How to create an effective GitHub profile?
At the outset, a profile on GitHub might not seem necessary for a developer since there are various other options available from where they can learn. But, what GitHub provides is something that adds layers to the skill sets of programmers.
Ever heard of Daniel Kmak?
Daniel Kmak is a blockchain engineer at Nervos Networks who used GitHub to attract recruiters and land, not one, but two jobs before the age of 19.
How did he accomplish this? Well, GitHub, helped him create leverage that made him stand out in a sea of developers.
With his GitHub profile, he was able to demonstrate to recruiters the length and breadth of his knowledge of various programming languages, which ultimately led to his hiring.
What kind of possibilities does a GitHub profile open up for developers?
Daniel would have also started out as a tidbits coder, but with the passage of time, he was able to become the kind of coder who wrote code that solved real-world problems and GitHub helped him achieve that.
With a GitHub profile, Daniel Kmak was able to tell the people on GitHub:
-who he was
-where he lived
-the kind of work he did
-and showcase his competency in programming
GitHub helped Daniel:
-Bring his coding passion to the platform by actively contributing to the codes of others on a daily basis
-Participate in discussions, and also start new ones that would help him as well as others enrich their knowledge
-Get noticed not only by developers but also by people looking to hire top talent
The possibilities that a GitHub profile brings to the table are endless and this is something that helps developers like Daniel gain an edge over others.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of a GitHub profile, have a look at Daniel’s profile provided below.
Why create a GitHub profile?
At the outset, a profile on GitHub might not seem necessary for a developer since there are various other options available from where they can learn.
GitHub projects are one of the many ways for developers to learn their craft.
People who have the privilege of putting themself through quality education from top-notch educational institutes can learn to program easily given they spend their time wisely by diving deeper into the concepts.
What GitHub provides is something that adds layers to the skill sets of programmers. Following is the rundown of the various advantages a GitHub profile offers:
Mastering the craft: The most advantageous aspect of GitHub is that it helps developers improve.
Also, with tech giants like Google and Microsoft using the platform for programming endeavours, the quality of projects made public is unparalleled.
While navigating through various projects, developers can look through other people's code and develop a better understanding of the kind of projects they would like to contribute to. With GitHub’s algorithm designed to suggest projects that match a developer’s interest, a developer with a keen interest in coding can surely utilise GitHub as the means to master the craft in the long run.
Teamwork: GitHub provides ample amount of opportunities for developers to contribute. These contributions appear in the repositories tab of a developer’s profile and can serve as proof of how well a developer works with others.
Networking opportunities and building credibility: A good GitHub profile could mean a host of networking opportunities. Developers looking out for solutions to their problems can reach out to other developers for advice on their problems.
On the other hand, a developer can always go out and advise other developers and that advice would be considered more credible if the profile is well-maintained. A lot of recruiters look forward to hiring talent from GitHub. Hence, with an effective GitHub profile, a developer can hook a recruiter right from the moment they see their profile picture.
How to create a GitHub profile?
Follow these simple steps to create a GitHub profile:
Step #1: Go to https://github.com/join in a web browser. Any web browser can be used on a computer, phone, or tablet to join.
Step #2: Enter personal details. In addition to creating a username and entering an email address, a password needs to be created as well. The password must be at least 15 characters in length or at least 8 characters with at least one number and lowercase letter.
Step #3: Click the “Create an account” button.
Step #4: Complete the CAPTCHA puzzle. The instructions vary by puzzle, so just follow the on-screen instructions to confirm sanity.
Step #5: Choose an appropriate plan out of the following
- Free: Unlimited public and private repositories, up to 3 collaborators, issues and bug tracking, and project management tools.
- Pro: Unlimited access to all repositories, unlimited collaborators, issue & bug tracking, and advanced insight tools.
- Team: All of the aforementioned features, plus team access controls and user management.
- Enterprise: All of the features of the Team plan, plus self-hosting or cloud hosting, priority support, single sign-on support, and more.
Step #6: Verify e-mail. This confirms the user’s email address and returns to the sign-up process.
Once the GitHub account is created, it is then essential to beautify it and make it impressive enough to reap maximum advantage. How can a developer do that? Let’s find out.
How to make a GitHub profile impressive?
Create an impressive README: GitHub profile README is one of the easiest, most interesting ways to stand out on GitHub.
A GitHub profile README file appears at the center of the profile and occupies a major portion of a developer’s profile. It serves as a manual/catalog of the developer’s personal as well as professional life. It is advised to make a GitHub profile README as well-written and as heavily decorated as possible.
For more info on GitHub profile README, please visit our blog.
Be consistent: A GitHub profile with consistent contributions, and contributions to open-source projects on GitHub is indicated with the help of a contributions calendar. A calendar full of green boxes is a delight to any visitor’s eyes. It indicates the developer’s keen interest in programming and gives them the necessary edge to beat the competition and bag the job.
Talk about experiences: The GitHub profile README lets people in on the information about developers’ expertise. It is then recommended to provide information about their current occupation. It can be anything from the developer's current job or the university/college they are currently enrolled in.
Contact info: Just like every social media platform, GitHub also provides a space where developers can mention external sources that can be used by people to get in touch with them. This can include links to their social media accounts, e-mail addresses, websites, blogs, etc.
Bio: This is the space where developers can provide short interesting snippets about themselves. This can include some information related to any kind of thing they like outside of programming. In a nutshell, GitHub bio can be used as a pivot by developers to show different facets of their life.
Profile picture: Like all other social networks, GitHub also provides space to add profile pictures. It always pays off to put a face to a profile that churns out good concise code.
Bring into the picture things you don’t know but in a positive manner: Not being familiar with everything is perfectly acceptable for developers as they are always in the process of learning new things.
Thus if there is something that developers do not seem to be very good at, bringing it out in a way that gives out the impression of going through a learning process is always a good idea. It demonstrates that the developers are actively working on improving their skills. Furthermore, it can prove to be the segway into the next big step in their career.
Hence, if you’re currently learning some new skill, mention it!
Carry out conversations: GitHub conversations and Team Discussions are built-in tools inside the repositories that allow project collaborators to brainstorm ideas or just hold discussions to plan, analyse and make decisions related to a project. These conversations prove beneficial in helping developers/project managers to get different points of view from the people who contribute to the project, making it easier for them to reach a solution faster.
Thus, if you have any interesting ideas that you can talk about while collaborating on any project it is recommended to not hold yourself and be blunt in putting it out for other members working on the project to discuss. This would help enhance your as well as others' knowledge as well.
Examples of outstanding GitHub profiles
Here are a few excellent GitHub profiles that can be used as an inspiration for beginners looking to start their GitHub journey:
Gautam’s GitHub profile README, with the use of animations, hooks its profile visitors with utmost ease. By using a quirky profile picture and an awesome greeting message, he kicks off his introduction in a humorous manner.
He then follows up this light-hearted tone with serious stuff which in his case are blog links. Given the kind of tone, he has set here it is very much possible that visitors to his profile click on the blog links.
As soon as he is done with his blog he then makes sure to pitch in his social media handles which is a must for everyone reading given the integral role social media plays in our daily lives now.
This much insight into his life then paves the way for people to get to know him better with a description of himself, his achievements, and his skillsets.
This profile serves as a great example for someone who is deeply involved in the world of programming but also has a great personal story to tell with a touch of humour.
Jessica's GitHub profile contains details where it matters the most, the profile README. He has a profile picture of himself that reflect authenticity that is followed up with a single-line bio that says “I code sometimes”. This screams minimalism.
Now as soon as the attention shifts to the side of her README, a whole different shade of Jessica comes out in a full display. After giving a quick introduction about her programmer self, she quickly moves on to bring out her traveller self, with a word cloud that invites engagement from people who pay a visit to her profile- an interesting way to keep people hooked to her profile.
In case someone draws inspiration from her profile, Jessica makes sure she disappoints them by providing links to blogs that can help others make READMEs as stunning as hers.
Even though her profile is not so high on information, it is a perfect example that demonstrates the ways a profile can grab visitors’ attention and keep them hooked.
Pavan’s profile is as simple as it can get. It shows off his geeky side with nuanced shades of humour.
A simple profile picture is followed up with content that makes people aware of his professional self. It is important to read every word in his introduction as this is where the real magic happens.
Although he has been careful enough to put his GitHub details in a bolder shade, the fact that it has been subtly introduced within the simple introductory text can lead to them being overlooked by a lot of people.
The content on his profile might look less but is very concise. Pavan writes less but makes sure he gives off only the necessary information by using concise one-liners.
So, if you are a geek who happens to be reasonable at content, this is the profile for you.
Something as simple as GitHub can become the primary instrument for developers to get the word out about their abilities and even though not a lot of developers are asked to present their GitHub profiles when they start their careers, it is very much suggested to create one and make sure it is active as this could potentially make or break careers in the days to come.