As others have just said, a portfolio may or may not matter.
The polished product isn't the issue, though. It's skills, principles
and knowledge you pick up while experimenting.
Whether or not you share a spare-time project with a potential employer,
having spent a bit of time on your own learning about this stuff will
make you a stronger candidate & a better interviewee. You'll be able to
speak that much more confidently and persuasively about a broader range
of technologies, which will almost certainly help you in the job market.
On 5/6/2011 4:06 PM, Ceci Land wrote:
> I like this. Maybe it's because it's what I was already thinking about doing. I have 3 project ideas twirling around in my head at the moment. I can't do them at work, but perhaps the systems department could give me a dataset to play around with in my spare time. I already have a good dataset for one of the projects that I harvested via OAI-PMH.
> Do these spare-time projects get any respect from the "real world" when it comes time to apply for a job? ....particularly if you focus on really making it as polished as possible (within the limitations of a non-work environment)? I remember building my own darkroom as a teenager and doing B&W and color slide and print processing. (yes, I still love the smell of D76 and stop bath. I can bring up the smell purely from memory :) ). I did manage to work for a while in photography because of my original personal investment of time and energy into it as a hobby. I'm just concerned that the things may not work that way any more. Life was not only slower paced back then, but having an exact skill match wasn't required to get a foot in the door. Plus, I'm no Mozart so it's not likely that I'll come up with something uber creative or so nifty that it's used by a community at large. But I do good technical work. I tinker...I make things "go".
> Thanks for the advice. I'm going to start playing with the projects I have in mind. One is already done as a JSP, but I think I'll convert it to something else and "clean up" the compromises I had to make to get it done in a limited time.
> >>> On 5/6/2011 at 2:31 PM, in message<[log in to unmask]>, Devon<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> My answer to this question changes every time it gets asked.
> These days, my thinking is that focusing on skills/tools is backwards.
> Instead, focus on a problems and solutions. Pick something you want to
> do, then do it. Figure it all out on the way. If you don't know where
> to start, build and deploy a simple website. Try a solution. If it
> doesn't work, try a different solution. Keep trying. Don't be afraid
> to toss all your work away and start over. Make the website more
> complex as you go. Add a database. Switch the whole thing to jQuery.
> Then switch to something else. Just keep going.
Corey A Harper
Metadata Services Librarian
New York University Libraries
20 Cooper Square, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-7112
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