5 Tips to Make Your Programming Portfolio Stand Out
In today’s article I’m going to give you 5 ways to make your programming portfolio really stand out amongst the crowd.
These are 5 principles that I basically came up with after looking at hundreds and hundreds of people’s portfolios and establishing the underlying reasons why some of those stood out to me.
Why I’m like, oh I really want to investigate these people further versus others where I’m looking at their website, their portfolio page and just going like, yeah, this is not really doing it for me.
So, my goal for you by the end of this post is to really have a good sense of how to structure your portfolio so that it just stands out amongst the crowd.
There’s so many people looking to become software developers now and you just want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to just stand out.
By the way if you’re new here I’m Peter Mukundi. I’m a mentor and a coach to people who are looking to teach themselves how to code and land their first job as a programmer.
So, I highly recommend checking out my blog from time to time as I give actionable tips to take your career to the next level.
So, with that being said, let me just talk about one quick thing about what your portfolio is and what it is NOT.
Just to be super clear, your portfolio is NOT your Github page. It’s awesome to have that but I’m not referring to that in this article.
What I’m talking about is the section on your personal website where you are going to showcase your projects.
I consider that your portfolio and that’s what I’ll be talking about here.
So, with that in mind let’s just get right to it.
Follow the 6 second rule
So, principle number one of making your portfolio stand out is following the 6 seconds rule.
So, you have about 6 seconds when somebody comes onto your portfolio page to really figure out whether they want to stay or they want to leave and go do something else with their precious time.
This comes down to basically a few things.
Number one, is your site aesthetically pleasing? Does it have the information that the person wants?
Is it clear what the page or site is all about?
So, if I go to your portfolio page and it’s not clear that this is your portfolio page and there’s a lot of distracting things, it’s just not clearly stated and I just don’t know what’s going on.
I’m more likely to leave because I really am going there for one thing. I’m going there to check out what you have done as a programmer.
And so you want to make sure there’s little distraction as possible. That things are clearly state.
Like, this is my programming portfolio and these are my projects.
If any of that is confusing and again if the site is not aesthetically pleasing to the eye. These are all factors that can contribute to someone after 6 seconds deciding to do something else with their time.
Or they just decide to look at somebody else’s portfolio since yours is a complete mess!
A good way to get a gauge on this is to show people your page and really try to get some honest feedback about it.
Try to avoid asking your mom, dad, brother, sister, spouse or really close friends!
Try to get people who are more objective and will tell you like straight up if there’s something wrong with your page.
So, following the 6 second rule is going to be really helpful principle.
Make it easy for the user
Principle number two that you want to follow, is you want to make it easy for them.
People are coming onto your site, your portfolio site and they’re trying to check out what you’ve done. So, you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for them to get the information that they want.
So, you want to display the projects in a nice way. It should be very logical, nicely and cleanly separated.
You want to make sure to have a link to your Github code or make sure there’s a link to the working website or working application.