Joseph Jude

Consult . Code . Coach

Programmers: Where is your portfolio?


tech . career

Imagine with me please.

You are going to a popular tourist place like Taj Mahal or Mahabalipuram. Imagine two photographers walking up to you. One comes with a DSLR camera and tells you he is a great photographer and he can take amazing photos. Another walks up to you with a DSLR camera, and an album of photos he has taken of past visitors. Who will you trust more?

I'm sure you will go with the guy with the album.

Yet, those in the software industry never bother to create a portfolio. No blog, no code in github, no answers in stackoverflow.

How do you expect to build your career?

Want to build your career? Build a portfolio.
Want a better job? Build a portfolio.
Want to work in a top-tech company? Build a portfolio.

Building a programmer's portfolio isn't that difficult in this digital age.

Start with a blog. Medium is the easiest way to start blogging.

There are other options too. I blogged earlier about popular blogging platforms. You can pick any of them.

I know what you are thinking. What should I blog?

Start with what you are learning. May be you are learning IoT; may be nodejs; may be blockchain; may be machine learning using python. Whatever it is, blog as you learn.

Post the best resources in the topic. Post how you are approaching the subject. Post a structure to learn the subject. And then post about each topic in that structure.

When you have gone deeper into the subject, note down all the errors you get and how you solve them. Then blog about it, as I did about common errors in Flask.

You might think, any one can google and find what I know. Why would anyone read my blog? What I know is so obvious. If you think so, I suggest you watch this video from Derek Sivers. Read his article too.

Obvious to you, amazing to others

As a programmer, you should have a github account. (Bitbucket and Gitlab are other two options).

Say you are learning about machine learning. Post your code for each of the exercises you are doing. I did that when I learnt Swift.

You can also curate awesome list of resources like this resource about machine learning.

When you know enough about a topic, answer questions on Stackoverflow. Or on Quroa. That will set you as an authority.

In the writer's world, there is a phrase: "Show, don't tell". Wikipedia explains the technique:

a technique often employed in various kinds of texts to enable the reader to experience the story through action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings rather than through the author's exposition, summarization, and description.

When you have a portfolio, you enable others to experience your expertise. You don't have to tell it.

This is part of a blog series about what Indian programmer’s should know.


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Programmers: Where is your portfolio? by @jjude: https://t.co/iNDXisBeIW

— Joseph Jude (@jjude) December 8, 2016
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