An argument for public or opensource contributions as part of a personal portolio

We expect artists to bring previous work, architects to bring previous designs, and writers to bring previous articles. Why are programmers any different?

Opensource contributions or personal repositories are pieces of that person's portfolio. They give a feel for your interests, how you think, problem solve and, what you think is important.

"Walk me through why you put this together this way".

"I only had a little time and the primary thing I needed was XYZ".

A person's contributions and comments give a feel for the person in a way a synthetic 45-minute crush programming test in an unfamiliar environment by itself does not.

If your company doesn't give you 20% time, how do you expect to get out of the narrow niche your company has you working in? How do you expect to enhance your technical radar without external exploration and discovery?

I code at work. I don't have time for that.

People create code to get paid. That is why we work, to get paid. Taking that attitude makes it easy to dead end or become stale in an industry of continual change. This is a pay-suppressing way of thinking.

thoughtworks Technical Radar

Software engineering is an art, it is a trade, and it is always evolving. This is about building and demonstrating value outside the narrow scope of the current job. We all need personal technical radar that tracks tech industry trends to stay relevant and retain or build value. That means reading, exploring, and building for people in the software engineering job titles.

Revision History

Created 2024 04


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