DEV Community

Cover image for How Can You Get Noticed Without a Github Account?
Fernando Doglio
Fernando Doglio

Posted on • Originally published at Medium

How Can You Get Noticed Without a Github Account?

I’ve had conversations with many developers trying to understand how to get their first job without any experience. And my go-to solution is: create a Github account and start uploading code projects you’ve worked on. Either that, or create new ones and publish them there.

Sadly, not everyone has access to Github, given how the platform is part of Microsoft and given the latter is a US company, it needs to comply with the US export law. Thus developers from countries such as Iran, Syria, Crimea and others are blocked by the platform.

This puts a harsh roadblock in their chances of getting their first job, especially if they’re applying for a remote position or a freelance gig. Either way, the main code repository for developers is out of their reach, so how can they find ways to show what they know how to do?

Let’s take a look at some options.


Build a WordPress site

Granted, this is not a code repository, but we’re going barebone here.

Other public code repositories like Bitbucket are also blocked in many countries, so we’re looking for alternatives.

Wordress.com allows you to set up a blog for free, where you can add whatever content you want. So let’s take a look at this and consider the opportunity it represents:

  • You’re free to show our code however we want.
  • You’re able to provide samples of code through direct download links, or through directly showing what it looks like.
  • You can also write content around that code. Are you showing a project you built? Create a series of articles around that project and link it to the code.

You can also take advantage of WordPress plugins such as code-prettify which lets you highlight code on your posts. That way you generate a similar look and feel users would get by reading code directly on Github.

If you have access to hosting and a domain name (ideally something like your name .com) you can even download the free version of WordPress from Wordpress.org and install it yourself. This would give you a lot more control over how your site works.

LaunchPad

If you’re looking for something similar to Github but that it’s not blocked, you might want to give LaunchPad a try.

It’s similar to Github in the sense that you can publish your project’s code, track bugs and issues, perform code reviews and more. And while the tutorials are written following the use of Bazaar instead of Git, they claim that the latter is also an option.

Projects such as Inkscape, the Photoshop open-source alternative or Ubuntu MATE, the Linux distro, are hosted there and you can see the type of information that you could potentially show to others.

Granted, the visual aspect is not the highlight of LaunchPad, considering they don’t allow you to show a lot, in fact, there seems to not be a place for a Readme file. However, you can definitely add a link to an external website, so that way you can provide extra information about the project if you want, and focus on giving access to your code through this platform.

Writing!

Writing is an alternative to showing projects done. It’s definitely not the same, however, as part of technical articles you can definitely show some aspects of your coding skills.

And that is what we’re after here, isn’t it? Trying to show potential employees that you know what you’re talking about and that the list of skills on your resume is definitely true.

Writing in a lot of places is free and public, so you don’t need to spend any money if you don’t want to. And if you’re doing this for a resume, I would strongly suggest you write about the subjects you claim to know. Maybe not about all of them, but the most relevant at least.

If you’re lucky and some of those articles get some traction, they can even be picked up by newsletters such as JavaScriptWeekly. That’s a nice greeting card, especially if your interviewer is already a subscriber.

But even if you’re just getting started, spend some time honing your writing skills, their return of investment is huge considering how much they can affect your communication skills.

Go to meet-ups / conferences and speak

Granted, this one might be a little bit extreme, but what better way to get in front of everyone you want to be hired by than assisting the same social events they do.

Some of the biggest (and sometimes not so big) software companies normally either sponsor some meet-ups or the big conferences, and they tend to send some of their employees as well. It’s a great opportunity for you to be there, speak about something relevant to your experience and network!

I understand that it’s not easy for everyone. Especially conferences require travel and not all of them are willing to pay for your plane ticket and hotel room. But at least do the research, there is a ton of information online about the different conferences you could be speaking at and they normally tell you if they have some travel budget or not.

Think about it, it might sound like a lot, but you’re also putting your name out there. The video of your talk will surely be on YouTube a little bit after, and anybody interested in you will only have to google your name. This is definitely a powerful, yet scary, opportunity.

Do not discard it until you’ve done the research.


Getting noticed is not all about code, but it definitely helps. The thing is that when I say “code”, you usually go straight into “side-project”, and from there you go right into Github, and that is where the plan collapses. No Github access, no side-project, no new job. Done.

But that’s not the case, find alternative ways of showing what you know how to do, either by finding less popular (or user-friendly) alternatives, or by doing other things around your projects (like writing or speaking about it).

What else would you suggest to a new dev looking for their first job as an alternative to having a portfolio on Github?


If you liked what you read, consider joining my Free newsletter to get insight into the software development career! https://fernandodoglio.substack.com

Discussion (7)

Collapse
spic profile image
Sascha Picard

Does the same limitation apply to Gitlab also?

Collapse
deleteman123 profile image
Fernando Doglio Author
Collapse
kaylumah profile image
Max Hamulyák

Nice summary, never considered that GitHub being based in the US means you cannot use it everywhere

Collapse
deleteman123 profile image
Fernando Doglio Author

I know, it came as a surprise to me too when I heard about it.

Collapse
goodevilgenius profile image
Dan Jones • Edited on

GitLab? Codeberg? SourceHut? Self-host your own Gitea instance on DigitalOcean? Launchpad is such a weird suggestion.

There's lots of more traditional git forges besides GitHub.

Collapse
deleteman123 profile image
Fernando Doglio Author

There are indeed, but many of them are also out of reach!
The point is not to list alternatives to github, but rather, alternative methods to share your experience.

Check out similar disucssions here: reddit.com/r/linux/comments/cik25g...
And look, gitlabs also has a similar problem like github: about.gitlab.com/handbook/business...

Collapse
goodevilgenius profile image
Dan Jones

I get that. The point of my comment is that suggesting Launchpad seems an odd choice. It's not as well suited for showing off work as the others I mentioned.

And although GitLab.com has the same access issues that GitHub has, I don't believe Codeberg does. And a self-hosted GitLab or gitea instance wouldn't have these issues at all.