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Andrew Baisden
Andrew Baisden

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Why having a portfolio website is not necessary for getting hired in 2021

Many years ago having a portfolio website used to be essential for finding work. In my opinion this is no longer the case and this is the reason why. Having a GitHub account is significantly more important these days. Every company expects you to have a GitHub and experience using GIT and version control. These have become the standards for programming now. On GitHub you can showcase your projects and I would argue that this is more important than having a portfolio website.

GitHub is required

When you consider that GitHub is the preferred way to view a candidates work, a portfolio website might seem much less relevant. In fact I'm sure that many developers choose to use an external link that goes to their GitHub profile anyway. Let's not forget that GitHub have also introduced profile README pages for everyone so you could essentially use that as your portfolio page.

The significance of blogging

Blogs give people a better insight into your personality and skills and I believe that it is even more relevant at the moment. In terms of updates, generally people choose to be more active with their blogging compared to a portfolio website which might not get updated as regularly. So if you wanted to see a developers latest work or thoughts then it is better to just read their blog.

Social Media's importance

Social Media is a great way to show what you are doing and working on and it can also be a way to gauge culture fit as you can see what a persons interests are. Having a strong social media presence showed how good I was at self learning and it definitely helped me to get hired.

Using a Hybrid model

Don't get me wrong having a portfolio website can still be useful. It is still one of the best ways to find you in searches and that makes it super simple to get in touch. However I feel like a hybrid model that integrates a few different platforms could be a good solution. So essentially using your portfolio website like a portal to your other profiles basically like linktree or carrd while integrating different platforms.

You could use the GitHub API and the API for a blog website to display all of the content on your portfolio without having to create a custom solution from scratch. And if you could find a way to integrate your social media accounts into this system then you could have a great portal for showcasing all of your accounts and the content that you have for them.

Final Thoughts

I really hope that you enjoyed reading this article and learned something from it. As a content creator and technical writer I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping other people reach their goals. Let's connect across social media you can find all of my social media profiles and blogs on linktree.

Peace โœŒ๏ธ

Discussion (3)

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danstockham profile image
Dan Stockham

Reading this article, there are some tips that I find pretty creative, and gave me the thought of, "Ah, I didn't think of using it like that but that sounds like a good idea"

Like using the README.md doc as your portfolio, that's actually a great idea. You get a potential client or employer looking through your Github account and be able to view everything in a centralized repo. You projects would be directories in one repo and the user can learn more about you. That's pretty smart.

And I do agree, blogging is the king when it comes to attracting employers while keeping your persona relevant with search algorithms.

However there were other pieces of advice that I don't entirely agree with. One of those pieces is the importance of social media presence. I will confess, I have much bias against social media and much of my disagreement is based off how social media is used today. So, my objection may not have much weight in an objective sense. But to my point, why would I want to leverage platforms that implicitly coerce their users into being the same? And also the environments in these major platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are moving away from organic interactions to more corporate consumerism that implicitly influence are choices. Specifically, our choices of what technologies to use in our projects and what brand of infrastructure we use them on. Hence, we're no longer have that chance at uniqueness we can get from our own instance of our portfolio we've built from scratch.

I get it that simply putting your site up isn't going to instantly expose it to the traffic we want, that's the utility of social media. There's gotta be a better way that doesn't require social media.

And speaking of social media, I agree that Github is a very good platform to show off your work. They offer ways to easily host your web pages and make your repositories available to other users. However, I feel less incline to show off complex work that a company could rip for their own products, with you the creator not seeing a single dime from it. That's the reality of companies, if they can copy code, they'll do it if it means they'll get an edge. Therefore, I think only showing them what they should be seeing with an explanation how you did it not only protects your intellectual work but makes you more attractive because now you have authority over that subject.

That's just my thoughts.

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lukeshiru profile image
LUKESHIRU • Edited

If a company sees GitHub as a requirement, that's a ๐Ÿšฉ red flag ๐Ÿšฉ in my book. There are lots of devs that have done amazing work in private repos, so skipping over them because they don't have something public to show up to is kinda ridiculous.

There are better ways of knowing the technical level of the candidates, ideally showing them real problems you had or have with your app, and asking them about how they'll solve that.

I get that you might have written that because you saw that there are companies out there that ask for a GitHub profile, but instead of adapting to ridiculous/toxic demands, we should just reject them like we do with the folks that ask for "passion" as a way of asking for free extra-hours, or having 5 years of experience in a tool that was released last year, and so on.

Cheers!

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chuniversiteit profile image
Chun Fei Lung

So much this.

And companies that see GitHub as a requirement donโ€™t just miss out on good candidates, theyโ€™re also basically rejecting candidates that could make their teams more diverse.