Let's say you become a software developer, and you have accumulated sufficient knowledge and practical skills to demonstrate. Assuming you’re looking for a job, is the first thing you should do to create a more appealing CV and submit your application? In my opinion, it is not quite that way. CVs are composed at the end of studies, and portfolios are established throughout the course of study.

Namely, you need a portfolio that demonstrates your practical skills, quality written code, analytical thinking, creativity, as well as the fact that you can and know how to apply what you've learned.

Employers aren't just interested in your theoretical knowledge, your certifications, or your college diploma. They want to see your practical skills in action. A portfolio allows you to showcase your most impressive projects, giving employers proof of your practical skills. This increases your chances of being hired at an interview.


I remember participating in the interview of several candidates for Android and iOS mobile applications. A guy named Octavian came from the start with his own portfolio of Android applications. I didn't even get to the theoretical questions, because the client was very impressed. He was offered on the spot since he presented his own work clearly and confidently, which proved his knowledge and capabilities. This is an example of how significant a well-organized portfolio can be.

Additionally, your portfolio can serve to document your professional development, noting your evolution as a specialist over time. It is a collection of projects and practical examples that you can reuse along the way in other projects, so you will have a first source of inspiration at hand.

Now that I've explained the importance of creating a personal portfolio, I'll go over some key points you should consider when working on your portfolio.

Choosing a method to showcase

The first thing you should do is create a free account on GitHub. There you can place free source code from various projects with references, descriptions, and other details. So get familiar with GitHub and see how others host their projects on their servers. You can also use other free hosts like Dropbox or others. However, you will need, and I think it will be useful, to create a custom web page where you can include links to your source code and project description. Also, you can add these references at the end of your CV, or you can create an online CV with portfolio references.

You will have to study what "version of control" means, especially what is Git and how it's used. In general, "version control", also known as "source control", is the practice of managing changes made to code during software development. "Version control systems", such as Git, Apache Subversion, Azure DevOps Server, TeamForge, and others, are software tools that help developer teams track changes to source code over time. Even if you're working individually on a project, you need to manage and track your changes over time somehow. What is the point of that? I'll give you an eloquent example: if necessary, you can recover an older version of the code if the application breaks due to errors.

Anyway, working as a programmer requires teamwork, and "version control software" is an indispensable tool for organizing the code.

GitHub is one of the most popular and recommended source code repositories, that allows you to upload code and manage it through the Git source control interface. You can use it, and you'll have an undeniable advantage with references to your code examples. I know this from my own experience. When I assisted a recruitment process for web development candidates, the client chose only one CV out of 10 because it was the only one that had references to the candidate's portfolio.

Choosing the Right Projects to Showcase

When selecting projects to include in your portfolio, it's important to choose ones that highlight your strengths and align with the type of work you are interested in. For example, if you are passionate about web development, include projects that showcase your expertise in that area. Additionally, consider the diversity of the projects. Including projects from different domains or technologies can demonstrate your versatility and adaptability as a developer.

One effective approach is to select projects that you are truly proud of and have a personal connection with. When you are passionate about a project, it shows in the quality of your work and the attention to detail. This will help you create a strong impression on potential employers. Remember, quality over quantity is key. It's better to have a few well-executed projects that truly showcase your skills than a large collection of mediocre ones.

Furthermore, consider the complexity of the projects you choose to include. Including projects that demonstrate your ability to solve complex problems and implement advanced features will impress employers and help you stand out. However, make sure to strike a balance and not overwhelm your portfolio with overly complex projects, as simplicity and clarity are also highly valued in software development.

Highlighting Your Technical Skills

One of the primary purposes of a portfolio is to showcase your technical skills. When presenting your projects, make sure to highlight the specific technical skills and technologies you utilized. This can be done through a brief description of each project or by listing the technologies used in a dedicated section. For example, if you developed a web application using JavaScript, React, and Node.js, explicitly mention these technologies and how you applied them in the project.

Additionally, consider including code snippets or links to the GitHub repositories of your projects. This allows potential employers to delve into the codebase and assess your coding style, structure, and overall proficiency. By showcasing your technical skills, you provide clear evidence of your personal capabilities and ability to put theory into practice, which can greatly increase your chances of landing the coveted job.

Showcasing your analytical skills

Software development is all about solving problems, and having strong problem-solving skills is crucial for success in this field. That's why practical classes at college usually start with solving elementary mathematics exercises. So your portfolio must also reflect your ability to identify and solve problems effectively. To highlight your abilities to analyze and solve certain problems, you can organize the presentation and description of your portfolio projects in the form of a case study. You can start by describing the problem and then present the solution.

Moreover, if you have participated in programming contests or hackathons, make sure to include the solved problems in your portfolio. These competitions demonstrate your ability to think and stay on your feet when you have to solve certain problems within a limited time, skills that are highly valued in the IT industry. I will give you a concrete example of a former college colleague, who got a job at a bank thanks to participating in several programming contests within the faculty. At the interview, she was asked to present a problem she solved during the contest. She brought a concrete example by describing the logic in detail and won the job.

The employer appreciates analytical thinking, so coding competitions and hackathons are not so trivial and useless. They can also serve as a bridge to a professional career.

The ability to work in a team

Since software development involves more teamwork, it would be good to mention in your portfolio the projects you participated in as a team member. But what can a beginner present, who has never worked anywhere and with anyone? Since you've turned to GitHub or GitLab or Bitbucket to keep the source code you own, you've already demonstrated an ability as a potential team member, as knowing these applications that serve as "source control" is a step to teamwork.

You can also mention the OpenSource projects you contributed to on GitHub. Hundreds and thousands of software developers participate in such projects created by certain communities, sharing code from a common source.

Along the way, you will have the opportunity to work with other programmers developing complex applications. My advice is to add to the portfolio not only what you did, but at least a more detailed description of the work of the whole team. This will highlight your significant role. The portfolio is somehow not just a starting step, it develops over time throughout your programming activity and also serves as a source of self-evaluation and tracking of your own professional development. You will surely be interested in comparing your code at the beginning of your career and over 3-4 years of professional experience.

The importance of clear and well-organized code

One aspect of software development that cannot be overstated is the importance of clean and organized code. Employers want to see code that is easy to read, maintain, and understand. When reviewing your portfolio, they will assess your coding style and structure to evaluate your ability to write high-quality code.

When presenting your projects, make sure to include snippets of your code that exemplify your coding practices. Highlight any coding conventions you follow, such as consistent indentation, meaningful variable names, and the use of comments to explain complex logic. By showcasing your clean and organized code, you demonstrate your attention to detail and your commitment to writing code that is not only functional but also maintainable.

Additionally, consider including any testing methodologies or frameworks you have used in your projects. This demonstrates your understanding of the importance of testing and your commitment to delivering bug-free code. Employers highly value developers who prioritize code quality, as it leads to more efficient and reliable software development processes.

You can create a custom web page for your portfolio

A web page tailored to your specialist profile can give you a better chance of making a good impression on employers. You can achieve this using a CMS like Wix or WordPress but you have to consider the general aspect of visual aesthetics. Choose a clean, professional design that reflects your personal style and aligns with the type of work you do. Use a simple but attractive color scheme that is less gaudy and flashy.

Additionally, make sure the website is accessible. Test it on different devices and browsers to make sure it looks right. Include only relevant information such as contact details, experience from CV, and a short biography. You can also include testimonials from previous clients or colleagues to add credibility to your work.

Offer visitors the ability to easily navigate through your projects, and find only the relevant information. Consider adding a concise but comprehensive description for each project. You can use screenshots, links, or downloadable files. By creating a website for your portfolio you gain a degree of professionalism, only if the website is well thought out and perfectly made. Alternatively, you can create a professional profile on LinkedIn for free and include references to your projects on GitHub or where you have placed them for presentation.


So if you have perceived the importance of having a portfolio with your works, you should consider the following aspects for its creation:

- choose only the most appropriate projects, which you could present exhaustively,
- highlight your technical skills,
- reveal analytical thinking but also creativity,
- prove that you can also work in a team,
- emphasize code quality, that must be readable and well-organized,
- choose a way to present your portfolio either through a personalized website, or a GitHub page with descriptions, or references to your CV and LinkedIn profile.


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