When you are applying for software engineering or web developer jobs, you will need to build a portfolio, especially if you're starting out and trying to get your first job.
Here are the steps to building a developer portfolio:
- start a GitHub account
- join the Dev.to community
- start a blog on Hashnode or setup your own blog with WordPress or Ghost
Start a GitHub Account
You need a way to demonstrate your coding abilities and the simplest way is to join the largest code hosting site: GitHub. GitHub uses the git version control system and lets you host your code in a code repository.
Your potential employer may take a look at your GitHub profile for the following reasons:
- to see which programming languages you have used
- to see if you have contributed to open source projects
- to see what kinds of things you have worked on in your spare time
Not all employers will look at GitHub profiles and your code. However, it's still worthwhile to have a GitHub account because you can share code, contribute to open source (with documentation or code) and it will encourage you to keep on coding.
GitHub profiles have streaks and while it's not a good idea to burn out by coding all the time, it can be very motivating when you're starting out to build a portfolio of code.
Create Your First Code Repository
After creating your GitHub account, create your first code repository. It can be for a small simple project such as a calculator or a game or just "hello world". You will need to install the git version control system and learn some basic commands.
Find A Project To Contribute To
You can also find an existing project on GitHub that you can make a small contribution to. Most projects are happy to receive documentation updates or small improvements or bug fixes. For example, the Material UI project on GitHub has a list of "good first issues" that you can work on.
Important: follow the contribution guidelines of whatever project you want to help with. This is extremely important because if you follow the guidelines and are polite, you have a higher chance of your work being added and accepted into the project.
Join the Dev.to Community
The dev.to community is one of the largest developer communities out there. There are developers from all over the world writing code and writing blog posts about their code. Conveniently, you can login with your GitHub account and get started writing!
You can ask questions on dev.to and get help from other developers. You can also help other developers out by answering some of their questions.
In terms of building a developer portfolio, dev.to is where you can post code snippets and talk about tech stacks and architectural design decisions from your projects. To a potential employer, this shows interest in your field and it can help you gain further skills too.
Start a Blog on HashNode, WordPress or Ghost
To be ready for a future career, you should have your own personal blog. This blog is where you can announce new projects and show screenshots of your projects (or just link to the GitHub code repo). Your blog is also where you can put your resume and what kind of job you're searching for. If you choose to go the freelancing route, you can put contact information on your blog to let people know that you can be hired for freelance programming work.
You can use one of these three great platforms for creating a blog:
If you're a fan of Markdown syntax, all three have support for it.