How To Create your Backend Portfolio | by Fernando Doglio | May, 2022

As a result of your APIs and design docs additionally deserve a spot to be proven

Photograph by Branko Stancevic on Unsplash

Everybody associates a portfolio with a visible illustration of your abilities, and that is trivial to do if you happen to’re a developer who works with visible parts, resembling a FrontEnd dev.

However what occurs if you happen to work purely on BackEnd? How will you make an API, a microservice or an OSS library “look good”?

You possibly can’t.

However you’ll be able to nonetheless have a portfolio, so let me let you know what you ought to be doing.

Let’s get essentially the most primary query out of the way in which: what’s a portfolio?

A portfolio is basically a method so that you can showcase your abilities and your work.

What’s that? You don’t have any work to showcase? Not an issue, we’ll additionally cowl that.

The purpose right here just isn’t the “work” however the truth that by your work you showcase your ability. And that needs to be your focus: abilities.

You need individuals going by your portfolio to grasp what you’re able to. So it doesn’t matter if you happen to’ve constructed an API that connects with Google Maps, or simply your run-of-the-mill climate API. The purpose is that you know the way to work together with third occasion APIs.

And that’s what our focus goes to be.

Speaking about focus, what are the important thing abilities any back-end developer ought to spotlight as a part of their profile?

Nicely, if you happen to ask me, I’d attempt to concentrate on the next gadgets:

  • Again-end language: It is a primary one, you’ll be able to’t actually make a portfolio to showcase your backend abilities if you happen to solely know HTML and CSS (for instance). That stated, you’re in luck, since most languages are backend-friendly. So long as you’ve initiatives utilizing any of the next, you’re good: Node.js, Python, PHP, Ruby, Go, Rust, Clojure, and something actually.
  • Information Modeling: I’m referring to the truth that you know the way to suppose when it comes to information storage. In different phrases, can you take an issue and switch it into information? Are you able to create database tables? Or encode your ends in a format that is smart (like CSV, JSON, and so on)? Are you able to create a fancy information mannequin the place totally different entities are associated to one another? Have you learnt what an ER diagram is? Then use it as a visible assist to your portfolio.
  • Design patterns: Whereas design patterns are legitimate for each context, they’re fairly helpful and related within the back-end atmosphere. This is the reason it’s essential to point out that you realize about them. Which of them although? That’s as much as you, there are lots of and the quantity just isn’t actually essential, simply the truth that you realize about them and know the best way to use them in your code.
  • Structure patterns: That is most likely not a tough requirement, particularly if you happen to’re on the Jr. facet of the position. Nonetheless, if you happen to do learn about patterns resembling MVC, distributed microservices and so forth, it’s all the time a very good factor to spotlight them. As a back-end developer you’ll ultimately take care of such patterns, and displaying you’ll be able to deal with them is all the time a very good factor.
  • SQL: Going hand-in-hand along with your information modeling abilities, displaying that you know the way to get information from a SQL database (most likely the commonest kind of knowledge storage on the market) it’s an excellent ability to concentrate on. Chances are high, you can be utilizing it sooner or later.
  • Understanding the client-server paradigm. That is one you’ll use quite a bit as a part of your back-end position. It’s essential to grasp what a request out of your shopper appears like, and what a response is. Are you utilizing HTTP (which is a quite common apply in back-end growth)? Then, you higher present you realize what a request is, the best way to ship one over to a different service, and what are the same old traits of HTTP (resembling response codes, verbs and so forth).

You possibly can undoubtedly preserve including extra abilities, however so long as you’ve the above ones lined (except for architectural patterns, which I think about non-obligatory), you’ve confirmed you’re a back-end developer to whoever is trying to rent you.

The subsequent large query is: the place are you able to create the portfolio?!

As soon as you realize what to concentrate on, the subsequent large query is the place to place it. The “hip” please to make use of proper now’s your individual Github profile. In any case, you’re primarily going to be itemizing public repositories, and if you happen to’re in a position to entry Github (some countries aren’t), then you definitely’re possible going to have all of your “value displaying” code in there.

If that’s your case, then possibly think about watching the next video on the best way to customise your profile:

Now, on the off likelihood that you simply don’t have a Github account or if for some purpose the work you need to present just isn’t there, you should utilize any running a blog platform. Simply be certain that it’s one thing that allows you to customise it as a lot as doable. Keep away from platforms like Medium, Hashnode and since they solely allow you to share written content material.

You’ll need one thing like a customized static website, WordPress or one thing else. Any platform you should utilize to format how issues look is nice sufficient, since it is advisable be certain that a number of issues are displayed on the display:

  • The title of the undertaking.
  • The set of applied sciences used.
  • A small description about it, highlighting the teachings discovered and the difficulties discovered within the course of.
  • Any further documentation you may discover related (like including the ER diagrams if relevant right here).

And it is advisable decide which of them are proven first and which of them are much less essential. In any case, you need to spotlight the “greatest” initiatives, no matter that’s to your personal context.

Lastly, what kind of issues do you suppose you’ll be able to share in your repo? Let’s speak about that.

Alright, that is it, you realize what you need to concentrate on, the place to publish it and the platform you need to use for it.

Now what sort of content material do you have to add to your backend portfolio? Nicely, it relies upon. What kind of initiatives do you’re employed on?

Your first focus needs to be code, displaying as a lot code as you’ll be able to, that needs to be your go-to. Anybody considering hiring you as a back-end developer will need to learn your code. Spotlight any undertaking you may need, they don’t should be actual initiatives. Any facet undertaking will do, even if you happen to created them by following tutorials. Ensure that your description talks about what you discovered by them and any difficulties you discovered whereas engaged on it.

In case you don’t have initiatives, or simply don’t have sufficient issues to point out, then the subsequent smartest thing to showcase is your information. You are able to do that by:

  • Content material. Whether or not it’s written content material within the type of articles or books, movies on YouTube or perhaps a podcast. So long as you’re sharing your information, you’ll be able to place your self as somebody who’s value hiring. The truth is, you’ll be able to place your self as an trade chief, or a “thought chief” (for no matter that time period is value to you).
  • What are you engaged on proper now? You won’t have initiatives to point out, however you can probably be engaged on one thing. Perhaps you’re creating your first OSS library? Maybe you’re engaged on a SaaS thought. No matter it’s, if you happen to’re writing code then speak about it! Share your expertise, speak about your design plans, and share any diagrams or concepts. Something that could be value speaking about needs to be a part of your portfolio. This may inform whoever is studying it that you’ve a plan and that you simply’re actively working to enhance your self.

In the long run, the portfolio of a back-end developer is simply as doable as that of a front-end dev. You won’t have screenshots of nice-looking UIs to point out, however you undoubtedly have a LOT to point out.

All you must do is put your self within the footwear of the individual eager to learn your portfolio. What would they need to learn about you? And sort out that query.

Do you’ve a backend portfolio? Share it within the feedback for inspiration to others!

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