Do programmers need a portfolio?

15 01

Do programmers need a portfolio?

logo-kwadrat-2-2-2 Author: Katarzyna Dunda

Katarzyna Dunda – an experienced recruiter with almost two years of experience in the IT, banking, and gaming industries. She is characterized by keen market awareness, professionalism, and dedication, contributing to the team’s success and building lasting relationships with candidates.

IT professionals often wonder if they should include a portfolio when applying for a new job. In principle, the answer is yes. This is not because programming is a form of art, like design, but because it is concerned with creating original work, which is also legally protected. Like any kind of work, IT work needs to be documented for the employee to get credit for. Many modern organisations around the world require candidates to present a solid portfolio to prove their skills. 

What is a portfolio and what is it used for in software development?

A portfolio is a collection of an individual’s work, projects, achievements and experience in a particular field. In a professional context, a portfolio is often used to present skills, competences and the results of one’s work. It can include a variety of elements such as projects, artwork, articles, documentation, references, certificates and other evidence of achievement. 

Employers in various industries are looking for the best candidates to fill their vacancies, including programming positions. Having a portfolio that is relevant to a particular position can increase your chances in the recruitment process. See how you can use it to showcase your knowledge, personality, passion and the values you represent. 

Why is it important to have a portfolio as a programmer?

Every element of a portfolio matters. It should be well prepared in terms of content, presented in an interesting and visually appealing way, and should contain an appropriate selection of projects.  This is how recruiters decide which candidates to invite for an interview.

A portfolio can take the form of a business card website. It should contain an overview of projects you have completed for various clients, which you can legally present. It can also include details of the programming languages and technologies you are good at, as well as additional information concerning your experience. This will be your first contact with the recruiter, so make sure you make the best first impression.

What makes a good portfolio?

Creating a portfolio is the perfect opportunity for you to promote your work and express your future career aspirations.

It should contain the following elements:

A short “About me” section

Provide an overview of your skills and work experience, along with some personal background information. If you are applying to be part of a team, include some information about your interests.

A list of projects you have worked on

Provide a brief description of each project, including the purpose, technologies used, and outcomes. You can include links to GitHub repositories or other coding platforms. Describe your experience and demonstrate how it relates to your skills. 

A list of your key programming skills

You may wish to divide these into categories such as programming languages, frameworks, tools, etc. Be sure to indicate your level of proficiency for each skill. Also include information about the languages you are comfortable speaking and writing.

Employment history – make it interesting

Prepare an appropriate description of roles, responsibilities and achievements in previous jobs. Tailor it to the employer’s needs, as not all employers will require a very detailed account, but it’s worth having it ready. 

Education, courses and certificates – these are vital to your career path
Include a list of completed courses and certificates in your portfolio. Be sure to provide links to any course labs or write-ups you have created. For less common certifications, include where you obtained them and how they can be verified. 

Blog or articles – show how you think

If you write a blog or publish articles, include a section with links to this content. You may want to prepare a piece for your employer to present your position on a relevant industry challenge.

Positive references from colleagues or managers

Always include valuable feedback from your peers and employers. Every success is the result of a team effort, so be open about your contribution to any project.

If you have participated in open source projects, include information about them.

Round off your portfolio with activities in non-commercial areas. 

Contact information

Finally, remember to include contact information such as your email address or links to your Social Media profiles. You can also invite the recruiter to participate in an interesting survey. Make yourself memorable and increase your chances of being invited for an interview. 

When preparing your portfolio, do not forget about security. Make sure that your website is hosted on secure servers and that all links and information you submit are verified. This is very important.

AI revolution and labour market changes in 2023 and 2024

Education and technology developments are key issues for the IT community. The list of skills companies are looking for and the job offers themselves are changing. According to Gartner’s “2023 Gartner® Hype Cycle™ for Emerging Technologies” report, the areas to focus on, as they already dominate 2023 and will be present in 2024, include:

  • Emergent AI: The popularity of many new artificial intelligence technologies will have a profound impact on business and society, changing the way all products are created.
  • Developer Experience (DevX): If digital initiatives are to succeed, developers must have a good overall experience when creating software and services.
  • Pervasive Cloud: By becoming more distributed and focused on vertical industries, cloud computing will drive business innovation.
  • Human-centric security and privacy: Organisations will become more resilient, using security and privacy technologies that create a culture of mutual trust and awareness of shared risk across teams.

Most HR professionals stress the importance of soft skills in the IT world: from critical thinking and creativity to strong communication and teamwork skills. 

Management models are also changing, so make sure you are well prepared for the interview in terms of trends and changes in the industry itself. 

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Other ways to expand your skill set

According to the latest “IT Barometer 2023” by Team Connect, the market situation is constantly evolving. Employers in the IT sector report that their recruitment activities are focused mainly on specialists (70 percent) as well as managers and team leaders (60 percent). 

At the same time, there is still a shortage of professionals in this sector in Poland. Technically, there are currently 586,000 IT professionals working in our country. With a lot of regulatory changes and new AI solutions on the market, many companies are preparing for changes in their organisations.

At the moment, according to SoDA’s “Salary Report 2023”, the best paid positions include DevOps Engineers and Cloud Engineers, as well as Senior Team Leaders. Many are referring to the coming year as the time of the AI revolution, which will indicate how the dynamics of the IT industry and other sectors are shaping up.


4 Exciting New Trends in the Gartner Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle
5 Technologies That Will Transform Your Digital Future | Gartner Webinars
Centrum Projektów Europejskich (
How To Build A Programming Portfolio – Forbes Advisor
Cztery razy więcej wysyłanych CV i o 30 proc. mniej ofert dla pracowników IT –
Program Rozwoju Talentów Informatycznych na lata 2019-2029 – zachęcamy! – Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki – Portal (
21 Best Developer Portfolio Examples | HackerNoon
Building a Programmer Portfolio: Best Practices and Examples | EPAM Anywhere