Perhaps not a priority right now, but having an actual domain name (zachpetersen.com?) will look a bit more professional.
  • Where is your resume? Have a resume!

I would also advice you to take a look at the portfolios of other programmers to see what they did and read topics here to see what kind of feedback they have gotten. Good luck though! :)

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Here are a few pointers that will likely help you a bit more as well:

 

  • Stay consistent in what you want: "I am a game design student, focusing on programming, but I can also do art stuff". Just stick to being a programmer (if that is what you want). You can always state somewhere in your resume that you have experience with other specific parts. Unless your aim is to get into the indie game development scene where "jack of all trades" are more common, it's better to stick to what you want/are good at.
  • Not as easy to fix as other things, but more projects would probably help.
  • As Josh Petrie already mentioned: show some code.
  • Perhaps not a priority right now, but having an actual domain name (zachpetersen.com?) will look a bit more professional.
  • Where is your resume? Have a resume!

I would also advice you to take a look at the portfolios of other programmers to see what they did and read topics here to see what kind of feedback they have gotten. Good luck though! smile.png

 

Thanks, that's great advise!

 

I will focus on code, upload examples, get some more projects up, and add a resume.

 

I am a bit confused by the web hosting prices that I see. Some say $1 per month, and others say closer to $10 per month. How much would it cost to get a domain name and a host for a simple website like this?

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I am a bit confused by the web hosting prices that I see. Some say $1 per month, and others say closer to $10 per month. How much would it cost to get a domain name and a host for a simple website like this?


The price depends on what you need. Personally I pay about 11€ (~13$) per year for my .com address. In addition you would need some webspace (I don't think it's not possible to use your university's webspace with a custom domain). How much space you need and how much that will cost depends on how big your website is.

Some companies also provide some sort of "complete package". I have a server at a german hoster and they do also offer a package of 2GB webspace, 10GB traffic and 1 domain for 1,90€/month (~2,40$).

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You should also read this forum's FAQ links, including all of Tom Sloper's site.

 

Game design is typically not an entry level position. Since you are in computer science, I assume you are headed down the programmer career track with aspirations to switch to design when you are experienced enough.

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You should also read this forum's FAQ links, including all of Tom Sloper's site.

 

Game design is typically not an entry level position. Since you are in computer science, I assume you are headed down the programmer career track with aspirations to switch to design when you are experienced enough.

Thanks! That is an excellent point and I would not have considered it. Your assumption is correct, I hope to someday obtain a design and eventually management position (in the distant future of course). I will follow your advise and focus on my programming abilities for now.

 

Also, I did not realize the depth of Tom Sloper's website. What a great resource, thank you for pointing me to it!

Edited by ZachPetersen

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