My experience so far with TechFolios was overall positive. I was first introduced to TechFolios in my Software Engineering I (ICS 314) class when I had to create a TechFolio for myself. In the beginning, there were a few challenges. Because TechFolios are hosted using GitHub pages, that meant that I needed to know how to use a little bit of Git and GitHub. At the time, I was completely new to Git and GitHub and I did not really use either of them before creating my TechFolio. Entering the information for my bio was a little challenging and it took a little trial and error to figure out the correct formatting for the JSON file. Writing essays using markdown was also something that was new to me.
As time went on, I was able to familiarize myself with all of the tools needed to develop a TechFolio. I also discovered many things to aid in the development of my TechFolio. I currently build a local version of my TechFolio on my computer whenever I’m making changes. This allows me to see more detailed error messages and I also don’t have to wait ~5 minutes for my site to build on GitHub. Whenever files are changed, they are almost immediately updated in my local build. I also use Atom along with a package for previewing markdown to see my formatted essays as I write them.
Having a desktop client that can combine all of these helpful tools that I use to create a TechFolio could be helpful for people who are also interested in developing their own TechFolio. Having a desktop client would decrease the barrier to entry for creating a TechFolio. Instead of saying to download and install Ruby, Jekyll, Git, Atom, and Markdown Preview Plus, one could just say to download and install the TechFolio Designer application to get started with creating a TechFolio.
This summer, I plan to work with a few other people to create a desktop client using the Electron framework that solves some of the problems with creating a TechFolio.