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I've seen more and more that job applications in the data space are asking for portfolios, GitHub links, etc.

Do you look at GitHub links or portfolios when interviewing candidates?

In data engineering, data science and developer related roles as a whole, how important is it from the interviewer side of the table to see this body of work from a candidate outside of their work on their job?

I'd imagine this is more important for someone doing a career switch, but how much is this becoming standard? How much does it help landing an interview?

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    It seems your first paragraph answers the question. Apr 6 at 15:44
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    For “first” applications (straight out of University etc) this is helpful. For candidates currently in a role I wouldn’t expect this, and it can be actively risky - businesses generally expect their code bases to be kept confidential. I would expect you to be able to talk generally about your current role / projects though. Apr 6 at 17:44
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    @PhilipKendall I was looking for a broader perspective than the limited companies I've interviewed for
    – cmims
    Apr 7 at 20:58
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    I don't know a lot of people who have time to contribute to github repositories in a major way, hold a job and live a life outside of coding... There are only so many hours in a day.
    – Questor
    Apr 9 at 19:44
  • Every IT Pro should have his own website. That should be your first portfolio item.
    – Neil Meyer
    Apr 11 at 17:43

3 Answers 3

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No, they are not.

The reason this hasn't changed is that the reasons why it is not a great idea are still valid:

Do employers actually hire candidates based off of Github profiles?

How clean does the code have to be on my github

How can I improve my developer portfolio?

Obviously any interviewer you come across might be an idiot. I cannot promise that you won't meet some over the course of your career. But on average, a github profile or hobby usage is still the last resort, if you have nothing else to show.

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  • This makes sense. I'm trying to disentangle how 'tight' the market is vs. other factors such as people getting more interviews because they have something to show. I should've title the post differntly
    – cmims
    Apr 7 at 21:16
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It is generally not required, but not having one puts you at a disadvantage versus another candidate who does have one.

Nothing is a better indicator of future performance than past performance. Without a long work history or portfolio, an interviewer has relatively few useful indicators on how good of an employee you would be.

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  • I wouldn't say it puts you at a disadvantage. As someone who's interviewed a lot of engineers, I've never looked at one. For one, I don't know they actually did the work. I just know they uploaded it. For another, I know I rarely to never do open source work from home myself, why would I expect other to? While it's never a negative to have one, it's not the big boost some people seem to expect. Unless you can show major contributions to large open source projects, nobody is really interested in your couple of example apps. Apr 10 at 5:47
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GitHub can be good if you are a major contributor to something which isn't just-another-version-of-whatever -- something on the order of a real work assignment as a lead developer on product-level code. If it's just hobbyist-level involvement in something small and not especially valuable, it's usually about as impressive as a single homework assignment -- "Ok, you've demonstrated that you are aware of the topic, but not that you have significant experience, expertise, or focus. Maybe not even significant interest, if you were doing it just to check a box."

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  • Definitely, some major contributions to software or projects vs. fluff.
    – cmims
    Apr 7 at 21:19

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