Mock up of a book, titled “How to Build an Effective Dev Portfolio”.

Build a portfolio that appeals to employers.

As a junior developer, your portfolio of projects is the greatest asset you have. This 70-page e-book shows you how to showcase them for maximum impact.

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Hi there!

A few months ago, I offered to review developer portfolios on Twitter:

I got so many replies! A couple hundred developers were willing to share their portfolios with me, and I went through as many as I could over the next couple of weeks.

I found I kept giving the same feedback over and over. Most developers seemed to be following a template, and that template is not optimized for appealing to prospective employers. Some of these sites were very well-built and polished… but almost all of them missed the mark when it comes to helping them get hired.

This book is an instruction manual for creating a portfolio site that stands out to prospective employers. I've taken everything I know on the subject and condensed it into a 70-page book. If you're looking to break into the industry, my hope is that this book will give you a serious edge.

Your portfolio site can be a secret weapon.

I started reviewing portfolio sites in the first place because I know how powerful they can be, especially for folks early in their career.

There is a lot of competition for junior developer jobs. A company might get dozens or even hundreds of applications for a single open role. In order to get scheduled for an interview, you're going to have to stand out somehow.

The work that you've done is probably very impressive, but it may not be obvious at first glance. A portfolio site lets you guide prospective employers through your work, highlighting the parts that are most relevant. You can showcase your work in the best possible light.

This book includes:

  • Understanding our target audience: the two groups of people we should focus on.
  • The most common mistakes developers make, and how to avoid them.
  • How to curate a selection of projects.
  • An in-depth case study of an incredibly effective real-world portfolio site.
  • How to be a tour guide, guiding readers through a deep under-the-hood exploration of your projects, and what makes them great.
  • How to write compelling, personal, memorable copy.
  • How to come up with a professional design, without hiring a designer.
  • So much more!
A 3D avatar of me

About the author

My name is Josh Comeau, and I've been building for the web for over a decade. I teach web development fundamentals at Concordia University, through a partnership with Journey Education.

I've worked as a senior software engineer for organizations like Gatsby Inc, Khan Academy, DigitalOcean, and Unsplash, among others. I was also involved in hiring at most of these organizations, interviewing candidates and helping HR make decisions.

I've also worked for the past couple years as a career coach, helping recent bootcamp graduates land their first job.

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Frequently asked questions

Why is this book free?

This book is targeted at folks who are trying to break into the tech industry. Many people in this position have just spent a good chunk of their savings to go to a bootcamp, or are graduating college in debt.

I believe that the information in this book can help folks find their first job. I don't want that information to go exclusively to people who can afford to pay me for it!

Of course, I also need to pay my bills. I recently made the decision to leave my job and focus on creating educational resources. I'm hopeful that the readers who benefit from this book will be happy to support my work in the future.

Who is the target audience of this book?

This book is designed to be most helpful for folks who are looking for their first or second job as a software developer. The earlier you are in your career, the more it should help.

It's targeted specifically for people looking to land a full-time role; if you're more interested in freelance/contract work, you won't get very much out of this book.

I’ve written the book specifically with front-end developers in mind, though I suspect it’ll still be very worthwhile for backend and mobile devs.

This book will be most relevant for folks looking to work for companies headquartered in the US or Canada. I’m not sure how much of the advice is applicable internationally.

What format does the book come in?

The book is published as a PDF. I also make ePub and MOBI formats available, though I can’t guarantee that they’re formatted perfectly.

There is no print format or audiobook format available at this time.

How many projects do I need, before I build a portfolio?

I recommend showcasing between 2 and 5 projects. A portfolio site isn’t supposed to be an index of everything you’ve ever created, it should be a highlight reel.

The book contains information about what qualifies as a portfolio project (spoiler: it’s more loosely-defined than you might think!).

My question isn't answered here! What do I do?

Feel free to reach out on twitter, or contact me by email.

Please note I'm currently dealing with a nerve injury, which limits how much time I can spend on a computer. I may take a while getting back to you.