Designers, have a wealth of cool portfolio sites on offer to showcase their designs like Dribble and Behance. Developers however, are limited when searching for somewhere decent to show off their code. Sure, you can (and should) have a decent website with screenshots of your projects and even a Github account but to really enthusiastically exhibit the back-end day in, day out intricate work that is programming, there needs to be a simple solution. That’s why I decided to step up and stop waiting around for someone else to build what I needed, and so myself and my co-founder created Webfolio — but more on that in a moment.
Why is it important to show code?
When it comes to applying for programming jobs your CV and a professional cover letter is no longer enough, in fact a developer’s CV has become more of a formality as the majority of employers are now also asking for code samples. Web development is unique in a way, as employers need to see your actual work (code) in order to appropriately evaluate a candidate, particularly before the interview stage as there is an increasing number of developers and competition for positions. Many employers are often put off by a lack of presence online so having a basic Github account, an updated website with a few blog posts and some code snippets can make a big impact.
Github is great but may not tell the full story.
There’s no denying Github is King when it comes to collaborations and is also fast-becoming the go-to place for recruiters and employers to spot talent. However, developers tend to use Github for varying reasons, from open-source collaborations to backups and so it can be misleading when Github is used as a hiring tool. The code itself is often unordered, has been collaborated with and is sometimes not fully commented. Therefore, if a basic Github account is the employer’s only view of a candidate’s code, there is a risk that they could be overlooked.
Developers like myself, who use private Github repositories may outwardly appear to have a lack-luster profile. This, therefore doesn’t provide a full picture of your work and commits within Github, which is completely understandable too as you may not want to publicly share sensitive data. However, that is where Webfolio comes in.
You may not want to publicly share sensitive data. However, that is where Webfolio comes in.
How Webfolio helps fill the gap between your CV and Github.
Webfolio was created simply because I needed a way to add something extra to my CV and that something was to show my code, the very thing that makes me a ‘web developer with x years experience’ or ‘proficient in this language and that.’ Unless I can show and really explain why I coded this way, the challenges encountered, what systems are involved and how it solves an intended problem, then it is almost futile to get a sense of my coding skills just by looking at my Linkedin or CV for that matter.
Context is key and is often a missing component when looking through someone’s public Github account- that’s why I feel that Webfolio is a good introduction to the coder and their code as you can discuss each snippet in detail and even go as far as annotating every line (if you really want).
As Webfolio allows the developer to choose the work that they are proud of, in a way they can steer the conversation and can talk much more enthusiastically about the snippet that they have chosen to share. This beats the possibility of an employer potentially being put off by looking at a Github profile with little or private activity.
In essence, Webfolio is a platform to share code, whether that is to a potential employer, in which case you can then tailor it to their interests and specifications, or simply just to add to your website to demonstrate some of your finest programming skills.