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As a back end or full stack developer, one may want to have a portfolio site that showcases their other work. However, not everyone wants to design or build a portfolio site.

  • Is it ok to use a template (like a generic bootstrap template) for a portfolio site?
  • Is it ok to use a service like wix or squarespace?
  • How does one highlight that the portfolio site is showcasing their work but is not intended to be judged as their work?
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The quality of your portfolio site will affect the perceived quality of your work

Regardless of whether you are a physics engineer, back-end programmer or any other discipline (even those unrelated to development) - the quality of anything you show to a potential employer will influence their opinion of you.

This is obviously different from the way it will influence their opinion if you were actively seeking a design or front-end role. That is, you do not need to have a site with all the bells and whistles, or otherwise outstanding. But the quality will affect how the word within it is percieved.


As a back-end programmer, I'd recommend either:

  • Using a templated site that is clearly a template, but makes your work clear and easy to assess.

  • Give direct access to a source repository that holds your projects.


Although counter intuitive, in my experience - if you cannot create a solid website yourself, you are far better to make this clear (by choosing a template that is visually obvious as a template). This way, you separate the mental judgement of your personal work/skills from judgement of the site you've used to hold it. The more simple, and clear a template you can find, the better.

Taking that to the extreme, it can also be beneficial to just present your work on a web-accessible source control platform (such as Github). By doing this, you remove yourself even further from the judgement of the host site - it's very clear what is your work, and what isn't.

On an additional note, using a site like Github also enforces the fact you understand these tools and are comfortable working in a technical-facing environment. If you do choose to do this, ensure your work is well organised and easy for a non-technical person to download.

  • 1
    I like your last point :) – Matthew E Cornish Sep 12 '18 at 15:43
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    This is true, and not just for technical fields. When I go searching for housing contractors, I will judge them on the quality of their website. Even though I know your ability to build a website has nothing to do with your ability to hang siding or do plumbing, if you have a crappy website I have much less faith in your abilities in general. – Seth R Sep 12 '18 at 15:59
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I think it's fine to use a template if you're not trying to pass it off as your own. I think that's especially helpful for a more back-end focused developer who is trying to highlight the functionality of their work as opposed to the aesthetics.

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I think you're better off using GitHub, or similar. That said, a well structured website can act as a good calling card, or sign post people to other places such as GitHub, LinkedIn etc.

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