Programmers need portfolios too.

Designers, animators, music composers, definitely need portfolios. “But I’m not one of them,” you might say. “I’m a programmer, and what I do is code. I don’t need a portfolio, right?” Wrong. These days, programmers need portfolios too, and employers are in fact expecting to see your coding portfolio before they hire you as a programmer.

So let’s talk a little bit about a programmer’s portfolio, because programmers also need more than a CV to stand out in the job market-and to have a leverage to negotiate a higher salary!

Your programming/game coding portfolio not only shows off your experience and coding skills, it also shows your creative style and taste, which can help employers decide whether it’s suited to the creative style of the project or not. In addition to this, a lot of programmers think they don’t need a portfolio, so if you do put in the time and effort to prepare a coding portfolio, you’re already giving yourself an advantage over your competition.

Now keep in mind that if you’re preparing a coding portfolio, that means you obviously need projects that you have coded and programmed, otherwise you don’t have anything to show off. If you’re in the position of having nothing to show off yet, you will have to back up and code those first couple of projects.

Some examples of those first projects could be: building a multi-page responsive website, design a JavaScript game, create a simple application (it can be as simple as tracking your daily exercise or how much water you drink), make your own social networking site, or even building your own e-commerce store.

If you’re in the position where you already have several projects under your belt, then it’s time to go on to the choosing and selecting process. Some of our previous articles talk about some tips for choosing and building killer portfolios, so feel free to read up on that as well. The main rule of the thumb is that you want to show off your best works, something that you’re proud of.

Sometimes it happens for programmers, since they deal with a lot of back end, to create a mess as they’re working. If that’s not you, then you’re all good. But if you’re one of those creative messy geniuses, it won’t hurt to clean up your projects a bit before showcasing them on your portfolio. Make sure the codes are readable, name the files properly and appropriately, and small things like that. It will help your future employer see through your portfolio with minimal effort, and because of that, they will love you for it.

In hosting your portfolio, customize your URL because this goes a long way to boost your personal branding. Minimize the touchpoints of your portfolio—keep the user journey smooth and straightforward. If you can have testimonies from previous clients, that would be amazing. Wrap this all up in a visually appealing layout, and you have your winning programming portfolio!