What do employers want to see on my online portfolio?
I'm a front end web developer and currently I'm in the process of redoing my online portfolio.
When I had graduated from my Web Development course it was highly recommended we all make ourselves a portfolio, showcasing our work from our studies.
I have since graduated and have been working in Web for a few years now so I'm curious to know what employers look for in a portfolio when they are looking to hire a front end developer. I've been through a few interviews in my time and some employers don't even bother to check my portfolio, where as some have looked at every inch of my site right down to the code, to even giving me suggestions on how I could have done something better.
I've also switched jobs recently and work for a much bigger company, I do a lot of HTML/CSS as part of my role, but most of the time its just styling small bits and bobs here and there, is that worthy to even mention that on my portfolio? or as a front end dev should you only show full sites you've built? - what if I don't get to create a full site, how do I tell people I've worked on aspects or portions of a website?
I guess my question is how do I let prospective employers know what work is mine, how I code and what it looks like?
I'm not too flashy on the jQuery (I know and I call myself a front end dev!) and I'm currently learning and want to put up a blog of things that I have learned, do you think this will negatively impact me in some way?
Any suggestions/advice/help on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
Would love to hear what you put on your portfolio and what you think may also be good ideas.
I've been also done in that. When I applied here in our company, our president review all of the sites that I've done and I think the only reason they are looking for your portfolio is to clear their minds that the person who is applying is worth to do the job.
As someone who has hired front-end developers recently, I would recommend that you choose the sites that you originally have from design school, but only show the ones that you believe the company interviewing may like to see. While it is impossible to know, you can generally, read about the company on their site, blogs, press-releases or by talking with people that do/have worked for them.
By learning about a company you are showing initiative beyond your design capabilities. This can be a nice influencing mechanism.
If while working on the bits of code that you have strewn throughout the big-companies' website, you have scripted any more modern web work like media query usage, jQuery (keep on plugging away on this, many employers know about it), and emerging CSS 3, and dare I say HTML 5 - even if you don't agree with HTML 5 it is helpful to demonstrate knowledge to defend your position.
Show some modern stuff your doing. Yes it is more work and you may be tired of doing it once you get home, but by advancing ideas and designs that you can not realize at your production orient work, can demonstrate your skill, and that you stay current. This is important to those hiring you.
Finally you can speak about how you have also fit into a larger team to do production level scripting so it does not always 'have to be about' doing full sites for you. I know if I was hiring you, I would see this. Give some examples of some of the more interesting/innovative pieces you have done at the larger company.
Doing these things will show potential companies that you court that you 'go the extra mile', care about what you do, a team player, have knowledge, and are a hard-worker; all things that employers are starved to see.
I can tell you when I hire developers, it sometimes takes 100 or more interviews before I find someone with these qualities and I snap them up faster than I can type (which by the way is only medium fast )
Last edited by Shyflower; Feb 24, 2012 at 13:06.
Reason: fixed mention
Put together different categories of your design/code there. Build a library of projects.
This is a great idea. When we hire people we look for people who are genuinely interested in what they do, rather than people who just do it as a job. If someone has a genuine interest they will create their own site to demonstrate their code, they will experiment and they will be able to talk passionately about things they have done.
Someone who just does what their previous employer asked of them, and then went home, isn't someone who lives and breathes the work - it's this desire employers want to see, and rarely find.