Whether you are a UX designer, a Python engineer, or anything in between, your portfolio matters. It’s often one of the first things recruiters and prospective employers will see. That being said, not every portfolio will be exactly the same. In the articles in today’s newsletter, we’ll look at ways to make your portfolio stand out, or ways you can change an existing portfolio to make a bigger impact!
If you’re having trouble getting started, one of the simplest solutions is to optimize your Github profile. In this article, Pavel Malos talks about ways you can make Github stand, and even use it as your portfolio. He also explains how this is a great first step toward a more advanced portfolio:
“This guide will help you to create a professional looking GitHub profile intended to use it as a portfolio of your work.You’ll also learn how to impress recruiters by contributing to open source projects. A personal side-project may grow into something bigger. You can’t always predict what will catch the eye of a recruiter or senior software engineer, but when it does, you want to showcase your best work.”
If you’ve already customized your Github profile, the next logical step is to create a developer landing page with GitHub Pages. You likely already use GitHub, so this is a great way to get a simple portfolio site up and running quickly. Dinesh Pandiyan explains:
“Usually creating a personal website would involve buying/registering a domain name, finding a free/paid hosting service, developing your site and uploading it to the hosting provider. But with GitHub Pages, publishing your site is as easy as drinking a coffee.”
In his article, Pedro Silva explains why we often don’t even start the process of creating a portfolio:
“Creating your own portfolio takes time. First you have to choose the technologies among the overwhelming amount of options we have. Am I going to go for React? Angular? PHP? Ruby? What about SEO? Should I try node? What them, where do I host? Once you decided and set everything up, you’ve got to list all your projects manually, add the descriptions, links, images and decide on a design that shows your very best. Suddenly, the simple task of creating a pretty portfolio is overwhelming.”
If this sounds like you, then read this story, for a practical approach to creating an online portfolio using GitShowcase.
I’m not a UI or UX engineer!
If you don’t have a lot of time or UI experience, maybe a professional Bootstrap theme is your answer. In this article, Xiaoying Riley showcases a developer theme she build, and gives a brief tutorial on how to install and customize it. Here’s a short summary:
“It can be used as a professional portal to your other online portfolios or websites (eg. Linkedin, CoderWall, Blog, GitHub etc) in a modular fashion. The template comes with all of the source SCSS files included so the styling/colour can easily be customised.”
Sometimes, creating a portfolio can be intimidating if we don’t have a ton of experience with UI or UX. If that sounds like you, this tutorial may help you build a fantastic looking website using React, and a few other front end technologies. In his article, Dinesh Pandiyan explains how even if you aren’t an expert in UI, you can still make a stunning portfolio website:
“I am no UI expert but in recent times I’ve took a liking towards responsive design, animations, flexbox, and other fancy CSS features. So I thought I’d take my UI skills for a spin and build my portfolio along the way.”
When it comes to a good portfolio, what you do is sometimes just as important as what you don’t do. Knowing what mistakes to avoid can be a game changer. According to Sarah Doody, even experienced engineers and designers can struggle with this:
“When it comes to creating your own website, you struggle because you don’t have months or years of experience thinking about content websites, playing with different layouts, understanding how to make it scannable, and considering the behavior of the user on a content website.”
I don’t have time to update my portfolio!
Maybe you already have a website, but it’s outdated. Often the most time consuming part of building an online portfolio is maintaining and updating the content. If you have ever felt like this, maybe using the GraphQL-API powered CMS is the answer you’re looking for. In this tutorial, Carson Gibbons shows you how to set everything up from start to finish:
“I will show you how to pick up an existing codebase example to build your very own beautiful Portfolio Website, powered by the Cosmic JS GraphQL API. The portfolio app includes portfolio management, contact form (powered by MailGun) and a beautiful frontend by HTML5UP.net. Install, deploy and edit every part of this portfolio website from your Cosmic JSBucket Dashboard.”
Cosmic JS offers a CMS for any website or portfolio, but setting it up can sometimes seem a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for an easy way to update and manage content on your portfolio website, Tony Spiro shows how to build a great site using Cosmic JS and Vue. Here’s a little from his tutorial:
“The portfolio site we are going to build will have 4 pages there are home, technologies, projects, and open sources. This site also will have 3 object types there are profiles, technologies, and projects.”
I just need some inspiration!
Perhaps you have the time and the skill set to create your own portfolio. But just having inspiration to get started is challenging. In this article, Amy Smith takes a look at some of the best online portfolios and explains what makes them stand out. She also has this to say to get you thinking about what makes a great portfolio:
“One of the toughest things to do as a new developer is to make a personal web developer portfolio that helps to get a potential employer’s attention in the overcrowded job marketplace. Compared with commercial website, web developer personal website will pay more attention to personality and independent thinking.”
I’m happy with my portfolio, but don’t know what else to do!
If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve spent a lot of time writing high quality blog posts on Hacker Noon. Maybe you’ve spent more time writing than creating your portfolio. If you fall into this category, then be sure to include your blog posts in your portfolio or website. In this story, Sam Jarman explains that a portfolio or website isn’t all there is to do. Creating an online presence through a blog, or integrating your blog into your portfolio can be a powerful tool:
“So, what, as a developer could you create for online? Twitter is trivial, LinkedIn you probably already know about and GitHub we’ve talked about. But how about a blog? A blog is a great way to share your long-form thoughts and they’re very easy to set up.”
P.S. Hackernoon.com is a top 5k site in the world (source, Alexa), so if you want some great links back to your portfolio site, consider publishing a tech story on Hackernoon.com.
P.P.S. Shoutout to our investors of the week! Cheers to those who make it possible for us to build a better tech site:
- Satya Padala is a senior engineer who hacked his way into the early investment world.
- Claudio Cherubino is a Developer Relations Manager at Google, working on the Google Assistant, Fuchsia, and other IoT projects.
- Author, investor, speaker, crypto-evangelist Ajeet Khurana is CEO of Zebpay — a Cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2014.