Quick Tips for Creating a Strong Programming Portfolio

Woman working on laptop Posted on August 23, 2019  in  [ Engineering & Technology ]

The word “portfolio” often brings to mind an image of an artist’s portfolio packed with watercolors and sketches. However, STEM graduates also need portfolios to showcase their skills to potential employers. It’s customary for an IT employer to ask prospective programmers to provide a portfolio for consideration. For this reason, it’s best to take a proactive approach. Start compiling your portfolio before you graduate with a BS in Computer Programming in order to streamline your future job search.

The Basics of Programming Portfolios

Your programming portfolio will be a website that you design to demonstrate your technical knowledge and skills. It shouldn’t merely duplicate the information that is intended for your resume. Rather, focus on the projects you’ve completed. Strong programming portfolios are those that are frequently updated. Prospective employers want to know that the programmers they are thinking of hiring are continually exercising and improving their skills.

While a programming portfolio may contain links to websites you’ve designed, it’s equally important to work on the design and code for the portfolio website itself. Ideally, your portfolio website should have a clean layout that is visually appealing. It should have a responsive design that is mobile-friendly, and it should have a custom URL.

The Elements of Programming Portfolios

It isn’t necessary for your portfolio website to be complex, but it should contain three basic elements: About Me, Contact Me and Projects. Your About Me page should contain your full name, a professional headshot (not a selfie) and an introduction to yourself. Explain who you are, what your academic background is, what you’ve accomplished and where you’d like to go next.

The Contact Me page is straightforward. Include your full name, email address, LinkedIn profile link and GitHub link. You can also include a contact form.

You’ll spend the most amount of time constructing your Projects page. You can list all of your programming projects and achievements. However, you should focus on your best work. Focus on the projects that best demonstrate your technical skills, versatility and creativity.

The Right Way to Showcase Your Work

When you’re working on your Projects page, you’ll need to include a paragraph or two about each item on your list. Explain the objective going into the project, how you designed the project and what the end result was. It may be wise to focus on your problem-solving abilities, since employers like to hire programmers who are proven problem solvers. For example, explain some of the key problems you encountered during the project and how you overcame them.

In addition to the explanation you’ll provide, you’ll want to let your prospective employers explore your work for themselves. Instead of merely providing screenshots to websites you built, include links to them. If you wrote an app, you can provide its download link. Some programmers also like to produce quick video demonstrations of their work.

Aspiring computer programmers can enhance their career qualifications by earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Programming at Grand Canyon University. Emerge with the key academic skills and professionalism you will need to pursue your dream job in the technology sector. Graduates can use their senior projects in their programming portfolios.

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Kennedy Lane

Professional Writing Major & Copywriter for GCU Blogs
Kennedy Lane is a Senior at Grand Canyon University and currently studying professional writing with a minor in business. She aspires to combine her love for writing and editing into a job in the journalism or publishing industry.
Learn more about Kennedy Lane

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