I'm not applying for jobs where programming is the primary function, but some of these jobs have listed certain programming languages as preferred skills. I am familiar with the basics of these languages, but I'm wondering if it would be wise to make a GitHub account to showcase that. I don't want employers to raise their expectations when they see the link to a GitHub account, only to be disappointed when they only find simple code.
I would think that basic coding skills would be expected if the job has a coding aspect to it. If you post a github account that show minimal knowledge of the skill. IE: homework level stuff, or a "Hello World" app I would avoid showing a potential employer said gitub url.
That being said, If you think your GitHub has some good content and is worth showing off then be prepared to dive deep into what its doing and how. Not being able to answer question quickly about something you made might be the end of the interview. Likewise being able to explain your program in great detail without having to check your notes is a huge plus from a hiring standpoint. It shows you know what you are doing.
I don't what employers to raise their expectations when they see the link to a GitHub account, only to be disappointed when they only find simple code.
Your application is the time to draw employer's attention to the things you want them to focus on. It sounds like this would be covered by just stating a familiarity with git and the languages on the resume.
The worst case is, as you suggest, someone navigates there and wonders why you linked to it in the first place.
Yes if you have the good enough code to show. Unfortunately, most of the code we have often falls into three categories:
- It is written for a company at work. Now way we could show a single line of such a code, no single statement, not a single semicolon.
- It is my ancient student work, full of fundamental design errors I would never repeat again, and its coding style was good enough 15 years ago when used to be different conventions.
- Some very simple project that does not actually impress.
Many developers do not actually have much to show, apart some who worked on various open source projects.
Well, I can tell you that I definitely prefer candidates that show me examples of their code. If a candidate does not have a code sample, I assume the worst. Nowadays, standards are such that virtually anybody with any talent at all has a public code repository.
If your primary job is not programming, then presumably the company will take that it into account when they evaluate your code.
At the end of the day, it is probably better to have bad code than no code, at least in my book. If I see somebody with bad code, at least I know that they wrote it. Better to have a bad coder who actually writes code, than somebody with great code that is plagiarized from somebody else. Believe it or not, I have to quiz people carefully about their code to make sure they actually wrote it. Half the time, their code is plagiarized and I ask them a question about it and they can't answer the question because they didn't actually write the code.