One the great things about setting up YunoJuno is that I've got to see a
lot of freelancer profiles.
We personally validate every application that
we get, which means that the information that we receive from freelancers
registering on the site is critical - it's the 'shop window' for anyone
joining our community. We've tried to make it easy for people to give us
something of themselves - registration is done using LinkedIn (so we can
find out where you've been), and you can add links to websites to your
profile in addition to basic 'this is me' free text field.
One of the most striking aspects of our registrations to date has been the
divide between the way in which designers and developers present themselves.
It's often assumed that it's easier for a designer to present a portfolio
of their work - as it's visual by nature, and requires little 'digging' to
assess. You put it up online and we can look at it. As a result, our
designers generally present themselves extremely well - most have a personal
portfolio website, showcasing their work.
Developers on the other hand are often working in the background - whilst
you can 'view source' for an HTML page, it's not possible to make any
judgement about the back-end code simply by looking at the front-end of a
However... working through all of the developer registrations has highlighted
the fact that many developers simply don't seem to be trying when it comes
to selling themselves. A LinkedIn profile that says "I worked at X", but
with no further details, no code samples, and the most heinous crime of all
- a link to a personal website that either has the default hosting provider
"website not yet set up" page, or a "coming soon" message. It's as if they
don't want to be found. And the frustration (from my point of view) is that
this lack of visible presence doesn't necessarily mean that they are poor
If you are a developer, and you are working as a freelancer, you really
should have the following:
A personal website
At its most basic this can be a single page - static HTML is just fine.
But some kind of personal statement about yourself - it could include how
you get started in development, what you enjoy working on, where you want
to go next. 'This is me', in a paragraph, in HTML.
If it's not covered elsewhere (e.g. LinkedIn), then this site should also
include a section on clients / projects you've worked on, and critically,
what you did on the project. Saying that you worked on a $$$ year-long
project doesn't tell anyone about your role and experience. Were you
optimising the CSS, writing the build scripts, or 'architecting' the entire
solution (i.e. driving visio)?
A really nice addition is 'projects I admire' - which is a great way of
demonstrating what you find interesting. Remember that potential employers
generally want to know something about you yourself - it's not just your
coding abilities that they're interested in. You do have to share an office,
and there may be some late nights ahead.
Public LinkedIn profile
If you are selling yourself, do not apply rigorous access controls to your
LinkedIn profile - it should be public.
You should include every (worthwhile) project you've worked on, and details
of exactly what you did on the project. Remember, employers aren't mind-readers.
References are good - the new endorsements feature less so - I've been
endorsed for things I don't understand by people I don't know.
Github, BitBucket, Google Code, ...
If you're working as a developer, you have to have a public coder profile.
You may not be actively developing OSS, but you're probably using it, and
even if you are only following others on Github, that does at least indicate
where your interests lie.
Bonus points for both having your own repos, and sending pull requests, which
demonstrate active engagement in the community.
StackOverflow profile - you don't need to be Jon Skeet to benefit from a
SO profile - and the questions that you ask are as interesting to an employer
as the ones that you answer.
Nice to haves
Blog - if you've interesting things to share, sometimes you need to
go 'long form'
Geeklist / CoderWall - connect with other developers, and show off your
May not work in your favour
Online profiles of a more social nature (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, ...) can
be a double-edged sword. If you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, including
Kenneth Reitz, Scott Hanselman and Vic Gundotra, then this is probably a
good thing to share.
If you use it to share your thoughts on One Direction, less so.