Alright, here's the rules: You tell me to create a portfolio about my experience at the University of Washington, and by nature of being at the University of Washington and making the portfolio, I get to submit the portfolio itself as an artifact.
Bear with me here, because there's something a little deeper here than "Wow, I'm reflecting."
The image by the way, is the one and only time you should see the placeholder image for artifact images here on the site. Artifacts (presently, I'm beginning to realize this is probably a mistake) require an image representing the artifact, and of course, this text: the annotation. Because I'm often testing artifact pages before I have an actual image to use, I need a placeholder to satisfy the requirement. I use this image as a placeholder for 3 reasons: It's suitable for the public should it be incidentally seen; I find it cute (ironic, really); and it was one of three images on my desktop at the time I grabbed it, the other two being of a character I don't have permission to use and an mp4, which technically can now be used as an image format but... well it could be distracting.
This portfolio is already something really special to me, and not because I love self-reflection and being meta, even though, truth be told, I do.
It's... Okay, this is really hard to admit for a software engineer of 11 years...
It's my first public personal project as a software engineer.
I hear the snickering already. I implied website design is software engineering. But this site isn't just put together by tweaking a pre-packaged theme and putting some content on it (though I will fully admit to using a pre-packaged theme, at least at the time of writing). I've forgone the popular options for website hosting and design and hosted it myself on Amazon Web Services.
Someone from the back shouts "So you can do IT, so what?" Murmurs build in the crowd. Does using AWS Lightsail even count as hosting it yourself? Can you call yourself an internet tech, let alone a software engineer with just that under your belt?
No, no you can't, but that's not the point.
The point is that I've cut out a part of the internet to call my own, and while now there's just this website, which as it stands currently is hardly a tribute to my web design skills, let alone any of my other claims, the is a first step towards reversing an addiction. All of my career, if you will let me humor myself in calling it that, I've taken the liberty of being able to turn back time, to work with impunity under the protection of the assured impermanence of my work. It's not without downsides. If I had really applied myself I could have built a portfolio that would have let me skipped university entirely if I so chose.
Too little, too late.
In due time, proper projects of mine will find their way into this portfolio and the larger space I'm building for myself. I've realized for quite some time that the world is always keeping score. It's about time I keep score too.