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Your Portfolio as a Product

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How to use product development strategies to impress employers.
Workshop given at Codeland in New York City, April 2017

Published in: Technology
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Your Portfolio as a Product

  1. 1. Your Portfolio as a Product How to use product development strategies to impress employers Eleanor Stribling - @eleanorstrib Codeland Conference April 2017 Markusspiske, neourban hipster office desktop
  2. 2. Who am I & what am I doing here? ● Working in tech companies since 2008 ● Been on both sides of the table in tech hiring process ● Tech worker with social science/business background who codes
  3. 3. Three things you will leave with today ● Plan for telling a compelling story about yourself to multiple audiences ● A sketch of your site and a plan to execute on it ● Links to resources from this workshop
  4. 4. Structure for the workshop ● Product management intro ● Getting started ● Pitching yourself to employers with an authentic, marketable story BREAK - 20 mins ● Spec-ing the project ● Tools for a portfolio ● Q&A
  5. 5. How can product management help with this project?
  6. 6. Why product management? “Product Owner” by diogo.rendeiro, https://www.flickr.com/photos/26649542@N07/ ● Product management principles can be useful in defining a project, especially with the “what” and the “why” ● Asks questions like: ○ Who is using this? ○ What do they need? ● Combines design, tech & business
  7. 7. Get these things ready…. ● Coding projects ○ 3+ projects (any size, live sites/runnable code) ○ Coursework is ok, put your own stamp on it, explain your process & challenges ● Source code samples online in your Github or other repo profile ● Up-to-date LinkedIn profile ● Sense of the type of job you will target: company size, industry & role 5 minutes
  8. 8. Portfolio sites are portals “Liberty Portal in Naples” by Carlo Raso, https://goo.gl/MH2ZGy
  9. 9. Portfolio: What it is and what it isn’t What it is ● Portal to your work as a programmer, your online home ● Easy to scan, access to more detail, see examples, contact you ● Conversation starter What it isn’t ● Resume ● Cover letter ● Life story
  10. 10. Evaluate 3 portfolios sampletechportfolio.com Exercise 1 - 15 minutes
  11. 11. Storytelling in Your Portfolio “Storytelling” by Steve McFarland
  12. 12. Audiences More technical Less technical Less time More time Hiring managers Future co-workers In-house recruiters Agency recruiters
  13. 13. Write a user story My portfolio site will enable < person > to < action > in order to < task > Exercise 2 - Spend 10 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then sharing in your group.
  14. 14. Write a user story My portfolio site will enable Engineering Managers to assess my skill level with JavaScript in order to invite me to interview for a front-end developer role. Sample
  15. 15. Write a user story My portfolio site will enable < person > to < action > in order to < task > Exercise 2 - Spend 10 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then sharing in your group.
  16. 16. Find your story Personal attribute < thing > Technical skill < thing > Soft skill < thing > Exercise 3 - Spend 5 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then share with a neighbor for about 2 minutes. What did you learn? Accomplishment < thing > Why I code < thing >
  17. 17. Find your story Personal attribute Fast learner Technical skill Python, web apps in Django Soft skill Negotiations Accomplishment Built her own travel web app Sample Why I code Want to build products that make women’s lives easier
  18. 18. Find your story Personal attribute < thing > Technical skill < thing > Soft skill < thing > Accomplishment < thing > Why I code < thing > Exercise 3 - Spend 5 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then share with a neighbor for about 2 minutes. What did you learn?
  19. 19. You’re the person who... Exercise 3 + - Spend 3 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then sharing with your group. <your name> is the person who < thing > and < thing >
  20. 20. You’re the person who... Sample Eleanor is the person who built her own travel web app and is really good with Python.
  21. 21. You’re the person who... Spend 10 minutes working this on your own in your workbook, then sharing with your group. <your name> is the person who < thing > and < thing >
  22. 22. Highlighting your technical skills “keyboard” by Marc Di Luzio, https://goo.gl/PFHsi6
  23. 23. Highest salaries (AngelList) Source: https://angel.co/salaries
  24. 24. Skills in demand 2017 2016 SQL SQL Java Java Python JavaScript JavaScript C# C++ Python C# C++ Perl PHP iOS (Objective-C & Swift) iOS (Objective-C & Swift) PHP Ruby/Rails Source: CodingDojo analysis of listings on Indeed.com
  25. 25. Ways to explain proficiency ● Show projects with links to the code and outline the tech stack ● List in order of proficiency: strongest first ● List the number of years you’ve worked with the language, framework, etc ● Where is your strength with that language/framework
  26. 26. Pick the skills you want to highlight Exercise 4 - 15 minutes
  27. 27. Building the site “Scaffolding” by Tup Wanders, https://goo.gl/MH2ZGy
  28. 28. Things you already know about content ● Short ● Proofread - no spelling or grammar errors ● Tell a story, remember takeaways ● Have a high contrast, accessibility ● Choose a legible font that can be read in blocks of text ● No broken links ● Make it responsive to work well on all display sizes
  29. 29. Tools for building a static site Color Schemes Adobe Kuhler Coolors Paletton Fonts Google Fonts Libraries Bootstrap Materialize Recording Quicktime Screencastify (Chrome ext) Hosting (static) AWS GitHub Pages Jekyll Domain registration GoogleDomains Hosting, registration & design SquareSpace Wix Wordpress Icons FontAwesome FlatIcon Stock images WOC in Tech Flickr (creative commons) Death to the Stock Photo Templates Colorlib (compilation) Start Bootstrap W3 Schools
  30. 30. Baking the portfolio cake! Barb's Chocolate Raspberry Cake 15July06 - 2 by Roland Tanglao
  31. 31. Sketch your portfolio Step 1: Get the ingredients ● Three projects you will use ● Links to your profiles on Github, LinkedIn, etc. ● Your story ● Skills you will highlight ● Message you want to send with your site -> your brand & why you code Step 2: Bake the cake ● Sketch out a single page site in your workbook -> order, architecture, messaging, colors (?) ● List other things you’ll need to complete it Exercise 5 - 20 minutes
  32. 32. Getting it done ● Make rough sketches with pen and paper or use software: ○ PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides ○ Balsamiq ○ InVision ● Create separate issues for each task and organize ○ Each a clearly defined task ○ Put in order of priority ○ Practice using kanban “swim lanes” -- To Do, In progress, complete ● Show it to other people for feedback -- do they know what the story is? ● Give yourself a deadline (what’s yours?) Take 5 minutes for this exercise
  33. 33. Final thoughts ● Use what you have - keep building but leverage the great work you’ve already done to show the progression in your skills ● Write good READMEs - show your process, challenge, strategy ● Put the link to your portfolio EVERYWHERE employers will find you ● Know your story and tell it - don’t forget the why ● Showcase the talents that you want employers to see ● Keep this site and your other profiles up to date
  34. 34. Thank you!

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