As the software development field has gotten more popular, companies, especially large-scale ones, now receive a lot of applications for every vacancy. Hence, companies' strategy for recruiting software developers has drastically changed in recent times. For example, they now use different assessment tools to weed out weak candidates. Additionally, many companies now ask to see applicants' previous development work.
Looking at an applicant's previous work, technical recruiters and hiring managers can deduce many aspects. Hence, it has become crucial for developers to build a strong portfolio of work that showcases their skills and interests. However, simply creating a directory of all our work isn't enough. We need to strategize how we create a developer portfolio so that it impresses recruiters and other developers who will see it during the hiring process.
What is a developer portfolio, and why do you need one?
A developer portfolio is a collection of applications and other kinds of software that a developer has built. The main aim of a portfolio is to present the developer's development skills, what kind of work they are interested in, and their self-learning capability. One example of a portfolio can be a video game developer creating a website that hosts all the games they made as personal and/or work projects.
One thing to note is that a developer portfolio differs from a resume or a profile on an online platform. Developers directly communicate their technical background, skills, interests, and achievements through their resume and online profile. But on the other hand, a developer portfolio is proof that the developer has the said technical expertise and interests.
With a solid portfolio as part of our application, we can immediately stand apart, especially when we lack professional experience. After all, not all developers go through the hard work of creating a portfolio and lose interviews because of it. Hence, a collection of personal projects is the best way to show our existing skill set and our inclination to grow it further.
What developer profile is it for?
When crafting a solid portfolio, remember that not all developer portfolios look the same and shouldn't. After all, various software developers are currently working, each building different things and solving different problems. Hence, a solid developer portfolio must complement the developer profile it will become a part of.
Take the example of the difference between a frontend engineer and a backend engineer's portfolio. While both count as developers, the former focuses more on visuals and user experience, while the latter focuses more on system design and infrastructure. Hence, their respective portfolios will follow different strategies.
A frontend engineer's portfolio should showcase examples where they smartly and skillfully implemented UI/UX designs and ensured a smooth user journey. On the other hand, a backend engineer should feature applications and explain how they implemented the databases, APIs, and features. Both need to highlight the tech stack they used to create applications, and in the front end's case, they should especially mention the frontend frameworks.
How to build an attractive developer portfolio?
We now understand what a developer portfolio is and what it should accomplish. Hence, we can start building an eye-catching developer portfolio for ourselves. The most popular way to build an online developer portfolio is to create a dedicated website or a GitHub repository.
The choice between the two would boil down to personal preference and the kind of projects in the portfolio. For example, a UI/UX designer like Matt Farley chose to create a website as a portfolio since it can showcase their skill of creating a smooth user journey. However, one can also opt for both by showcasing a usable version of the portfolio on a website and providing a GitHub repository link containing the codebase.
What should a portfolio include?
Every developer portfolio should have the following sections:
Common mistakes to avoid when creating a portfolio
Not every developer will get their portfolio right on the first attempt, and that's okay. However, when creating or trying to improve our portfolios, we should ensure to avoid the following mistakes:
Apply to TOP tech jobs with your Rviewer Portfolio
When you register as a developer on Rviewer, you will find a very easy-to-customize and visual profile that will allow you to add all the information you need for your job searching needs.
In fact, you will be able to use it as a portfolio to apply to job offers you are interested in. Check this Rviewer Portfolio example:
Useful tools for creating a developer portfolio
Since developer portfolios are becoming more commonplace, various online tools help simplify creating a solid developer portfolio. Here are some prominent ones:
Tips for building a new app/project for your portfolio
Now we know how important a good portfolio project can be for a developer's profile. So here are some important things to bear in mind when creating a new portfolio project:
How to use a portfolio to apply to your dream company
If we aspire to work at a specific company, a solid developer portfolio can significantly increase our chances of making an impression during the hiring and even getting in. In such a case, we can try two strategies:
With such tactics, we can express to recruiters that we are motivated individuals who can work when we are especially interested in a company. While both ways mentioned above will take time and patience, their payoff will be worth it.
With a developer portfolio, we can increase the chances of leaving an impression on recruiters. Furthermore, by hosting a solid developer portfolio online that is SEO-optimized, we can expect recruiters at top companies to find us when they are looking for a role. Hence, while creating a dedicated developer portfolio will take planning and effort, the advantages that come with it will ensure it pays back.