Using Github - separating practice projects from portfolio pieces?

Hi everyone,

I have not been using Github, but want to start using it now. The thing is, there are many things I want to do just for practice (as distinct from potential portfolio work) and I would like to use Github in conjunction with them to get used to using it etc.

Just in terms of potentially looking for employment at some point in the future, how do people normally set up their Github? Meaning, is there a way to keep projects you just did for practice separate from more polished projects that you might want employers to see?

If not, does it ‘look bad’ to have very basic projects on your Github portfolio that you just did for learning purposes?


You have the option to set every repository to “private” or “public”. Make them private if you don’t want anyone else to see them. You can still share the link and make them accessible for selected users. The public ones will appear in your public profile.

thank you. I wasn’t aware of that, I thought the overall profile could be set to public or private, did not know this could be applied to individual repositories - that is good to know.

I read somewhere that some employers check to see how often you commit changes too - would you know if there is a way to demonstrate your ‘commit activity’ in relation to private repos - just to demonstrate that you have been working, I mean?

I presume people generally only want their better work set to public…

Yes there is the infamous GitHub activity meter in your profile:

Infamous because it actually says nothing about the quality of a developer, but it’s rumored that some recruiters base their decision in how many green dots they see :face_with_raised_eyebrow:.

It’s becoming a meme honestly. Don’t bother too much filling it up, I treat this as a pre-selector of people taking this meter too serious and the ones I want to talk to.

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that’s useful to know, thanks - I’ll try not to put myself in the ‘trying too hard’ category.

So it doesn’t matter if I am ‘committing’ in repos that are private then, lest I be seen to be trying too hard(!).

You can play the system by setting up some projects just for cycling through them with the same updates again and again → new green dot. Shows how useless this meter is for recruiting someone.

Once you got your first job and all your commits go into a companies private files, it’s even more worthless.

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Do those green dots show up for work done in repos set to ‘private’ do you know?

You can select if you also want to show commits to private repos. You can customize your profile to your needs.

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