In this article, we’ll discuss how to pimp up your developer profile in a few short steps.
Being an eloquent developer is not easy. We’re used to expressing feelings and emotions through a keyboard. We’re viewed as weird, and I can understand that. But, I don’t understand why some of our co-workers in the tech world think we’re lazy.
Developers are lazy…
- Your non-developer co-worker
How many times have I heard this before. If I had a penny for every time someone exclaimed this with a smug look on their face, I’d have almost no money at all, because of inflation. But that’s beside the point.
What I’m saying is that for some reason we’re viewed as detached, introverted, lazy individuals. Our co-workers think we only care about the challenge of creating awesome software. Are they right?
I don’t think so. We’re not eager to spend time on something we don’t like. Have you ever met a developer who looked forward to writing a résumé, or even a cover letter? We all hate it.
Why should I waste my precious time writing stupid resumes when I can write awesome code!?
— Every developer ever…okay, maybe not every one.
Even though I agree with this statement, the market, and recruiters, do not. They need a concrete physical representation of your skill set. A résumé is the old school way.
Here’s my method of spicing up your developer profile in 2018.
1. Contribute to Open Source
The first step is to put yourself out there. Be bold! Be brave and explore new opportunities. Feel free to join a community where you can contribute pull requests. What’s a better start than freeCodeCamp?
Remember, no contribution is too small. Everything you do is a contribution. You will receive a thank you, come again for your help. Documenting code, or writing translations are both important things you can pitch in on.
Not all open source contributions are masterpieces of engineering. Teamwork and a sense of unity breeds good software and healthy minds. Your first pull request may be a piece of documentation. Who knows, your tenth may be fixing a breaking bug in a famous module.
What I want you to take out of this is to not be insecure. Use the power of GitHub to meet like-minded developers and create new projects you want to work on. Submitting pull requests to your own repository doesn’t mean it’s any less of a contribution to open source!
2. Showcase your Open Source contributions
If you’re not going to toot your own horn, who will? Use the tools at your disposal to showcase your work. You need to show people what you have done. Make it visible to the public and in your face to the world. No one is going to dig through your profile for info, unless they’re the FBI. Make sure to keep the things you’re proud of where they’re easy to see.
Start with GitHub — it’s a social network. Treat it as one! Stop wasting time on Facebook and Instagram (Mark, if you’re reading this, please don’t delete my profile). Add a proper profile image, so people can recognize you. Write a cool and funny description about yourself that shows who you are in real life.
Feel free to tell the world what you’re working on. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! Make sure to pick a few repos you’re particularly proud of and pin them to your GitHub profile. I’d also urge you to star what you like and follow the developers who inspire you. They tend to follow back. We’re all regular people, you know.
You can also use tools which use the GitHub APIs to visualize your contributions. One of them is Sourcerer.io, and they have a GitHub sign-in option. Here’s a sample of how my profile looks on Sourcerer.
This app gives you an awesome graph representation of your public repositories. You can add private as well, but it’s not mandatory. This one app can document all the code history you have written since the beginning of time! That’s just cool.
Apart from Sourcerer there’s another tiny app you can use. But, it can only show a graph for your public repos. It’s called GitHub Profile Summary, and you can take a look at my profile below. Feel free to check out your own by clicking here!
3. Teach others
You may think this step is already covered with open source contribution, but trust me it’s not. You’re still contributing to the community, yet in a very different way.
Teaching others will solidify your own knowledge in a subject. More importantly, you’re educating the next generation of developers. Try making the community a better place to co-exist in. It will cause you to stand out in the eyes of a company ready to hire new talent.
Having credit behind you as a teacher will give you well-earned respect in the community. This shows the character of someone who does not shy away from a challenge, or a mentoring role within a company.
Some of the best product managers and team leads are great mentors and teachers. They should be the leading force, leading the team down a path to success.
Learning how to teach can be a big part of your progress as an individual and a developer.
4. Talk at events
We’ve reached my absolute favorite thing on the list!
Apart from being my favorite, it’s also the hardest. Stage fright is a normal thing. Everybody has it, and developers are no different. But, talking is a skill, and like coding, it can be mastered with practice.
Even though you might not have made any open source contributions, you can still make a positive impact in the community. Do a meetup talk explaining a cool topic. It can help out your fellow developers a lot!
The world works in mysterious ways. If you focus on giving, it will start giving back to you. If you put effort into building a developer community in your hometown, you’ll see job offers flooding in.
If you can’t find any events, create your own. The freeCodeCamp group in my hometown of Sarajevo was dormant before I jumped in as a local leader. Now, one year later, we’ve had 10 meetups with interesting speakers every time. The majority of them were our own campers.
Note: Just a shout out to the folks at freeCodeCamp Sarajevo. What a wonderful group of people you are. It has been a true pleasure hosting camp sites with all of you. If you folks reading are dropping by Sarajevo any time soon, feel free to hit us up on Facebook.
5. Document everything
For everything above to make any sense, you need to be smart. This means documenting everything. Use smart social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Everything I mentioned above should be added to your LinkedIn profile. Every job and volunteering gig. Every event you spoke at, every lecture you may have taught. Everything goes on your LinkedIn profile.
Make sure to add all relevant links to your GitHub, Medium, blog, personal website, and even Sourcerer. LinkedIn will become your new central hub for all the things you do in your work life.
If that doesn’t feed your hunger to spice things up, you can always jump into the crazy world of Twitter. One cool way of building your developer profile is to use Twitter as a timeline for your progress. Use it to post your progress on a regular basis. Tell people about the things you’re working on. A great way to use Twitter is the #100DaysOfCode challenge. Read this article to get started.
By following these simple steps, I’m sure you’ll soon see progress in both your mental health and work life.
It won’t be easy — change does not come over night. Keep working hard and follow the rough guidelines above. Rest assured that by this time next year, you’ll never need to rely solely on a traditional résumé ever again!
Final words of advice. You have to want to do everything I outlined above. You have to be honest with yourself. If you’re not 100% invested in the things you’re doing, there’s no point in doing them. Your insincerity will be visible by your peers. Before you start, ask yourself one simple question: What do I really want? Then, stick with it.
Hope you guys and girls enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Do you think this guide will be of help to someone? Do not hesitate to share.