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Programming Portfolio guidance and suggestions

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Hello Ranchers,

This week I had the bright idea to take all the coding projects I've done for school or recreation and sort them all by what skills they demonstrate. Doing this has opened my eyes to the disparity between what I know and what I've shown I know.

Currently it looks like I only know how to code basic Java programs.

So what I want to do is make an effort to increase my breadth of Java knowledge and then increase my depth while building a portfolio that proves to myself and potential employers that I know my stuff.

What I need help with is my plan of attack. If anyone has done this or has any thoughts on the best way to go about this, I would appreciate the input.

One problem is that this approach is the opposite of how programs are usually written. Usually you have a problem and you use the appropriate libraries or technologies to write a program that solves the problem. What I'm trying to do is write programs that use Java libraries and technologies for the sake of using them and exploring their capabilities.

As far as the specifics of my plan, I'm basically doing a one-man bootcamp where I wake up ready to code and end my day coding right before I go to bed. I also want to start with small easy programs that I can churn out in a few days or less and increase gradually until I'm working on projects that take a week or more to complete.

So I'm open for suggestions and ideas about how to map out an effective plan, specific coding challenges, encouragement, or any other feedback.

Beginner runners have the "Couch to 5k" program that helps new runners train for their first 5k, so I guess I'm trying to develop the programmer's version of that. You could call it, "Hello World to Hello, job offer" even though that name doesn't really capture the personal growth aspect of it which is my main focus.


I'm not dead! I feel happy! I'd like to go for a walk! I'll even read a tiny ad:
Devious Experiments for a Truly Passive Greenhouse!
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