How to Maintain Your Technical Portfolio

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by Emily Gillespie-Lord

Published September 19, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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Much like a CV or resume, a technical portfolio shows potential employers what you are capable of and what you've accomplished in your programming career. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, your portfolio needs to be updated as you learn new things.

Hiring managers and recruiters are more likely to want to interview those who have spent time and effort on their portfolios. A technical portfolio should be more than a form letter or email listing what you've done. Your portfolio should include several technical projects and details you hope to show employers. This guide will help you to determine how to maintain your technical portfolio.

What Is a Technical Portfolio?

A technical portfolio showcases your skills. Other careers utilize portfolios as well. For example, freelance writers create online portfolios with writing samples and links to their published work. This shows their writing abilities and experience working with magazines, journals, and businesses.

You can build your portfolio from scratch or use a template. Building your own allows you to show off your abilities, such as in Javascript and Python, but using a template can save time. You can always download the template source code and personalize it to make it your own.

How you build or set up your portfolio is important, but the projects you include should be the focal point. Make sure to show off any apps or programs you have created. Your portfolio is your time to brag about your skills and what you can do.

Some popular websites for tech portfolios include GitHub, considered the most popular site, and BitBucket a close second favored by those involved in group projects.

What Is a Technical Portfolio Used For?

Like in any other profession, a technical portfolio speaks for you. Instead of telling a potential employer you know how to program, your portfolio is a living example that you know what you are doing.

Your portfolio may even include links to social media to show that you are active within the community, answer questions on forums, and are generally interested in learning more and engaging with your work.

How Often Should I Be Updating My Portfolio?

Every time you learn or create something new, your portfolio needs to be updated.

If you learn a new programming language or enroll in a coding bootcamp, you should acknowledge it in your portfolio. Make sure to update older projects and adjust your portfolio design to keep it looking fresh and organized.

Along with your scripting and programming skills, use your portfolio as an opportunity to show off your technical writing skills. We recommend putting your newer skills and projects at the top of the page and the older ones at the bottom, even when updated.

How Do I Build a Great Technical Portfolio?

1. Display samples of your projects- Include a variety of your past work with precise descriptions of each project. Some options include open source, group projects, individual projects, product clones, and verticals.

2. Create a Domain Name- A domain name is the name of your website and represents your brand. Keep it memorable and professional.

3. Include your biography and contact info- Your biography should include your age, level of education, what brought you to tech, your past goals and how you met them, and your future goals. Be engaging and positive about yourself and your experiences. Feel free to sound confident, but be careful not to sound boastful. Be sure to include your contact information so potential employers can contact you.

4. Link to your appropriate social media accounts- Provide links to relevant social media such as LinkedIn. If you have one, link to your blog and to other social media profiles that show you are involved in your industry's online community.

5. Have a Navigation Bar- Include a navigation bar or some other way to make it easy to find information in your portfolio.

6. Include testimonials or professional recommendations- Feel free to include reviews from past customers or referrals from coworkers and supervisors.

7. List specific skills that make you an asset- List any other skills, including soft skills, that you have developed in your career. Technical writing is in high demand; update or edit the written materials in your portfolio, such as project descriptions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Portfolios

How do I make my technical portfolio stand out?

Along with keeping the information organized and easy to navigate, your portfolio will stand out if it is aesthetically pleasing. You work hard on your programming; work hard on your portfolio as well.

Like a resume, your technical portfolio speaks for you and your abilities. If you can, use your portfolio as another example of your programming skills, or use an open source code template and personalize it to fit you and your style.

How many projects should I include in my technical portfolio?

Coding portfolios typically include 4-10 projects; technical portfolios should have the same amount. Make sure you include projects you are proud of that show what you are capable of. If you have several projects that are all the same, you can always share the best one and leave the others out.

What should you not put on a technical portfolio?

Do not include unfinished projects, repetitive work, or projects with broken code. Ensure all materials are professional and relevant to your career and skill set.

Feature Image: Lilly Roadstones / Stone / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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