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How my portfolio website evolved over the past 16 years My portfolio has been my public CV since 2015, I look back at how it's evolved in both it's content and design

Week 171.0 — 1st February '21

A few months ago, I wrote about re-launching my portfolio. It happened half way through 2020 when I spent some time scaling it all back. I took away all of the photos that were features on it and presented the least amount of info I could get away with. Even after making it live, I ended up tweaking it almost daily and added CSS animations to make it look like the content was being loaded in. It looked pretty good to me, but it never quite satisfied that itch.

For comparison, this is what my website looked like a year ago:

charanj.it until 2020

The layout was first built 6 years ago and was very busy. My main design goal was to have hard angles that were responsive. Content wise, it wasn't as verbose about my skills and career but more nuanced. It was a website I was very proud, but in reality it just didn't really reflect my life anymore. I love taking and sharing photos but 2016 was the peak of my adventures with a DSLR. Now it's barely a hobby.

This is where I ended up with my website half way through 2020:

charanj.it, mid-2020

For the first time ever, I was now actively promoting recent content here on 1 Thing A Week, but other than that there's not much to it. It was a satisfying move in some ways, but it was very bland. As I said, I ended introducing animations. Then a subtle pattern at the bottom. Constantly tweaking the wording on the page and then specifically for anything that was a link.

Developer Habits on YouTube kindly reviewed my portfolio not long after it went live. One of my goals was a 100/100 page speed score and the review pointed out I'd missed something which was good to know. I fixed the contrast issue, but it didn't really satisfy the itch so I went back to the drawing board (literally, in Sketch) and got to work on building what I really wanted it to be.

By the time I got down to writing any code, I'd already accepted a new position so there was no need pressing need to re-build it again but I did it anyway.

I tried to keep it minimal but looking around for some inspiration, it was clear to me that I should be more up front about my experience and I now not only had a blog but a newsletter to promote.

This isn't the website I would have built as I was starting out, I would look to showcase more of what I was actually working. At this stage of my career, the need to do that isn't there anymore. I've been working on enterprise apps for almost a decade and managing a team of some shape of form for much of that time too.

RealToughCandy, another YouTuber also took the time to review my website and made comments to that effect. Using archive.org, you can see the type of things I was shouting about before my career really started. About half way through, my portfolio looked like this:

charanj.it, 2013

I know... lots to read on that one! It's quite the trip looking back through the archive (broken images and all) but there are things that I just don't even recognise as mine. Not least this effort which I only have a vague recollection of putting together.

Now my portfolio is one I'm very proud of. I'm sure there are a few tweaks I could make and I'm always open to feedback.

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Notable

Quick links and commentary on interesting articles, videos and more throughout the week.

  1. 171.1 – Monday
    1. Light Speed - fast, but slow @physicsJ on twitter.com
    2. Apple in 2020: The Six Colors report card sixcolors.com
    3. North American Nightscape Liron Gertsman on apod.nasa.gov
    4. CDC orders mask mandate for planes and public transportation axios.com
    5. My thoughts on Sathnam Sanghera's episode of Ways To Change The World @cchana on twitter.com
  2. 171.2 – Tuesday
    1. Good Vaccine News David Leonhardt on nytimes.com
    2. Nike GO FlyEase news.nike.com
    3. Enable hover text in macOS @cchana on twitter.com
  3. 171.4 – Thursday
    1. mRNA vaccines, explained Vox on youtube.com
  4. 171.6 – Saturday
    1. Orbit the Moon in real time Orbit the Moon in real time

Jump to notable items for Week #170, Week #172 , view the notable archive or my favourites.

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