I have worked in several projects. I was the developer (front-end) during the development and implementation of the web projects. Sometimes I was also the one and only developer of the projects (aka all-rounder). Mostly it was agile team environment.

Now, I am trying to create a website for myself only. However, I am not certain how to articulate these in my homepage.

Basically I am giving some screenshots of the web-sites.

But, I will also like to metion something like ..."Please, feel free to browse the sites listed above and below. I cohesively worked in agile team environment during the development and implementation of these websites.". I will also like to mention that I am not the owner of these sites.. aka the sites belong to the site owners etc..

I am having hard time articulating the statement such that I do not step into trouble...

  • 3
    What's wrong with calling it a "Portfolio of design and front end development work" and then attaching pictures/links? I think everyone understands what a portfolio is, and the assumption will be that you designed the sites, not that you own them. – Jon Story Sep 4 '15 at 10:56
  • I also thought that is how it should be. However, I did get in trouble once a long time ago. I worked as developer for this small company. I was their all-arounder developer. However, later their CEO asked me to hand over the resignation letter because in my personal website at that time, I said that I was the developer. She was quite vocal in saying that I was just the developer but not the owner. Since there was no explicit mention of the owner, she felt it is illegal. I do not want to get in trouble again. I do not think I am doing anything illegal, though. – Hello Universe Sep 4 '15 at 11:01
  • Hmmm, I can see your point, although that specific situation sounds pretty absurd of your ex-employer – Jon Story Sep 4 '15 at 11:03
  • Yeah. I think she wanted to fire employee without having to give any redundancy payments. She took this steps. Anyway, I am going with the below statement "I cohesively worked in the agile team environment during the development and implementation of these web-sites. My role was usually a full-time employee during the development of the sites." Does this look like ok? – Hello Universe Sep 4 '15 at 11:08
  • I think that's perhaps too wordy and too "clinical" - and risks clogging up the portfolio. I've added a more complete discussion as an answer – Jon Story Sep 4 '15 at 11:15

As mentioned in my comment, I think most people understand the concept of a portfolio, especially if you specifically state that you are a front end developer. That said, there are some steps you are able to take to reduce the chances of misunderstandings or legal problems.

Be honest, and be able to prove it

Don't say anything that is untrue, and ensure that everything you say is clearly, demonstrably true. By this I mean that you should be able to back up the fact that what you say is true, if anyone ever asked. If you're able to prove that you were in fact the developer, you shouldn't have any trouble.

Be clear and concise... but mostly be clear.

If there's any ambiguity, clear it up. Don't let what you don't say, hint at something more than is true. That doesn't mean you have to explain absolutely everything, but it's more important to ensure that you are very clear about what you were/weren't responsible for.

I find a good way to do this is to have a set of icons under each "portfolio" item, with a legend on the side. A little icon for each of the following, greyed out if they aren't true or coloured if they are true, for example (although you may want more concise descriptions, I'm including the full sentences for your benefit)

  • I designed this website graphically
  • I was the front end developer for this website (eg I did the code for the design/interface)
  • I developed the entire front and back end for this website (eg I made the whole thing work)
  • I created this website as a freelancer working for the owner
  • I created this website as an employee of the owner
  • I own this website
  • I created this website voluntarily
  • I was paid to create this website

You may want to add to/remove from this list depending on your specific situation, but this idea is to have small, unobtrusive items under each portfolio entry such that any reader can look into the details and know exactly how much credit/responsibility you are taking for that design.

Some people may just want to see some things you've worked on to check they look professional, others will want to know exactly what was or wasn't you. It also covers you from a "You were trying to mislead people" or "You were trying to claim ownership" perspective.

When clicking through from the main page, you may want to highlight the descriptions of the above icons on the "details" page - ie a list of just the "highlighted" icons, with their descriptions, to show exactly what you did or didn't do.

And finally on the details page, a quick explanation paragraph goes a long way to making it clear exactly what you are/aren't saying, while giving you a chance to sell yourself

I worked for a client to design a website for them. I created the graphical design, HTML and Javascript for the page, before passing it on to their back-end development team who incorporated it into their project. [Maybe some sales spiel here]

If in doubt, ask or don't include it

Unless you're very new to your industry, you likely have a number of examples of work. That means you can afford to not include one or two where you're worried there may be legal or moral issues, or simply where you aren't totally sure what the owner would be happy with or cannot prove your involvement.

Initially you can try to ask the owner what they're happy with, and show them what you will include on the website (so that they can raise issues with it if they wish), and perhaps ask for a quick note of documentary evidence to show that you were involved to that extent, and that they're happy for it to be included. If you can't get this, however, just leave it out. You can't get in trouble for leaving out one or two examples, and you should have enough from the rest of your portfolio to flesh it out anyway.

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  • I'm not sure if the question is on topic here, but this is a nice answer to it :) – Jane S Sep 4 '15 at 11:21
  • Thanks.. It kind of gives me some idea how to present these... – Hello Universe Sep 4 '15 at 11:33
  • Also for the one and only developer if you did some 'back end' work I would phrase it as 'Full Stack developer LAMP' or whatever language you used. – Bill Leeper Sep 4 '15 at 17:24

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