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Showcase Projects vs Passion Projects

Arpit Mathur.
I am Principal Engineer at Comcast Labs with over 16 years of experience in software development. I also run the Philadelphia Google Developer's Group
・2 min read

Work desk

One of the most common pieces of advice you'll get as a newbie developer is to work on some projects to master your skills when looking for a job. The conventional wisdom is that 3 is a good number to show on your resume, which I generally agree with (we'll talk about which three the next time)

That said, people confuse 2 types of projects: showcase projects and passion projects. Let's see how they differ:

Showcase projects

Showcase projects are projects that you want to show a recruiter or an engineering lead. These projects should be familiar products (a bug organizer, a blog, etc). Showcase projects should not be around an idea unfamiliar to the reviewer, so the conversation you have around it is about the code and your technical skills, not the merit of the idea. It's also ok to adopt the design from a well-known project out there instead of trying to come up with a design yourself, especially if you aren't a designer.

Passion Projects

Passion projects are projects you are personally very excited about even though their implementation may not be very complicated or the user interaction may be very unusual. A simple listing of local keto restaurants may be a great passion project but doesn't highlight your technical skills.

Mixing it up

This division may feel a bit arbitrary, and if your passion project has technical merit, then definitely show it. But remember your primary goal in a technical interview is to discuss the technical underpinnings of your project. You will get more credit for a complex system implemented well than a novel idea with a simple execution πŸ™‚

πŸ™ Thanks for reading this post.

Btw, If you are interested in learning Javascript and are bored with books and long videos, try out my latest project:

πŸ€– Jax: Your JavaScript chatbot coach


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