Everybody should have a platform to showcase your skills. Usually, we use LinkedIn to do it, but LinkedIn is only a place to display your accomplishments as a story. I don’t find it useful if somebody gives me a very decorated piece of paper when they are looking for a spot on my team.
If you’re a software or data engineer, or a data scientist, you should have a place to present your skills. Designers would show their mockups on various platforms, and why wouldn’t you do it?
I think we need to get away from the traditional mindset of getting a job. When a candidate comes for an interview, I always ask for two things:
- Do you have a portfolio site?
- Do you have a public Github?
Why do I do that?
From a portfolio site, I want to see if you have product vision. If you have an understanding of how you should brand yourself, it generally means you have the soft skills to be contextually relevant in a fast-paced company.
If you build the portfolio site by yourself, even better. That immediately means you have a basic understanding of how the web works, and you probably know some web technologies which I can leverage immediately.
If you have demos which you can feature in your portfolio, that will be awesome. This means you’re confident of your skills to feature prototypes and demos, and you have the skills to get things going from the get-go.
A public Github helps, but sometimes it’s not necessary. That’s because you might be coding for a company, and that company would never allow you to house code as your own. It belongs to the company.
But if you have, then through your code, I will be able to see if your design principles, your models and a glimpse of what you can really do if I recommend you for the team.
Let me share with you a personal story.
More than 8 years ago, I built a site called Football Manager Site. At that time, Youtube gaming videos were buzzing with excitement, and everyone was eager to feature games on web platforms. I built that site to talk about Football Manager, and tried to use advertisements to make money out of it.
Also, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was also a buzz word. Everyone was into SEO and I wanted to do something related to that topic.
At that moment, the company which I’m working with now was hiring in Singapore for an SEO engineer. I submitted my site as part of my application for an interview, and the interviewer actually looked into my website.
Eventually, I got the job and became a software engineer who focused on SEO. The interviewer became my boss, and he said it was because I had an understanding of SEO through my website, which got me the job.
I couldn’t keep up with writing for my game site, and I shut it down. I kind of regret it till today, not because I care about the game that much, but it was a platform which got me a job.
Find a way to showcase your skills. It will be practice for your job search, and it can last beyond just jobs.
If you can, you show you’re relevant in the industry, and I’m sure companies will find it hard to pass you up.