What employers are actually looking to see in your Github profile

by James Risley
November 1, 2016

When hiring developers, team leaders look for more than just a knowledge of coding languages. Luckily, they can turn to Github, the code repository, to see examples of how a developer writes, what they are interested in and how they contribute to team projects. We talked to a couple local software engineers about what they look for in potential employees' Github profiles.

 

Mike Kasberg is a software engineer at SpotX, an online video advertising firm. He looks for a balance of personal projects and additions to open-source projects.  

What can developers do to improve their Github profiles before starting the job search?

Almost anyone would tell you the best thing you can do to make your Github profile stand out is make regular code contributions to open source projects. That's great advice, but some people who are applying for jobs don't realize that personal projects on Github can also be really helpful. I think a couple really cool personal projects look just as good as small contributions to bigger open source projects.

Are there any things to avoid putting on your Github?

Some people worry a lot about what they've posted to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter while looking for a job. Github is a little different since it's centered around code. Almost any activity on your Github profile is good activity. I guess you should avoid posting really ugly (poorly written, hard to understand, or buggy) code.

 
 

Richard Lucas is a senior software engineer at Envysion, which helps gain business intelligence from in-store security footage.

What can developers do to improve their Github profiles before starting the job search?

Make your repos relevant to the codebase to which you're applying. Show off those skills to that a potential employer.

Make sure your repos are well documented. Have a README that describes the project and tells others how to use or engage with it. If it's a full application or showable component, have a link or utilize the free github pages to demonstrate live examples.

Are there any things to avoid putting on your Github?

Don't have a lot of sloppy or inconsistent code. Present your best self. Sure, we all write bad code from time to time, but avoid featuring it at minimum.

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