Putting together a graphic design or a writing portfolio can be pretty straightforward: Simply cobble together your best work and post it to the internet.
However, putting together a developer portfolio can be a bit more challenging. Should you just show a bunch of code? If your best code is part of a larger, multi-developer project, how do show which code you’ve made? What about just linking to websites you’ve worked on?
Considering the fact that every web developer needs some type of portfolio, the following tips can show you how to develop one, even if you’re just starting out.
Begin with basics
Because web developers work on the web, your portfolio should be hosted on a personal website that you have developed. The look of this website should be professional yet personalized to emphasize your skill set.
Every portfolio, regardless of profession, needs a handful of basic things: who you are, your line of work and your contact info. The most dazzling portfolio in the world is pointless if people don’t know who you are and how to get in touch.
Ensure your contact info is easy to see. You should list your profession as either the job you currently have or the one you’re seeking, whichever makes more sense. Include a set of project types, languages or similar information to help spell out what you can do as a web developer. Personalize your portfolio page by adding an About section that includes a photo.
Focus on specializations
In some instances, potential clients or employers will find your portfolio while searching for a general web developer. They may not understand what their specific needs are, other than the need to create a website.
In other cases, someone will find your portfolio while looking explicitly for a full-stack developer who knows Ruby on Rails.
If your portfolio simply points out that you write code, you’re more likely to be passed over by those who are trying to find the particular skills you happen to have. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to get a bit technical. Those who don’t know the lingo will likely be impressed and those who do will appreciate getting specifics upfront.
Emphasize personal projects
Every developer, even those just starting out, ought to have one or two personal projects in their portfolio, even a basic framework or starter theme. The personal projects you include should showcase the abilities you want to highlight.
One essential thing here is to ensure some of your code is available for public consumption: You want prospective organizations and clients to be able to dig in and see just how good your code is.
Link to GitHub projects
GitHub is the go-to open source code repository for the vast majority of developers out there. Employers hiring developers know and respect GitHub, and many will be suspicious of developers who have no presence on the site. Make sure any code you have on the site is well-documented. Never share proprietary information.
At Thompson Technologies, we regularly help tech professionals put together impressive portfolios. If you’re currently looking to take the next step in your IT career, please contact us today.