how to become a software engineer (2024 Guide)

How to Build a Software Engineer Portfolio

BrainStation’s Software Engineer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a career in software engineering. Read on for a guide to building a Software Engineer portfolio to help you get a job in software engineering.

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For anyone involved in development, a Software Engineer portfolio is one of the most important ways for Developers to show their personality, design ideas, and programming skills off to potential clients and employers and land a job in software engineering.

If you are beginning to put together this showcase of your development work and complete projects and wondering how to build a Software Engineer portfolio, here are the key tips to keep in mind:

Domain Name and Web Design

First, it’s worth claiming a custom name for your own Software Engineer portfolio website. Ideally, your first and last name will be available for your own portfolio website, but if you have a more common name, you might want to add “Developer” or “Designer” afterward to find a unique domain name. Just opt for as simple a web address as possible.

Similarly, the design of your portfolio site is crucial as well. Projects you want to highlight should be prominent, the page should be clean and easy to navigate, and the website should be responsive. To companies considering hiring you as a Software Engineer, this site will reflect on your taste and talent as a developer, so make sure to put your best foot forward.

A portfolio website should also have some basic information prominently displayed, including a bio page, contact information (either an email address or a LinkedIn profile), and links to your GitHub pages and resume.

Show Your Personality (in a Professional Way)

A good portfolio website will be memorable and unique. Visitors should come away with a sense of your personal brand and design ideas. But a little personality can go a long way, so you must be careful to remain professional and avoid anything that could raise red flags for potential employers.

As you write the bio, feel free to tell your story in a way that feels personal and real, but maybe avoid trying to be too cute or funny. Check out other portfolios to gather inspiration on what works and what doesn’t. Remember: this is a great opportunity to show companies that you can communicate, one of the most crucial soft skills for Software Engineers or Software Developers.

If you create a section on your web site for your bio to stand on its own, consider opening the portfolio with a personal introduction outlining your background, career path and technical training. Recruiters for tech jobs have no shortage of candidates so you shouldn’t assume anyone will take the time to browse all the pages on your developer portfolio.

With many tech companies hiring remotely now, it is also worth considering where your potential employers are located. If you are applying for remote work internationally or submitting applications on a remote job search platform, you might consider providing more context or information on any language or region-specific training, education, or experience you might have.

Project Showcase

Next you must choose Software Engineer projects that you want to highlight. Every project you choose to include in your software development portfolio should be an example of a different side of you as a programmer so the companies browsing your site see your professional versatility and technical coding skills.

For each project, include a name, description, and objective of the project, how you built and tested the app and links to both the code you created and installers for apps.

It’s fine if the projects you choose for your Software Engineer portfolio were all completed relatively recently in your career, and it is also fine if you choose to showcase personal projects or freelance projects that you have completed. What’s most important is that you show companies, clients, and anyone browsing online your software engineering skills and what you can do as a Software Engineer.

Even as you highlight previous projects, you must think about creating a story behind each post. Your Software Developer portfolio should show how you work and solve business, programming, and tech problems.

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