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Create a body of work

Dear Reader,

Q: What is the best way to convince a potential employer or client that you can do the job?

A: Show them that you have already.

Every developer should have a public portfolio of code that they have written and can explain. That last part is important, we will talk about it in a second.

You should have a profile on a social coding site (I like GitLab.org) with examples of your code and real-world projects you have created. “Coding Examples” are great, usually these are highly polished pieces of code. Developers take the time to make sure they meet relevant coding standards, demonstrate knowledge of current best practices, and generally just show off. This is great and you need these in your portfolio.

You also need real-world examples. In the real world, compromises have to be made, you can’t always do it the right way, sometimes you have to do it “the only way that works”. That is what potential employers/clients want to see. They want to see that you can make the hard decisions and trade-offs when necessary.

When you do make those trade-offs, you need to be able to explain and defend them. You need to be able to articulate the why and not just show the how. This lets the potential employer/client know that it was a conscious decision and not just blind luck.

Make sure your body of work showcases the real you, because that is what they really want to hire.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Developers CV: GitLab or LinkedIn?

Dear Reader,

Every since “Social Coding” became a thing and GitLab and that other social coding site opened up, developers around the world have been asking “GitLab or LinkedIn for my CV/Resume?”

I now present you with the definitive answer to this question.

YES

Github, or your favorite social coding site is absolutely necessary for a developer. You have to have a profile and you have to have some public examples of your code that potential employers can look at.

Hiring managers look at your work and look for things like

  • Advanced concepts (depending on the level of job you are applying for)
  • Coding style
  • Style consistency
  • Application of Best Practices

They may also pick out one or two bits of code to discuss with you in the interview.

  • Why did you code it this way?
  • What were the requirements of the project?
  • Did it cause you any unintended consequences?

Your answers help them understand how you code. Your entire social coding repo will help them understand you are a developer.

There is more to you than your ability to code, though. Your social coding profile can’t show everything. That’s why you also need a traditional resume/CV.

Your LinkedIn profile shows things that your social coding profile cannot. Things like:

  • Career Progression
  • Time at each job
  • Range of companies you’ve worked for.
  • Extra curricular activities (e.g. hobbies)

All of these are just as important as your social programming profile.

Show potential employers that you are a well rounded software developer by making sure you have both a social coding profile and a LinkedIn profile. Help them discover this by cross-linking them.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

 

p.s. yes, it has occurred to me that Microsoft owns both LinkedIn and that other social coding platform.  Kinda scares me a little.