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Estimated time to read: 12 minutes

Having a well-written and organized portfolio is important for any game developer, as it can help them stand out from the competition and demonstrate their skills and experience to potential employers. A good portfolio should clearly communicate the developer's strengths and accomplishments, and should be tailored to the specific needs and expectations of the audience.

Effective communication is crucial in building a strong game developer portfolio, as it allows the developer to clearly convey their skills and experiences to potential employers. A portfolio that is well-written and easy to understand will be more effective at convincing an employer to hire the developer, while a poorly written or poorly organized portfolio may have the opposite effect.


In general your portfolio will be read by:


Human Resources

If you are applying for a big tech company, chances are your submission won't be read by a tech person the first human triage. So in order to pass this first filter, you have to be generic and precise. They are often very busy evaluating multiple applications, and probably they will spend 30-60 seconds before making the decision about moving forward in the process or not. Your portfolio will need to catch their attention and communicate clearly your fit, passion and ability in a short time frame.

Software Developer Managers

In contrast with HR, developer managers probably will not be shocked with any fancy stuff(such as full page pre-loaders) you add to your portfolio, so be concise and straight to the point, because most of them already know all the contents. From all of your portfolio readers, they are one of the most critique of your job.

In another hand, usually developers do not look for programming language fit, frameworks or tools you use. They are more interested if you will be able to learn and execute the job in a meaningful time. So try to express yourself in a way that showcase your ability to solve problems, no matter what problem is, they are mostly curious on how to solve complex problem by framing the problem in another way or how to be innovative.

What they look for

The following metrics can be evaluated by reading your portfolio, interviews or tests. The most common evaluation metrics they made are:

  • Position Fit
    • They are going to search if your portfolio showcase experience in the same area of what they are looking for the specific position they received. Usually they will look for specific keywords for the requirements list;
  • Company fit
  • Passion
    • Passionate developers tend to express projects they are proud of. The description of the projects are mostly achievement-based. Ex.: more than X million downloads. This example showcases that you were part of something huge, and it is easily understandable.
    • There is a high correlation on high performant people that they usually shine in side-projects or even hobbies. So they look for it. Ex.: Google encourages employees to devote 20% of their time to hobbies or skill-building.
  • Competence
    • They need to evaluate if you are really able to solve the problem properly, in a meaningful time, and in a team. You have to describe which tools, tech stack and how you glue everything in order to solve the problem. Be assured you are correctly expressing yourself here, because it is one of the central part that is not taken superficially.
  • Innovation and Curiosity
    • Innovative developers solve problems out of the box. It doesn't matter how complex the problem is, but if you solve in a innovative way, reframe it or do any magic to solve it, chances are to have good points here;
    • Good companies incentives research and test new stuff. So they usually like to see your deliverables with new bleeding-edge technology tools.
  • Proactiveness
    • Usually the more proactive developers tend to have more leadership positions. So if you want to give the readers a glimpse of your ability in this area, a good place to showcase that is in project description section. Express problems that arise and how do you manage that before it become a real problem.
  • Learner
    • It is good to be always tuned with the current evolution of the technology, so try to keep the education section always updated with some courses or publish blog posts about some new tech.
  • Thinking big / Thoughtfulness / Risk management
    • They are going to look for your ability to think big, and how you manage risks. So if you have a project that you had to manage risks, or think big, it is a good place to showcase that.
    • Expose cases where you had to manage risks, or think big, and how you manage that. What you learned in the process trying to achieve bigger goals.

In class activities

1. Self-Reflection on the audience

Try to look at your portfolio from the perspective of the audience. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio? What are the areas that you need to improve in order to better communicate your skills and experiences to potential employers?

2. Mock interviews

Pair up with a colleague and find some common questions that company usually asks. You can find some of them here. Then, take turns interviewing each other and providing feedback on how well you communicated your skills and experiences.