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I am looking to become a developer and while I have been studying I have made a Github page and have filled it mostly with scripts or simple games that I have made plus a couple basic web applications.

Simply put, should I list my Github page on my resume as it is, or should I only include it if it contains something impressive (for example, consisting of many classes and/or being measured in the thousands of LOC as opposed to the hundreds)?

I guess I want to show that I do script and program in my own time, but I don't know if the simplicity of these scripts/apps are expected, or if they'd be a negative.

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What do you name your projects? Maybe get a directory with Free_time_simple_scripts or something like that. –  Ajaxkevi May 15 at 15:06
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If the code isn't terrible: YES. –  Joel Etherton May 15 at 18:01
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Already some good answers, but I think it is worth mentioning simplicity -> complexity is not that important. Readability of the code, sensible comments, variable names and appropriate documentation are what will stand out. Automated tests are a good sign too. That doesn't mean you should spend hours polishing a small script, but do take a second look every now and then, and at least make it tidy and all comments accurate. –  Neil Slater May 15 at 19:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

If you are happy with the code, then it always helps to publish it. I'm a hiring manager for engineers, and even if the project isn't impressive, I'd like to browse it to get a sense of:

  • If the engineer has enough internal motivation to publish side projects

  • If the code seems to follow most best practices. I won't have to teach the engineer best practices if they join my team

  • Looking for good clean well tested code.

If you're proud of it, include the link!

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You should.

Your github repository is the only evidence that's available to them that you can write or design anything. Yes, your github contents could use improvement. I put mine up as a motivator to me to improve on my software engineering capabilities. My github is woefully out of date but I get a kick out of seeing where I am compared to where I was. Showing something is better than showing nothing, as long that the something that you show is a positive, like your competence :)

Plus, your github link is your way of saying that you know how to use github. Actually, I had to learn the github internals to do that but that'sanother story for another day. At the very least,publishing your github account should motivate you to learn as much as you can about github. There is no uch thing as being too good at github :)

Being a good software engineer is a process not a termination point to a process. As you improve and get to be wylier as a problem solver, your github contents become more sophisticated. And no, the process doesn't have an end point :)

In terms of what to publish, code that highlights your grip on the fundamentals is fine. Junk is not. The line between good stuff and junk can be blurry. My standard is that I don't publish anything that I cannot justify as publishable.

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If you were interviewing at my company, we'd ask you if you had a github account (or some other public code repository) quite early in the hiring process.

Depending on your responsibilities we'd then look for specific traits (actually more the absence of undesirable traits) so that we'd get a feeling of

  • your actual capabilities versus your claimed experiences
  • how much training would be necessary to integrate you into a project team

So, along with my predecessors, I strongly recommend including it.

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