Tips on Building a Coding Portfolio

5 min read

Career Trends: July 24, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

A coding portfolio can help you display your expertise and express your personality and values.

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A coding portfolio goes beyond a simple resume to showcase your skills. Coding portfolios are often interactive websites that detail your previous projects (including their code), express who you are as a programmer, and provide contact information. A coding portfolio is a must-have for landing a programming job, whether you specialise in user experience (UX), full-stack development, game design or any other field.

Employers in all industries want to hire the best person for each job, including developer roles. A coding portfolio can help you compete as the best person for a developer role. Use a coding portfolio to display your expertise and express your personality and values.

To give yourself the best chance of landing a coding job, it’s critical to learn how to build a portfolio that stands out against the competition:

How to Build a Portfolio?

A portfolio’s main purpose is to market yourself to potential employers and clients. It is also a blank slate for you to creatively display who you are as a professional and person.

1. Write an ‘about me’ section

  • An ‘about me’ section allows you to elaborate on your professional experience and tell a story about who you are and what you do.
  • Employers often look for the most skilled person for the job, but they also care about soft skills that can impact day-to-day operations.
  • Start by describing the kind of work you do, including the roles you have held.
  • You can also include personal interests, values, and strengths to give a better sense of who you are.

2. Feature your previous projects

  • A ‘previous projects’ section can display the breadth and depth of your coding skills and knowledge through various projects.
  • When considering whom to hire, employers spend lots of time evaluating candidates’ projects. In your portfolio’s ‘previous projects’ section, include your absolute best, most up-to-date work.

3. Share your contact information

  • When it comes to contact information, what you include and how you include it depends on your layout and personal style.
  • Most coding portfolios include a dedicated contact page, but some are single-paged.
  • You can create a submission form or keep it simple by listing your email address, links to any social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter and links to sites like GitHub or Stack Overflow that house your projects.

How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out?

1. Clean up your code

  • Employers are likely to prioritise your coding skills, so make sure your code is highly readable and efficient.
  • Spend time revising your code to make it consistent with naming conventions, indentation, single and double quotes and other elements.
  • Simplify the code as much as possible to show employers that you can work efficiently and effectively, including in team environments.

2. Add explainers

  • Context is key. Attaching a short explainer to each project can give employers insight into your thinking process and design decisions, even if the projects were completed in teams.
  • Your descriptions should be simple and limited in technical language.
  • These explainers allow you to demonstrate the challenges you overcame and the specific goals you aimed to accomplish.
  • You may also elaborate on your role in team-completed projects.

3. Choose a strong domain name

  • Sometimes strong can also be simple, with many coders naming their domains after themselves.
  • If you plan to use a common name and the .com top-level domain (TLD), your planned domain name might not be available.
  • In this case, you can use an alternative TLD, such as .me, .io or .dev.
  • Try not to use numbers or special characters, as these may make your domain name difficult to type and could even reduce your site’s credibility.
  • Lastly, avoid misspellings, which may make your site seem suspicious and potentially dangerous.

4. Make it look good and organised

  • Your portfolio is your digital first impression, so you should make it count by creating an attractive, functional site.
  • Unattractive design and poor functionality can leave potential clients or employers disinterested or frustrated, damaging your credibility as a candidate in the process.
  • Your website’s design can even create subconscious emotional connections to give you an edge on the job market.
  • Consider sticking to a color scheme and using an interface that is simple and efficient, highlighting the most essential information.
  • As for functionality, you should first make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

The Blueprint for Building a Successful Digital Marketing Career

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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