Where Did Coderbits Come From?By Scott Smith
Even as web developers and designers produce more and more sophisticated ways of presenting clients’ products and services online, we are limited in how we can present ourselves to future clients. We can build our own websites, of course, but we’re often still limited to less sophisticated ways of showing ourselves off: resumes and portfolios that are essentially digital copies of a paper-based approach. Isn’t there a more dynamic way? This is what Coderbits claims to do. We asked founder and CEO Scott Smith to explain.
What is Coderbits?
Coderbits is a site that builds intelligent portfolios for software developers and designers. Coderbits tackles the problem of traditional resumes being inadequate at verifying the skills, traits, and knowledge software developers and designers possess.
As a director of software development, I found that using resumes for the purpose of identifying quality candidates fell short. Instead of using resumes to determine which candidates to interview, I was instead forced to hold pre-screen interviews and tests. Both actions wasted my time and that of the candidates in order to determine which candidates to call in for interviews. Sites like LinkedIn provided very little value as well being based on the same premise of resumes. The content is unverified and subjective.
As a software developer, I realized the many sites and services I utilized daily already contained the information needed to automatically build a portfolio that shows what software developers and designers know, what we’ve done, and what our interests are.
Coderbits was founded to leverage that information and empower software developers and designers to easily build a knowledge portfolio and at the same time help employers hire with confidence.
How does it work?
Building a portfolio on coderbits was designed to be simple and require as little input as possible. The Builder is where users are able to link to 60+ sites. Where available, Coderbits offers account linking via OAuth. This is the simplest and easiest way for users to link to an account. When OAuth is not available, linking is done by typing in the account username. Once the account is linked the true magic happens – aggregation.
Profile aggregation occurs when an account is first linked and then on a regular automated schedule. The process involves us going out to linked accounts, gathering up all the bits, merging them into one of many portfolio categories, calculating core skills, interests, and traits, automatically building social connections, awarding many of the 500+ badges, and finally creating a full portfolio.
Because we perform aggregation on a schedule, portfolios are always accurate and up-to-date. When things are added or removed from linked accounts, the portfolio is updated accordingly.
A mantra of ours here at Coderbits is to Work Transparently. We like to promote this to encourage to people to work in this way – but what does that mean exactly? It means you should try and find ways to work that makes the work available publicly.
For example, if you are deciding which MOOC to sign up for and take courses, you would want to choose ones that make your information available on a public profile. The ideal one to choose would be the one with public profiles and public APIs so you or others can get to your information programmatically.
In this situation you are still benefiting from the service offering and allowing the work you do there to be visible as well.
Being open, available, and transparent with our users has been key to building a successful service. The input and ideas we receive has proven invaluable.
The Posts feature was originally created for users to submit bugs, feedback, and get help. By usage it has morphed into a community of highly skilled and informed individuals who are willing to share knowledge through professional tips, designs, and content.
The value our users get from Coderbits goes beyond what we had originally planned:
- Find new sites and services. We are a discovery engine for them.
- See the public perception of your skill sets and where you need to improve.
- Motivate yourself to do, learn, and share more.
- Connect, find, and engage with other developers and designers.
- Test your Twitter API integration using accounts without any followers ;)
Here are a couple of visual demonstrations of the percentile distribution of Coderbits members by programming languages in which they specialize and online entities in which they have a presence.
Coderbits has just emerged from beta and is now available to you. Come on over and see what you think.