The first question that you will likely have after working on your portfolio project is: how can I launch my project to the world?
After all the time and energy you have invested in building something great, launching your project to the world is your reward. When your project is out there, you’ll be able to showcase it to prospective employers, which may lead to job offers. You’ll also be able to get feedback from a wider audience of people who see your product (and praise too!).
Over the last few months, Career Karma has been building Career Karma Projects, a platform for bootcamp students, graduates, and other aspiring coders to share their great work. After seeing a large number of submissions, we wanted to share advice based on what we’ve seen to help you have the best launch possible of your side coding project.
In this article, we’re going to break down our top tips on how you can successfully launch your portfolio project. To start, we’ll discuss tips on how to launch on Career Karma Projects, then we will delve into how to launch your project more widely.
How to Launch on Career Karma Projects
The Career Karma Projects platform was built for people like you: talented techies who are working on great projects. Our platform has thousands of aspiring coders who have posted projects, given feedback on others’ work, and who have provided support to people building their portfolios.
By posting your product on Career Karma Projects, you can quickly get your work in front of a vast audience of technologists and recruiters. So far, we’ve seen successful projects receive a lot of praise and constructive feedback which has led to creators making improvements to their project.
Here are a few of the things you should do to have a successful project launch:
- Post your project on Career Karma. You don’t need to wait for anyone to submit your project — you can do it right now! Once you post a project, it will be live on our platform to our audience of hundreds of coders.
- Write a tagline. A tagline is a short description of what your project does. Have you built a microblogging app? Well, a good tagline could be “Easily share your thoughts through microblogging.”
- Write a description. Add a 1-2 sentence description of your project to tell the world a bit more about what it does. You don’t need to write paragraphs here — keep it simple.
- Upload product screenshots. The gallery is a great place to show your project to the world, and is one of the biggest features of your project page. Try to upload at least two images of your project, but the more you upload, the better. You should upload your best images first, so that they appear prominently on your page.
- Upload a thumbnail. The thumbnail is the image that will be shown on the Career Karma Projects feed. It should be small (240×240 is recommended). Most thumbnails are logos of a project, fun GIFS or cool animations that describe the theme of the project.
- Add a link to your project. Having a link to your LIVE project allows people on our platform to see your work in action, and give it a go. Before you post your project, make sure the link to your hosted project is functional and points to the latest stable version of your project.
- Upload a video. Videos are a great way to showcase your project in action. Your video can be as simple as a Loom walkthrough, or as elaborate as a professional screencast with a script.
- Tell us your school’s name. If you’re enrolled in a bootcamp, tag your school. This will help get your project featured on your bootcamp’s social media and newsletters. This is optional, but is a great way to stay engaged with your bootcamp on Career Karma Projects.
Here is an example of a complete profile on Career Karma Projects that follows all this advice:
The student who posted this project, June Hwang, completed her entire Career Karma Projects profile, which helped her advance higher on the projects feed. Hwang wrote a complete description of her product, uploaded a video demo where she talked through her project, and she also included a good logo to illustrate her project.
We have one more piece of advice on how you can make your launch on Career Karma Projects a success: write a starter comment.
Once you’ve posted your project, go straight to the comments section and introduce yourself and your project. This will give you the ability to interact directly with people who see your profile, and allow you to share more information about your product.
Here’s an example of a launch comment from Career Karma Projects:
It’s James from the Career Karma team. I’ve just launched Stock Picker, an app that allows you to search through all the stocks in the S&P 500 and rank them by performance, price, and other factors. Check it out above.
I’d love to get your feedback on the UX for the homepage. To me, it appears a little complex and I’m still trying to figure out how to make it better.
Thanks for visiting my product!
In this comment, I have described who I am, what I have built, and I have also asked for feedback from the community. When a user sees this comment, they may be more likely to respond and give feedback on my work, because I have already started the conversation.
Not only that, I have also given a specific example of how people can help (by providing feedback on the UX for the homepage). The clearer you are in asking for feedback, the more likely it is that a community member will jump in to help you out.
How to Promote Your Project
Launching on Career Karma Projects is only one part of the launch process. If you want to get more traction for your work — and more feedback — then you’ll also want to promote your project across different platforms. In this section, we’re going to provide a few tips on how and where you can share your coding project.
Tip #1: Share on Social Media
Sharing your project on social media is a great way to gain traction for your project. You can share your work on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or on any other social networks to which you are registered.
Here are a few tips you should follow to maximize your chances of a successful social media launch:
- Keep it simple. Outline what your project does, and include a link to your project or your Career Karma Projects page. (Top tip: If you tag @Career_Karma, we may share your work on Twitter!)
- Share some background. In your Tweet/post, try to include a quick background sentence. For instance, you could include “I’ve been working on X for three months” in your post. This shows people just how much effort you’ve invested in your project.
- Start with the key points. Make sure you start your post with an eye-catching statement, or something that otherwise draws attention to your post.
- Tag your bootcamp. If you attend a coding bootcamp, tag your bootcamp’s social media account in your project launch. This is because their communications team may share your project on their timeline too.
In addition, Career Karma regularly Tweets about top projects on our platform @Career_Karma. So, if you’ve launched your project on Career Karma, your project may already be out there on social media. That doesn’t mean that you should not share your project by yourself though: the more shares, the better!
Tip #2: Share with Your Bootcamp
Sharing your project with the rest of your bootcamp is another great way to get traction. Here are a few tips you can follow to make the most of your project launch at bootcamp:
- Share your project in your bootcamp’s Slack. Does your bootcamp use Slack, Discourse, or another messaging or forum software? If so, share your project with the rest of your bootcamp on whatever platform you use. This will help other students — and staff members — see the progress you are making, and maybe they will even share your project and give you feedback.
- Share your project with other students directly. Once you’ve finished a project, feel free to share it with a few students directly who you know from bootcamp. This will only help raise awareness for your work, and may even get you some extra praise!
- Ask your bootcamp to share your project. Some bootcamps may share their students’ work on Twitter, in their newsletters, on their blogs, or in community updates. If you have just finished a big project, you could ask whether there are any opportunities to be featured in correspondence by your bootcamp.
These are only a few tips on how to share your project with your bootcamp. Really, anything you do to share your work with other students and staff will be beneficial on launch day!
Tip #3: Update Your Portfolio and Resume
The last thing on your mind after working hard on a project is likely to be “I need to update my resume and portfolio!” But it’s important that, after every project you complete, that you update these documents to reflect the latest available information.
Updating your portfolio and resume will ensure that, when people encounter you online, they’ll be able to see all your latest work. Perhaps the project that you just completed is what encourages an employer who has landed on your site to reach out — who knows?
On your portfolio, you should add a link to your Career Karma Projects page, which will allow you to not only showcase your project, but also to show the praise and comments you have received on your work to prospective employers.
Tip #4: Aim for the Career Karma Spotlight
Every week, we write a Spotlight article with the previous week’s top projects. This Spotlight helps shine a light on the best projects in our community, and may lead to more exposure for your project, and make it easier for you to show your project to prospective employers.
If you want to maximize your chances of being featured in our weekly Spotlight, following these tips is a great idea! Specifically, we are looking to feature projects that have complete profiles on Career Karma Projects, and which exemplify the efforts of a talented coder. Even if your project is not complete — or even if your project is based on a template — there is still a chance you can be featured.
Take a look at our past CK Spotlight posts:
We hope that this guide has been useful in helping you prepare to launch your portfolio project.
When you’ve been working hard on a project, we know how much pressure there can be to do a big launch. But, the one thing you should remember is that the work should speak for itself. If you have built a great project, and have followed some of the tips in this guide, you should have no trouble launching your product to a wide audience.
Good luck, and happy launching!
Working on a coding project for bootcamp or on the side? Submit it to Career Karma Projects today to get feedback on your work from a community of coders