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As a programmer, you’re only as good as your portfolio.
Landing your dream job requires getting (and acing) an interview. Getting that interview means getting noticed. A great portfolio establishes your professional reputation and helps you stand out from the crowd.
While your resume might cover the facts about your career, it doesn’t cover the essence of it. Your portfolio demonstrates that you can perform the tasks you mention in your resume. Importantly, it showcases how you perform them.
The portfolio itself is a pretty simple document. It contains some information about who you are, includes some samples of your best work, and gives recruiters an easy way to contact you. As you become a more experienced programmer, you’ll want to update your portfolio and add new data to it.
Github is one of the most popular platforms programmers use to host their portfolios. It provides a public presentation of the projects you work on and enables ongoing collaboration with other developers.
If you already have an impressive resume with high-quality referrals from recognized industry names and years of experience, that’s great. But if you’re just starting out on your coding journey, you probably don’t have those things. You may have no experience at all.
Recruiters understand that self-directed learning can be as effective as on-the-job experience – especially in the world of software development. Your portfolio shows your hands-on experience in a way that is completely owned by you. You can always use it to showcase your work and make new networking connections.
The ownership bit is particularly important. Once you start earning on-the-job experience, you may find yourself unable to showcase the results of that experience. Your employers may have you sign a non-disclosure agreement that prevents you from showing anyone the next-generation app feature you designed for fear of a competitor stealing their thunder.
If you already have some examples of your work ready, you can immediately begin creating a portfolio. If you don’t, having a professional portfolio site ready will ensure you put your best foot forward from the very beginning.
Visual Studio Code is a free tool that allows you to make changes to your own code. This feature makes it far easier to use than a generic text editor. You can download this tool from code.visualstudio.com.
Visual Studio Code is not the only editor out there, but it is the most popular. Anyone who wants to learn how to code will need to gain familiarity with this tool sooner or later, if only because so many developers use it.
You should also download this free resume template from Bootstrap. This will form the scaffolding for the portfolio site you end up creating inside Visual Studio Code. You can open this example directly in your web browser to see what the final product will look like. You take the code from here and import it into Visual Studio Code.
Git is a tool that integrates with this interface and provides version control. Version control is important because it allows you to keep track of the way your code changes over time. Without it, even the simplest project can quickly become overwhelmingly complicated. Using this tool, you can view how the changes you make in the Bootstrap resume template impact the way the final result looks and functions.
Your GitHub account will function as the entry-point for your portfolio. This is where you will host samples of your code online. You can also collaborate with other developers on GitHub. Helping other developers solve problems can also be a useful way to establish a reputation for yourself.
We’re going to help you learn how to use these tools to become a full-stack developer from scratch. Sign up for our upcoming coding bootcamp and find out how!
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