How to Market Yourself as a Developer
As a developer, you inevitably spend a lot of time on the Internet. You leave digital traces everywhere, which other people can use to get a picture of your personality and skills very quickly.
This is true in general, but in programming in particular: For example, when you deposit your code in public repositories on GitHub or similar sites, when you're on the go on social media, or when you're active in question and answer communities like Stack Overflow.
This can be seen as a curse. I for one see it as a blessing and an opportunity: because your digital profiles can be very helpful to convince a potential employer of your skills or to market and sell your own projects.
While you won't normally be asked for your GitHub profile for job interviews, showing a nice profile is a nice bonus that doesn't cost you much effort. To get the maximum benefit with minimum effort out of your digital profiles, here are a few tips for you.
Choose your nickname carefully
If you create a profile on a relevant site such as GitHub or Stack Overflow, choose a nickname that you can still use in ten years time and don't be embarrassed about having to put your nickname into perspective in a job interview, explaining that it's from your hardcore gamer days. hAXx0Rrul0r or PussyDestroyer for example are a bad idea. Your name or initials are probably already taken, and finding a nickname that is still free on all major platforms and still doesn't sound totally stupid is admittedly not easy, but it's worth the effort to think about it thoroughly.
Do not spread your work over different accounts
The better you have chosen your nickname, the easier it will be for you to stay on an account. For my part, I have used many different Twitter accounts for various reasons and have lost followers with every switch. If I had chosen the right nickname early enough and hadn't created my own Twitter accounts for various projects, but had used my personal one for everything, I could access a much larger network of people today to increase my reach. Create your account with care and with the goal to use the same account for years to come.
Your profiles are your business card
In principle, the following applies to all your online activities, but especially to portals that host your code. Your GitHub account is your business card and says more about your skills than any resume or job interview ever could. Of course, you can maintain a cryptic GitHub account for your code junk and never try to make a public connection between you and that account – but in the end, isn't it easier to deliberately write your code publicly and not have to worry about anyone seeing it?
Don't be ashamed to make your experiments public, but make enough of an effort to write your code in a way that you enjoy sharing it and don't feel like you can only do so with accompanying excuses. In the end, this will even help you write better code: because the code you write for a potential readership is necessarily better, more beautiful, and more readable than the code you write to throw away in the first place.
Important platforms for developers
On the following platforms, your profiles as a programmer are particularly sought after or particularly useful for marketing yourself and your work:
- Social media and versioning providers like GitHub are great tools to promote you, your skills, and your projects
- Find the right nickname, which is still free for all major platforms and which you can still represent in ten years
- Try to write as much code as possible in public and always pay attention to quality and readability
- Use Twitter, Stack Overflow and Reddit to learn, share your knowledge and present yourself and your skills