Hey guys! I’m looking at applying for my first programming job in the next couple months, but I’m still trying to figure out on how to develop a good portfolio before I do so. I’m part of the Codecademy Pro program and I would like to pursue after being a Data Scientist. Mainly the languages I want to focus on are Python and SQL. What is the best way to build a portfolio before applying to one of these jobs?
Getting work as a fully-fledged data scientist is very, very hard work. The fact is, in the field you’ll be competing with people who have PhDs, and for true data science work that’s a massive advantage to have not just in getting hired but in doing the job. It’s a long road to get to that level. Something that may be more achievable for you as a stepping stone to getting there would be business analyst or data analyst positions. If you’re getting a programming job, there’s a lot you can do with data there too.
As far as a portfolio goes, if you have a job at a place that has data (which should be everywhere, but if they don’t have good data figure out how to get it) then you should work on some projects at work. See what insights you can come up with that can help your teammates and bosses do their jobs better and make data-driven decisions. Real world use of your skills at work are invaluable in this respect. Otherwise, you can participate in things like Kaggle competitions to work with data sets, build your skills & portfolio, and hopefully have fun too. Don’t enter these competitions thinking you’ll win anytime soon – the competition for the top spots is fierce – but winning isn’t the point if you’re having fun, learning, and building your portfolio. Moving up in the rankings won’t hurt you either.
Hope this helps!