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I am currently a college student, and going to apply for an university in probably next month. Unlike art student who easily put on their works such as models, designs and so on on their portfolio; I am hitting a dead corner trying to find a "creative" way to showcase my work as a programmer. It would be normal if programmer shows his good project with source code and everything else. Well, it should be no problem with actual "good" projects, but all of my projects are crappy (can't help it because I am still student, and don't have much work experience) and I don't even know it's worth to show. Nonetheless, I have learned a lot in only 1 year since I started programming. I am now familiar with Java, PHP, Actionscript3, C#, Objective-C and on my way to learn Ruby. I plan to build a Flash portfolio using Actionscript with Ruby as backend to show what I have learnt. The problem is idea. How to show people that I learned a lot of useful thing? Otherwise I hit the dead end and LOL just show what I have on Github (but i certainly never want that...)

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Why do you need that? –  RoflcoptrException Feb 9 '11 at 22:12
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to make me a more stand-out candidate? –  user16578 Feb 9 '11 at 22:23
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This sounds like a good idea, the problem is in one year since you started programming you state you are familiar with 6 different programming languages. Even being generous on each one would only be two months, I don't think you are as deep into them as you could be. I recommend focusing on 1 of these languages and attempt to master it (Java/C#) –  Woot4Moo Feb 9 '11 at 22:55
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You're applying for undergrad? They want to see math skills and general aptitude. I can't imagine them even looking at a portfolio. –  Matthew Read Feb 9 '11 at 23:38
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2 Answers 2

Do it like most successful programmers do and keep it simple. Keep it to one page if you can.

Make a list of things you've done. That's your showcase.

Link to Github, LinkedIn, StackOverflow account and so on. That's your social proof.

You can make it pretty later and you've still done more than what the majority of programmers in the world has done. ;)

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Thx...I would take your idea in consideration. Perhaps ur correct about making things simple first and make it pretty later^^ –  user16578 Feb 9 '11 at 22:34
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Here's my questions for you:

  • Couldn't you take your "crappy projects" and turn them into good projects?
  • Couldn't you show how you could use some application you built to do something?

If not, then what the heck do you think you'd be doing in a programming role? I mean that as an honest question of what do you think is in that job if not making something to do another thing. It may not be all flashy and sexy, but the question is whether or not you have some pride in your stuff.


With only a month, that is still a good deal of time and one where I'd be tempted to have a before and after copies of the code to illustrate what you've learned in that month. What refactoring techniques did you learn and how did you use them? Did you go overboard in applying something?

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1. I am more than grateful to turn my crappy projects into good ones...But come on! only less than a month until university application. If I had one year, sadly I don't, then maybe it's a different story. –  user16578 Feb 9 '11 at 22:33
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