I'm a self taught software developer. Back when I was teaching my self how to program and how to use git, I ended up making a huge number of repos - some are incomplete, some are just notes. Over the years I've ended up making 88 repos, and I would guess 20% actually do anything.

I'm now happily employed and wondering if I should clean these out, or leave them so my 'contribution history' shows the time I've spent learning?

  • 4
    On what basis would you be making this decision and how does it relate to the workplace? Are you expecting to use your github account as a way to show your skills to a new employer? I think this is potentially a good question but may benefit from a little more focus.
    – dwizum
    Jul 12, 2019 at 14:05
  • People will be quick to suggest this be moved to the programming SE, but I think there are broader questions. It could apply to designers with half-completed portfolios for example. Jul 12, 2019 at 14:06
  • Is this your work area or your portefolio? Personally I wouldn't care much about your own projectsbut be very interested in what you chose to contribute to other projects. Also your activity history may be interesting. Jul 12, 2019 at 14:08
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    what are you trying to achieve? there might be reasons to save them, and reasons to delete them Jul 12, 2019 at 14:09
  • I guess it's more of a question on best practices as a professional - should I show how much I've worked and what I've done (even if it's not polished or complete), or is it best for future employers to only see a github account with contributions to open source projects, and personal projects? On my portfolio/resume I do have links to my github, but on my portfolio i have links to specific projects as well
    – Nathan
    Jul 12, 2019 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


It depends on what the purpose of your GitHub account is, but since you posted here, I'm assuming your intention is use the GitHub account as a showcase for your skills.

In that case, you would do well to whittle it down to the projects you are actually proud of and want to show off. No potential employer is going to sift through 88 different repos to find the good stuff. You'll be lucky if they take the time to look through the top 2 or 3. So you will want to make sure whatever projects they look at are ones that show off what you can do.

Employers aren't interested in how much time you spent learning or how you got there. They are interested in what you can actually do and how that will add value to their company. The effort that went into your learning will be self-evident in the final product anyway.

Keep it to the projects and contributions that best reflect your skills.


I'm now happily employed and wondering if I should clean these out, or leave them so my 'contribution history' shows the time I've spent learning?

I don't see any reason why you should delete them. They contain code and code snippets that you've made and that someday may prove useful to reference or reuse.

Also, given you are already hired, I don't see how this could end you fired, or reflect badly on you. In fact, this would tell me "wow, this guy really likes to code, try new things, and learn on their own".

FYI, and without intending to promote any product, Atlassian Bitbucket offers unlimited private repositories. Surely alternatives exist if this one is not of your liking. You could consider moving or copying your Github repositories there, so they are private and there is no chance of anyone randomly stumbling upon them.

That way, you can leave on Github the ones that are completed or you feel comfortable showing to the world.


I think you should remove your older repositories (could be done by making them private), simply to help people find the interesting projects easier. There is a high probability that someone is randomly looking at projects and misjudging you just by chance.

So just clone all old repositories, zip everything and store it somewhere.

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