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Nick Taylor (he/him)
Nick Taylor (he/him)

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at iamdeveloper.com

First impressions of Polywork as a software engineer

This post was sponsored by Polywork, but it is my own authentic review

Polywork is a new professional platform that has been getting a lot of attention lately. I can't remember exactly where I came across it initially on Twitter. I think Ali Spittel may have Tweeted about it.

Getting Access to Polywork

I signed up for the waiting list, gave their Twitter account a follow, and one Sunday afternoon, the Twitter account tweeted out an invite code to bypass the waitlist. I was in! 😎

Hint: They give out invite codes pretty frequently or retweet folks who have invite codes to give, so I highly recommend following their Twitter account.

Onboarding

I secured my handle, nickytonline, because that's me everywhere on the Internet. I signed up in May, so I don't remember most of the onboarding process, but I remember choosing your assistant as part of the onboarding—a fun touch.

Polywork assitant

Note: If you've onboarded recently, let me know what aspects I've missed.

The first thing I enjoyed about Polywork was the minimal design (like Zen mode in your editor for all the devs out there).

I completed the intro section and added some initial badges to my profile. Badges in the context of Polywork are interests and skills you have. I work in open source, and I snowboard, so I added those badges to my profile.

Polywork badges section

Positions

Like other professional networks, you can add the positions you've held.

Polywork positions section

One exciting feature that rolled out after I had signed up was Highlights for starting and leaving positions generated automatically.

Polywork ended and started a new role highlights

Timeline

The main area of prominence on your profile page is the timeline.

A Polywork highlight about me taking time off

It's where you'll spend most of your time filling out your profile. It took me a while to add my work here, but mainly because I was backfilling many things I've done. Filling out the timeline was nostalgic, and I realized how much I've accomplished once I saw it all in chronological order.

Creating a Highlight

To add to the timeline, click on the Highlight button at the top of your Polywork profile. It will open a modal where you can fill in the work or activity you want to record.

Creating a Polywork highlight

Tags

Aside from the content of the highlight, you can add one or more tags like Contributed to Open Source. Tags you've recently used are available to you right in the initial highlight editor view. If you want to add a new one, click on the Add Activity Tags button to search for tags.

Polywork add a tag

If a tag does not exist, you can create it.

Polywork create new tag

Adding Collaborators

If you've collaborated on something, you can add collaborators to a highlight by clicking on the two-person icon at the bottom of the highlight editor.

Polywork adding a collaborator button

You can add as many collaborators as you want. I'm sure there is a limit; I just haven't reached it yet. 😎

Polywork add collaborators

One thing to note about collaborators is they have to confirm they collaborated with you. It prevents people from being needlessly tagged on highlights and adds more authenticity to a piece of collaborative work.

Reposting Someone's Highlight

At first glance, this looks like retweeting on Twitter, but it's a bit different. For one thing, you cannot repost anyone's highlight. As far as I'm aware, the only way you can repost is if someone collaborated with you. Once you confirm that you collaborated with someone, you will be able to repost their highlight.

A Polywork reposted highlight of the DEV Twitch stream with Ben Hong

Filtering

A newer feature that dropped recently is anyone, including yourself, can filter your timeline based on one or more badges you have associated with your profile.

Polywork, filtering your timeline

It is an excellent way for folks to surface certain kinds of work you've done. For example, here's my timeline filtered on the Twitch Streamer badge.

Note that it also filters reposts on your timeline associated with the badge you filtered on.

Polywork, filtering timeline with badge

Setting up a Custom Domain

Another great feature about your profile is you can use a custom domain. Setting a custom domain is available from your profile settings.

Polywork, set up a custom domain

The steps are pretty straightforward. When I initially set things up, I ran into some issues, but improvements to using a custom domain rolled out the following week and then it was smooth sailing setting things up for timeline.iamdeveloper.com

Contact Preferences

Like other professional and social media applications, you can also contact someone on Polywork. To contact them, you need to specify a reason from the available options they've provided.

Polywork contact preferences modal

For example, my coworker Christina is open to being contacted about speaking at events. Will this stop useless messages like "hi"? Perhaps. If anything, it will give someone pause before contacting an individual on Polywork.

Multiverse

Think of the Mulitiverse (MV) as a one-stop shop for searching for members of Polywork and work-related highlights associated with badges.

Polywork multiverse page

There are several sections in the MV: featured members, trending badges, folks who have recently joined, what's everyone doing, and possibilities.

  • It's unclear to me what the Possibilities section is. Maybe it's for like-minded folks or folks that you may find interesting based on some algorithm?*

Space Station

As mentioned in the Contact Preferences section above, folks can be open to collaborating on specific topics, e.g. People available for live streaming. BTW, I am available for live streaming. 😎

Polywork space station page

Instead of searching for someone then contacting them to see what they're available to collaborate on, Space Station groups folks by the topics they're open to collaborating on to make it easier for you to contact someone for a specific topic.

Improvements

The Polywork team is constantly rolling out improvements. If you find a bug or have a suggestion for a feature or improvement, submit an issue. It is available from your profile menu.

Submit an issue to Polywork

I've already submitted some suggestions and improvements myself.

Polywork makes so much sense to me for exhibiting my work. I work in and contribute to open source, I stream on Twitch, have given talks, been on podcasts, built a skating rink, all the things!

It's early days for Polywork, but the future is bright. If you're looking to showcase your work, consider Polywork. ✨ Once you get access, give me a follow at timeline.iamdeveloper.com.

I don't have an infinite supply, but if you need an invite code, yolo-2021 is good for 100 invites. 😎

Discussion (9)

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citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

If anyone is interested, there are 10 uses left on this VIP invite link, first come, first serve:

polywork.com/invite/15198870129d

To be honest I still don't understand Polywork and why everyone seems so excited about it 😅

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nsedrickm profile image
Ngwa Sedrick Meh

Thanks. I just signed up. Perhaps we can figure it out together

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darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

I have not heard of polywork before - have to admit that.
After reading your post, the "securing my handle" thing triggered me to shamelessly grab your invite code and secure mine :D

For the onboarding process as of now:
Signup > get notified you're on a waiting list > enter invite code on same page > upload a profile image > choose your assistant > put in your most recent position > pick some badges for your profile > select your interests > select what you are open for on polywork

And done :)

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

Nice!

Nice

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inhuofficial profile image
InHuOfficial • Edited on

Could you tell me where you think the benefits are? I was quite critical of it in a recent post but purely because of the fact I (and it seemed others) don’t actually get it and it meant I couldn’t see past the problems the comments ended up focused on.

Obviously as the whole site is noindex it isn’t for SEO, but I am wondering if we all missed a trick? Have you made some connections etc? I would love to hear from someone who is using it properly and how it works for them!

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

I think it's noindex because it's still invite only. That's just a guess, but I think it would make sense at some point that the pages would be crawled.

I have made some connections on there, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying using it to showcase all the things I do work wise as well as some fun things I've done. I stream a lot, contribute to open source etc. like I mentioned in the post and I just enjoy how that is captured in Polywork.

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ajcwebdev profile image
anthony-campolo

I looooooove Polywork, I've made it the destination for my primary domain:

ajcweb.dev

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nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him) Author

BB-8 giving a thumbs up

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I would love to use it as a more human LinkedIn, but until there's privacy settings, mine is staying bare :\