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I'm a student of web development languages like PHP, Ruby, and Python. Currently I'm working on some school projects but I'm trying to work on some weekend projects which I can use to showcase for potential employers, what's the best way to set this up? Specifically, are there any tips you have for a new programmer because I don't want opinions on how this or that should or shouldn't be set up. If possible please give real examples.

Edit: what about Git? Is this a good place to show my projects?

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You mean Github? Git is a version control system, Github is a website that offers public (and private) Git repositories. –  Mahmoud Hossam Apr 17 '11 at 10:23
    
I have a basic website that I use as a portfolio/resume and it serves its purpose for me: austinhenley.com –  Austin Henley Mar 3 '13 at 23:46

6 Answers 6

up vote 9 down vote accepted

I honestly think you can do no better then shelling out a few bucks to buy a domain name that has your name and a monthly server. It's not expensive.

This way, you can do anything you want on it, show case your projects and let them be viewed and downloadable by employers or the friends your trying to impress =) The way you want people to see them. Small portions or full downloads, your in control of the name and the content.

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I would suggest looking into the Google AppEngine as it allows you to deploy your web application (Python/Java) to their servers for free for small projects. You can then have a persistent showcase for your abilities.

Then make that application do something useful and make it as good as you can. Also make the code easily accessible so they can see how good you are at writing maintainable code.

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@Muhammad if you are able to add some database features, it will be even better –  Junior Mayhé Oct 24 '10 at 17:30
    
What about git hosting? Like I can include a link to the hosted project as a get repo? Because I've read a few times that "git is your resume" but wasn't sure to follow up on that. –  Muhammad Usman Oct 24 '10 at 21:56

Usually participating to an Open-source project gives you some coverage, and some credibility as a developer, either a ruby or a php open project, that have everyday application into a enterprise environment. Your commit and contribution to the project is traceable.

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I don't think you need a 'showcase portfolio' that much, unless you're a designer. What is in your head is far more important.

Prepare a good CV that clearly lists the techniques you're used and your impact (ie. optimized stored procs so average query execution time went down 20%). You are more likely to be asked technical questions during your interviews that asked to show your 'portfolio'.

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Oh yeah, I have my CV updated and I guess I thought developers would also need a 'portfolio' because it looks all good on one page. –  Muhammad Usman Oct 24 '10 at 21:54
    
I've conducted hundreds of interview for developer / senior developer positions and never really wanted to see any portfolio. The candidate being enthusiastic and passionate was more important. That, backed up with knowledge and honesty, is the key. –  Jakub Konecki Oct 24 '10 at 22:05
    
Hmm...yeah I've started to learn and read about this a lot lately. I always make sure I'm honest about what I know and don't know. I just thought I wouldn't stand a chance against anyone who's been programming for 5-10 years more than I have even though I have a lot of enthusiasm toward the job/skill and also the languages required. Thanks! :) –  Muhammad Usman Oct 26 '10 at 1:05
    
@Muhammad - You only wouldn't stand a chance IF someone was recruiting for a position that requires 5-10 more years of experience than you have. Neither would I. But if you apply for a position that matches your skills than it's your passion, honesty and eagerness to learn that usually makes a difference. I always preferred to hire a 'geek' that wants to improve and knows what he's talking about to someone who maybe answered my questions a bit better but 'doesn't care'. –  Jakub Konecki Oct 26 '10 at 5:36
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Ok that's a bit reassuring in a weird way. If I stick to what I'm doing because I like it, I'm bound to be more enthusiastic than most people... –  Muhammad Usman Oct 27 '10 at 19:31

I would try to publish an article or give a few talks at user groups. Every magazine (Dr Dobbs, Linux journal etc) has a list of things they want to see articles on. And of course you can always pitch your own ideas. If They say no to your pitch just ask them what they might want to see.

It has been my experience that most editors are very friendly and willing to work with you to find something that would work.

Also user groups are a good way to network and become known, look around your area and get involved, offer to present and there you go.

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In my opinion, the only way you can prove that you are able to code in a language is to show the code you write. And so therefore setting up a GitHub account and pushing some project (your school projects maybe?) would be a very smart option. This way people see what you make and what you are able to make. Also, GitHub is free for public projects.

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