Is a portfolio website necessary? Example of good documentation/ README?

Hi campers,

I came across with this Reddit post which basically says a portfolio website isn’t necessary. Not only the original poster advocates it, but from the replies underneath it seems the OP has got a point.

The main takeaway I got from the Reddit thread is that a well documented Github with well written README does the job of a portfolio website.

So it leads me to 2 questions:

  1. Does your personal experience confirm with this saying?
  2. What is considered as good documentation and good README?

Currently I have finished all the front end challenges on FCC, now on the way to build some showcase projects. After reading this Reddit thread I am really not sure if I should continue building a portfolio website. I am not good at designing things so I might just end up with a bad looking website like the thread suggested.


1 Like

Hi @kennykenny.l !

I am also curious to hear from experienced devs on this issue. :grinning:

The part time dev job I have now, didn’t ask me for a portfolio.
But I feel like that was a different set of circumstances and probably isn’t the norm.

A lot of the responses said they got their first jobs without a portfolio and just had their GitHub profile and resume.

But I am curious, how many of those devs had previous work experience.
Because if you have any relevant work experience, then obviously that is going to carry a lot more weight than just a website of personal projects.

I agree with that point.
I think repos that have good commit messages and good READMEs are important.

You should avoid just one commit of ‘first commit’.
Writing good commit messages helps you and the team out.

For the README, I think something with a description of the project is good.
Don’t just use the default README that comes with react.

It should include information on what the project is.
Maybe some images of the project.
A way to run it locally would be nice.
That’s just what I like. :grinning:

This is where I disagree with the OP of the reddit thread.

There are so many css libraries and frameworks that make it easier to create a professional looking design.

For example, tailwind css has dozens of utility classes you can use that make it super simple to create professional responsive websites.

You still need to know CSS obviously but why not use a library or framework to make your job easier.

Whether they go straight for my GitHub profile or portfolio, I personally don’t think it hurts to have a portfolio.

But I am curious to hear what the pros have to say :grinning:


Is a portfolio website necessary? No. It is possible to get a job without one. Some prospective employers will look at a portfolio and some won’t. The same can be said about having a GitHub profile (with or without a good README). But “not necessary to get a job” is not the same as “won’t help you to get a job”. An employer might look at it and it could make a difference, especially if you don’t have a related degree or related work experience.

One of the hardest things about trying to get a first job as a self-taught developer is that you have to find a way to prove that you have knowledge and skills equivalent to someone with documented experience. Putting a lot of work into a good website/portfolio/etc is one way that many people try to demonstrate their skills. Those don’t all need to be packaged in a “portfolio” styled page, like the one that freeCodeCamp has you build as a project… but it’s not a bad place to start if you’re trying to figure out how to showcase your abilities.


My philosophy is to make things as easy as possible for the hirer. Keep in mind that there may be other people besides devs that want to check you out: HR people, managers, etc. In fact, they may be the gateway before it gets to the devs. I would want to make it as easy as possible to find the information.

Having a nice portfolio makes it very easy to link to code, working apps, descriptions of the apps and what techs you used, etc. It can also make other information clearer - objective, education, work experience, a list of techs you know, etc. Sure, you could find a way to include that in GH, but again, I want to make it as easy as possible to find. I don’t want to give them a scavenger hunt. And I don’t want to appear lazy.

Maybe if you have 5 years of experience, the portfolio becomes less important - maybe once you have some irl experience, but getting that insanely difficult to get first job, I would want to put my best foot forward as possible and make it as easy as possible to find what they need, hoping that that will help me make the second cut as they cull the 738 applications they received.

People love making bold statements on social media. Reddit seems to attract a log of that. I think you have to take it with a grain of salt.

And scanning the comments, it seems that most people are saying either that you should have one or that it may not be required but is a good idea and makes a good impression. Good impressions are a good idea.


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