The job market for coders is a competitive landscape. Today, if you don’t have a GitHub account, you’re probably not getting called for many interviews. In just a few short years, GitHub has become a critical platform for developers and coders to showcase their talents and those who have ignored GitHub are getting left behind. Even if you have a GitHub profile, however, you might not know exactly what should be there.  Here are some tips to help build a dynamic GitHub that will work for you in your job search.

What GitHub is NOT

Every coder should know that GitHub is not a replacement for a resume, LinkedIn profile or professional website. It is something that needs to be nurtured with just as much attention as these other documents and platforms, but it should never be used in lieu of any of those critical tools. Hiring managers expect to see your GitHub profile, but it is always a supplement to your other online profiles and resume.

What Should Be Included In Your GitHub?

There is an endless stream of possibilities when it comes to building your GitHub presence, so if you’re new to the platform, focus on these specific areas to start:

  • Websites: These are simple projects to showcase, and even if you aren’t interested in web development, you should include your sites on your GitHub.
  • Programming exercises: You’ll be asked about programming exercises in the hiring process if you are applying for a junior position. These can help you strengthen your algorithm skills and knowledge, as well.
  • Games: You don’t have to create the next iteration of Zelda, but even simple games can showcase your knowledge and skill.
  • Scripts, utilities and plug-ins: If it has proved useful in the field, or it has potential, include it.
  • Mobile Apps: Select apps you’ve worked on with great UI, UX and functionality. Don’t worry about how many people actually downloaded the app. Hiring managers use GitHub to evaluate your skills, not your popularity.
  • Contributions: If you contributed to other people’s projects, GitHub will show it if the owner’s profile allows. Showing your contributions can demonstrate an interest in Open Source, and a desire to help products/services succeed, even if the glory doesn’t go to you.

When building out your GitHub profile, you want to focus on variety. Hiring managers want to see that you are flexible and well-rounded. If you are new to the field and don’t have a lot of variety in your existing portfolio, try implementing the same solution several times using different languages.  You also want to make sure that you include as many completed projects as possible. A few incomplete projects are ok, but they should not be the bulk of your GitHub.

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