Coding portfolios are online resumes showcasing your coding projects to employers. While a resume tells hiring managers about your coding abilities, a portfolio demonstrates what you've actually done.
All programming professionals, including data scientists, software engineers, and web developers, should maintain a portfolio. This guide offers advice on how to build a coding portfolio, what to include, what format to use, and how to most effectively feature your projects and highlight your skills.
Increasingly, employers look for applicants with portfolios and consider portfolios as important as resumes and cover letters.
Busy hiring managers may only skim your portfolio, so it's important to make it as attention-grabbing as possible through design and targeted, concise project descriptions. You want your coding portfolio to compel potential employers to take a closer look.
What your coding portfolio needs
This section walks you through the essential coding portfolio components. Projects are the most important element in your coding portfolio, and we offer details on highlighting them.
Your coding portfolio domain name — the web address at which it lives — should reflect your professional identity and the type of work you do. A domain name will cost $10-$20 per year.
Your coding portfolio host can be a website, blog, or networking site like LinkedIn. You can find free options out there or build your own, but many programmers choose to pay for a quality hosting platform like those described below.
Be sure to add contact information. An email address usually suffices, but you can also list your Github and Linkedin profiles and Twitter handle.
Projects are the meat of your coding portfolio. They demonstrate to potential employers what you've done and how you can contribute to their companies.
You should have 4-10 projects
When deciding how many projects to include, think quality over quantity. If only four of your projects best show your skills, only include four. Recent projects are preferable to older ones.
Your projects should be your best work
Take the time to ensure that your projects present as well as possible by cleaning up and refining code to make it readable and efficient. Consider adding testimonials and positive comments about your projects from previous employers and clients.
Your projects can be anything…
The types of projects to display on your portfolio can be any of the following:
Project ideas for software engineers include algorithm visualizers, a blog that connects to a database, contact management systems, and web or mobile applications.
Your portfolio should give the reader a window into your projects
Make it easy for employers to view your projects by including screenshots, providing links to websites or web pages you've worked on, or linking to your projects on GitHub.
Write explanations for each project detailing how you approached it and anything you want to highlight. For group projects, specify which parts you worked on and your role.
Ensure you have permission to display projects completed for clients or former employers to avoid legal issues.
Creating your portfolio is a necessary but time-consuming step in the job-search process. Our guide on how to build a coding portfolio can offer the tips, suggestions, and tools you need to get it done relatively quickly and painlessly. Explore platforms like GitHub to get started.