Introduction: How to Create an Engineering / Maker / Technical Portfolio

Picture of How to Create an Engineering / Maker / Technical Portfolio

Tips and tricks to showcase your engineering or technical skills

Thank you to all the M.E.C.H. Club co-founders and M.E.C.H. members who have taught me a lot along the way

*All photos used throughout this instructable are meant purley for example purposes

Step 1: Why Create an Engineering / Science / Technical Portfolio?

Picture of Why Create an Engineering / Science / Technical Portfolio?

When you think of a portfolio, you may have the image of a struggling architect carefully gathering hundreds of well executed drafts into one location, an artist taking pictures and scanning countless mediums, or possibly industrial designers organizing multiple creative projects.

What some makers , and more often then not engineering and science majors, don't realize is that organizing a central portfolio is one of the best investments.

Here are just a few reasons why a technical portfolio is a good idea

  • Showcase your work, skills , or hobbies
  • Self reflection of previous work and memories
  • A solution map or location to refer to later on
  • Establishes a focus for your work
  • Help others with similiar problems you have already faced [ much like instructables ]

  • Convenient marketing tool, making the hiring process easier for the employer and you

Step 2: Basic Steps

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Here are the basic steps :

  • Rally --- > What
  • Medium / Media --- > How
  • Focus --- > Why

*The order is not important , but establishing a consistent approach to each new project is key

Repeat

Step 3: Rally - Gathering It All

Picture of Rally - Gathering It All

Rally : Create a central location for all your mediums / projects

1] Create Separate Project Folders

2] Create Logical Sub-Folders(within Project Folders):

Ex. of folder names : Electrical , mechanical, coding, documents , pictures + vids , and so on

Once you have all of your projects documented

3] Choose a Central Organization Storage platform :

Ex. of project storage:

  • Computer hard drive
  • **Google Drive
  • **External Hard Drive
  • Github

** = Recommended

If you do not have many projects, simply scan in recommendations , acknowledgements , or any document that proves good merit, in whatever you do

Step 4: Medium - How Will You Convey Your Works?

Picture of Medium - How Will You Convey Your Works?
*pictures above only meant to show examples of how to capture your work*

In art, the term media [ or medium for plural ] refers to the material used

In the same way , engineers use different tools. But they can also use different ways to document how they used those tools.

Possible ways to document your projects are as follows :

  • Scanning concept designs
  • Taking photographs / videos
  • Any scratch work : hand drawn electrical schematics , hand written logical coding work
  • Engineering specifications
  • Engineering project proposals
  • Project management tools or screen captures
  • Rendered animation [ using autodesk inventor or solid works simulation of constraints ]
  • Youtube tutorial or demonstration
  • Screen recording for coding tutorials and the like

And there are many others

Step 5: Focus - Anticipate the Value

Don't get me wrong, creating random projects is incredibly fun

But eventually, it may be a good idea to look at what your interests are and to focus your portfolio on both what you enjoy but also what you are good at.

An example may be : I want to help a company create the next big thing in wearables

You do not need a focus when you first create an engineering portfolio

However, look deeply at what your projects are telling you and who knows

you may end up getting a job in what you love doing

Step 6: Showcasing Your Work

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There are many great ways to create a virtual exhibit of your great skills [ I heard that instructables isn't too shabby].

Some of my favorite ways :

  • **In depth youtube video
  • Free websites such as :
    • **Weebly
    • Wix
    • Wordpress
    • FolioHD
  • Art show
  • **School Department / Club website
  • Friend or colleagues' website
  • Physical hard copy within a nice binder / book

WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE -- > MAKE SURE IT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL and avoid weird domain names [ see below ]

My recommendation is to have a central place where all your project links are

[ for example http://www.surgerobotics.com/ ]

And then use the site to point to other links such as youtube or instructables

For a great tutorial involving weebly see :

https://www.instructables.com/id/College-Students-H...

NOTE : it is a good idea to buy a godaddy or other hosting site and link that to your weebly account :

TO AVOID WEIRD DOMAIN NAMES : Link godaddy with weebly :

** = Recommended

Step 7: FINAL Thoughts

If a website isn't your thingyour , the next best option is a youtube portfolio video

To create a youtube portfolio I recommend :

  • Windows movie maker
  • Screen - O - Matic

Your online technical portfolio is like your resume , always evolving.

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE NON-TECHNICAL SKILLS such as :

  • Creativity
  • Communications
  • Writing
  • Project management

Your focus will change but with every project, you find out a little more about yourself

Thank you

-Sergei Dines

Website : http://www.surgerobotics.com/

Email : sergeidines@gmail.com

Step 8: BONUS : Best Maker Programs

The following are my recommendations for software programs to makers / engineering majors when inventing

NOTE : there are so many others that are probably even better, but I've found these to be very intuitive programs

ELECTRICAL :

  • Fritzing
  • Autodesk Electrical
    • More difficult to learn but more professional
  • Good old fashioned excel or any program that can draw straight lines, shapes, and has text editing

MECHANICAL :

  • Autodesk Inventor Professional

- 3 yrs free with valid email

- Sign up at : http://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/al...

  • 1-2-3D

CODING :

  • Arduino IDE
  • Python
  • Notepad++
  • Codeblocks

ARCHITECTURE :

  • Autodesk Inventor Professional
  • Autodesk Revit

VIDEO GAME ANIMATION :

Autodesk Maya

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Bio: Transformational Speaker - Writer - Philosopher - Futurist - Inventor - Philosophy Portfolio : http://www.strainbalanced.com/ Robotic Portfolio : http://www.surgerobotics.com
More by Sergei Dines:How to get started with roboticsHow to create an engineering / maker / technical portfolioReal Pipboy / IronMan : Wearable Heater + Runner Utility Light
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