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Currently I have some very simple programs on my github(Think almost hello world simple). This question Should I include my Github page on my resume? got me thinking, should I take down simple projects before applying for a job and only leave 'real' programs?

Pointing employers to my github would hopefully showcase programming skills. As a beginning CS student, the majority of my projects are very simple and I'm afraid that would look bad to an employer if the majority of projects are trivial.

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    Bare "Should I" questions don't work well here, because a lot depends on context, and the final decision is up to you anyway. Could you edit your question to indicate a) what you want to achieve by pointing employers to github, and b) why you feel simple projects might be a problem? That would be a concrete question :-). – sleske Apr 7 '16 at 6:34
  • @sleske thanks I edited to add more detail, new to Workplace. – kalenpw Apr 7 '16 at 6:38
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    Every programmer knows the value of "hello world" programs. Don't delete them but don't showcase them either. Just put links to the ones you want to be considered as your "best work". The rest is just "stuff" that they'd have to browse to find. – Brandin Apr 7 '16 at 8:29
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    This is a good article on the subject: Why Github is not your CV Spoiler alert: the answer to your question is no. – rath Apr 7 '16 at 11:46
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I would vote for No. Having simple programs on Github do not degrade your profile or the impression it has on the recruiter.

I love going through the candidate's github profile before gauging them, and also right before I take a technical interview. It helps me quickly know about their interests and their work/projects apart from their course work and their office work.

So, if there are some learning projects, which are only just more than a "Hello World", that would tell me that the candidate is a thirsty learner, and is always interested in learning new languages and technologies, and such quality(or soft skill) is rated very highly. (Even my Github profile still contains the "Hello World" style projects of Python, R, Scala and Julia which I've written long back while I was getting started, and they only resulted in appreciation, rather than belittling.)

But, your Github profile shouldn't definitely look like a barren land sprinkled with a couple of Hello World programs. That's a BIG NO.

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    On the same lines, consider writing on the README that the project is an experiment? – Dimitrios Mistriotis Apr 7 '16 at 13:18
  • ^ (+1) Yeah, that should do! – Dawny33 Apr 7 '16 at 13:22
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I think it depends a lot on the kind of repos.

"Hello world"

While it shows that you like to use source control, I'd probably ask myself why spend time on versioning me playing around with a new programming language at all. Not really a minus in my opinion but it does make it a bit harder to find the interesting repos though.

Simple university assignments

Especially if it's the "implement algorithm XYZ" type assignment where you'd just use a stdlib function in any real-world application I consider those pretty useless/irrelevant when looking at someone's GitHub profile.

However, chances are good that the code of such an assignment is not very good. You probably didn't like doing it in the first place and just wanted to get it done, without caring much about code quality. I get it, I probably did the same back then. But I just submitted that code to the professor and did not publish it on GitHub.


If the majority of your code on GitHub is "bad", chances are good that people will get a bad impression from that code first and maybe not even notice the good code. This is especially important since you cannot directly control which repos show up on top in your profile. If there's something you don't want to show up immediately I don't think there's much you can do besides making it private (if you can) or deleting it.

So my recommendation is to make sure people **see recent and good code first ** when going to your profile. If you are actively contributing to a repo chances are good it shows up on top anyway. For repos containing "bad" code you wrote a long time ago, you could always add a README.md file mentioning that this were e.g. first attempts with $language or that the repo contains your university assignments. That way people know not to expect your best code in there.

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