Update: 23rd July 2014: This post is available in French translated by Vicky Rotarova

Well, this is not a tech post. Shoo… developers…

I’m not sure if this is a “Singaporean” thing or applies globally. Some people who are in charge of hiring has no clue how to get a good developer. So the first question they ask is for your “portfolio“. I really don’t understand how a iOS developer’s skill can be measured based on his application portfolio. A good looking app doesn’t correlate to a well written code. Back in the olden days of Web 2.0, asking for a portfolio means, you can have a look at the completed website AND the code (Javascript + CSS). Just because you hired people looking for their portfolios in the past doesn’t mean you should do that now.

Instead, ask the prospective hire for his open source contributions. Mine is here. If you aren’t too conversant looking at code, ask for client references. Turns out that, most developers can do this. (As developers you can ask your client before giving out their names as references. Believe me, almost all clients are more than willing to do so.)

App portfolios aren’t a great way to judge a iOS developer (or any closed source developer). Think again, have you ever hired a backend developer (PHP/Ruby/ASP.NET/Java) by looking at the website he built? Hiring a iOS developer is very similar to hiring a backend developer. App portfolios are good for design agencies and makes sense when you are hiring a designer (or outsourcing your complete app to an agency).

Stop asking for app portfolios. Look at the prospective developers’ Github contributions or ask for client references.


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