be_davidconway_portfolioSo, yesterday I finally went in and filled out my portfolio on Behance. This is something I’ve been putting off a long time, so I knew I had to get it done. There’s a lot, lot more sites I’ve developed and worked on than just those ones, but I primarily put the ones that I felt showed off my development skills better.

I managed to find an article by 99U (created by Behance) which I used to help me out a little bit. I still linked to a full list of websites I created or finished on Behance under “Web References,” but otherwise I only showed the ones on my Portfolio that looked the best.

As I’m primarily into doing the markup and backend work, not creating the graphics, I tend to find a harder time promoting myself and showing off my portfolio in a good way. I chose websites for my portfolio that required a lot of work on the HTML and CSS to complete, and were done mostly by me.

Washington Dental on BehanceWhen I show off a website I developed on Behance, I started off by giving a brief summary of what exactly I did on the project.

On Washington Dental, for example, I created the entire WordPress theme from an existing PSD file. I start by explaining a summary and then show off a photo of the first thing you see when you come to the site; the header.

After this initial section, I go into more detail and add more photos. This idea, and the idea of only listing the more meaningful portfolio items, I got from the article on 99U I listed above. I also went back and updated my two logo designs to show the same thing. I showed a description of the project, showed the final image, and then showed the process of how I made the logo after that.

How Should You Show Your Portfolio?

This question is one I have been wondering for some time. Adding up portfolio items takes a lot of time to put even on one website. At one point, this website, jrconway.net, was going to be my portfolio. After my friend and colleague Haso Keric invited me to Behance (check out Haso’s Behance), I decided to try it out myself.

Behance is a lot more detailed when it comes to portfolios. oDesk is where I had my portfolio up before, then I tried LinkedIn as well. In the case of oDesk its an image and a brief description. In the case of LinkedIn, its just a description. Both of them also ask what time you completed it; in some cases I didn’t keep careful track of that so I had to guess roughly when it was completed.

be_davidconway_editmangatBehance doesn’t ask for a time, and its much more detailed. On Behance you have a cover photo, and you can upload a large series of photos into the portfolio itself. You can add captions after each image, embed media files, add text, and organize it in any way you feel like. You can even change the background color of the portfolio item and add spacers.

Not only is this the case, but I’ve heard that many companies are looking closer at Behance for creative portfolios. That’s just a rumor I heard, don’t take it for granted, but I’m certainly going to try to use Behance from now on. Even if it wasn’t the premier online portfolio site, its still an excellent place to house your own online portfolio.

Of course, you can always go for a custom portfolio site. For me, though, its too complicated for that kind of thing right now. Behance already does a lot of work for you; it’d be far worse creating your own custom portfolio design. If that’s your thing, though, then go for it, and keep it up-to-date.

A Programmer’s Portfolio

gh_jrconway_jrcronYes, programmers can have portfolios, too. I’m primarily a programmer, and I’m using Behance to showcase websites I have built. I didn’t design them, but I ripped the designs from the PSD files provided for me. Programmers can showcase one the final product looked like. If you have the capability of doing so, programmers should upload the source code to Github as well.

Obviously commercial works can’t go on Github. You can still upload screenshots of the final project and discuss how you completed the project to Behance, though. For the projects that can be posted on Github, it doesn’t hurt to have them both on Behance and Github, since Github just hosts your code.

Regardless of where you put your portfolio, you still should read up on how to make it better. Showcase your most important works first and foremost. Don’t forget to summarize the project at the start before going into more detail. You have to catch people’s interest right up front so they’ll want to read more.

Don’t make an overly stylized custom portfolio website, it will take too much focus away from the content. Do keep your portfolio up-to-date, do add additional information about yourself and your work. And make sure you’re happy with the final design. ^_^