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I'm a software developer in Australia.

I want to make a website/portfolio for myself that shows

  • Who I am
  • What I do (programming)
  • What I've done (projects etc)
  • Why I think I'm good at what I do (what languages etc)
  • Share why I love my work

And so on. Basically a website where people can go to instantly learn a bit about me without having to link them my personal Facebook or something.

I'm not looking for a job though. I'm happy where I am.

This is mostly just a learning experience (practising web development), for fun and for the reasons listed above.

I would like to ask my current manager if I can display some of my work on my portfolio - that is, some of my successful projects that I've done at work. Is this appropriate even though I'm not looking for another job?

How would I go about addressing this with management so that they don't get the wrong idea?

Is it advisable to tell them about this at all? Or should I just not include my current work/projects on my portfolio and just keep it simpler?

  • Why are you making this into something complicated? All you have to do is start a blog and run it. There are tons of Facebook and Google software engineers who have set up their own blogs. And they are still working for Facebook and Google. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 14 '16 at 4:29
  • Well it's probably not just a blog. It's more of a portfolio/resume as well. Sort of like this (random example I found). – Rowan Freeman Dec 14 '16 at 4:42
  • Think portal -> blog, resume, portfolio. Although the resume is probably better off placed on Linkedin and the portfolio on github. It's really the kind of design challenge that you should be able to meet on your own. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 14 '16 at 19:29
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I would like to ask my current manager if I can display some of my work on my portfolio - that is, some of my successful projects that I've done at work. Is this appropriate even though I'm not looking for another job?

How would I go about addressing this with management so that they don't get the wrong idea?

Is it advisable to tell them about this at all? Or should I just not include my current work/projects on my portfolio and just keep it simpler?

Many of us have personal websites and/or blogs without looking for a new job. I highly doubt that your management would be suspicious unless you call attention to it.

On the other hand, I don't think it's necessary (or wise) to include company names on your site. This isn't a resume.

I wouldn't include code from your current or former companies. Instead, describe what you do, and include your own code snippets as appropriate - crafted outside of your work. That way it's your work, and you don't need to ask permission from anyone.

Look around at websites of other developers like you. You'll see some good ones (and some poor ones). That should give you some ideas.

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    Why is it unwise to include company names? The website would probably link to sites like LinkedIn or Github where that information is publicly listed, what's the categorical difference of putting it on your own site? – so2 Dec 15 '16 at 14:24
2

Creating an online portfolio or resume would communicate to me that you're:

  1. Hunting for a new job;
  2. Starting/working as a freelancer.

Most people create their portfolios if they want or have to leave a company.

I wouldn't show recent projects in a portfolio without permission/review of the manager. At least check if there's no sensitive information in the project case you want to post. So you either ask him, or you don't post those projects.

If you decide to ask permission of your manager, you have to make it really clear that you want to stay in the company. Only saying you're 'not searching for other jobs' will probably not be convincing enough.

Call it a 'personal blog' for learning purposes. Remember when you ask your manager, he doesn't have a clue what your website will look like. So when he'll be asked permission, he will think you're making a portfolio/resume, which is exactly what you want to do. If you want to make it a blog instead of only a portfolio, don't say 'portfolio website'.

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    Heh, I like the idea of haunting for a new job ;) – Draken Dec 14 '16 at 8:20
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    Haha! English isn't my native language as you probably noticed, thanks for editing! – Luchadora Dec 14 '16 at 8:21
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This may be a cultural difference, but here in the U.S. I see things differently.

There is no conflict with being happy with your job and maintaining a professional presence as an individual. Having a presence helps you be connected with professional colleagues (not limited to coworkers), which helps you be aware of what's going on in the field, and gives you a problem-solving resource that helps you work more effectively. This is true both online and in person, and some employers encourage their employees to participate in professional associations for exactly this reason. (If your employer doesn't encourage professional development, maybe you should consider finding one that does.)

Of course, if your work is owned by your employer (or past employers), do not make any of it public without permission.

You could start out by making a personal site that doesn't include any specifics about work. There's enough that you can do with a personal site that it shouldn't be a problem to defer that until after the site is established. Then, after you've had your site up and running for a while, you can tell your boss that you think your work project is cool enough that you want to share something about it on your personal site, and ask permission in that context.

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You go to your boss and tell him "hey boss, look at my cool linkedin site. All my old mates from university have one, so I thought I create one as well. "

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