The intent of this project was to learn if and how I could enhance my portfolio website through the addition of microdata tags in the html code, which would hopefully make my content more easily understood by the search engines. This project isn't necessarily meant to achieve a better SEO ranking directly, but to make it easier for search engines like Google and Bing to display my content in a semantically meaningful way to users, so that they will be more likely to choose my content over other search results. Appealing to the user is the primary means of improving SEO, rather than trying to game your website to the search engines directly.
By means of structuring my content's data, it will appear differently in a search results page. See the below image for an example of how structured data appears in a SERP:
As seen above, the typical search engine result that isn't enhanced by structured data (as seen in the first, red-boxed result) doesn't look as appealing or as authoritative for the typical user, even though the source (jimmydean.com) is actually more authoritative in terms of Google's algorithm. The three results below (boxed in blue) will probably get more clicks, even though they rank lower. This image clearly shows the benefits of marking up one's content with microdata such as the Schema.org vocabulary uses, especially since Schema.org was started by the search engines.