Juniors: Stop Focusing On Just Your Portfolio + Years of Experience


(John Mason) #1

Had a few conversations with some junior devs fresh out of boot camp and thought I’d post it here:

Disclaimer: 100% IMHO

If you’re junior (especially coming out of a boot camp), stop thinking that your portfolio and years of experience are going to get you a job… because quite frankly, they will not be amazing.

TLDR: highlight things about yourself that helps people decide if they + their company would benefit from working with you.


It’s easy to get caught up in resume bullets and portfolio projects. Don’t get me wrong, they are necessary at times. BUT… they are only 20% of the equation. The remaining 80% is you as a person.

Boot camps typically have people work on similar portfolio projects. What makes you stand out from everyone else in your class that has almost the exact same portfolio AND professional years of experience as you?

The only time I’ve ever seen an impressive portfolio for a junior dev was not because of his coding skills or beautiful websites. I was impressed by the wide variety of languages and projects that he had the initiative and self-discipline to pursue. (So again, it wasn’t the portfolio per se that was impressive; it was what the portfolio said about that guy as a person that was impressive.)

How do your prior life experiences help you become a better developer? What skills from the time you were a chef, musician, dancer, military veteran, business owner, volunteer, etc. can you transfer to coding? Highlight those things about yourself in your next interview.

Hope that makes sense!


(Djgoodrich) #2

Thanks for the insight John! As a boot camp graduate last year it’s great to hear what experienced developers are looking for.


(Brian Austin) #3

Forwarded this to a few soon-to-be junior devs. :+1: