A programmer’s portfolio.
To aid with applying for internships (which I’ll be doing as soon as I got this sorted out), I’m setting up a proper good portfolio. But what should it even be like? My code? The things I did with my code? There isn’t a lot of really cool stuff I’ve completed (there’ll be a thing or two soon though), and I haven’t done any super neat programming trickery I could show off. It’s all rather basic stuff, so I tend to just not put it on my “portfolio things” list out of fear of looking like that kid who’s proud he knows two and two makes four.
What is really expected of me, anyway? Most game programming internships seem to think most all their applicants will be students with a game-related study. And of course those’ll have already done plenty of cool projects. Me, in Computer Science? Mostly learning the ropes of different technologies, all rather basic stuff. Sure the scale some projects are on the large side already, but that doesn’t necessarily make them more impressive, does it?
But because of that, I think I have an edge over my average classmate. Why? From the sound of it, a lot of ’em spend their free time playing video games or whatever. Nothing wrong with that, I do it too from time to time, but I also like indulging myself in more… productive activities, like working on personal projects (game, web, writing, etc.). When something finished and polished comes out of that, great stuff! But what do you do when you put a lot of work into something, learn a lot in doing so, and actually produce pretty decent results, only to never finish the thing in it’s entirety?
I’m considering adding a “scraps” section to my portfolio, for all the things I never finished but am still kinda proud of. Panic Attack is a good example here. (It’ll make its return someday!) Since a lot of that is pretty old, and the folks hiring me will probably be looking at my code as well, maybe a little disclaimer would be a good idea as well. “Things I never finished but had a lot of fun making or learned a lot from. There’s some old things here, so code quality probably isn’t up to par.” Except, you know, worded a bit more professionally.
So, “scraps” section on a portfolio. Yes? No? Maybe?