6 Easy GitHub Suggestions To Improve Your Branding

4 min read

The word branding can feel flakey or like someone is putting up a front and being fake. When I talk about branding I am never advocating for being someone you are not.

For me, it is about finding a cohesive way to communicate who you are and what you do with the way you present yourself. That is what I mean when I say branding.

We can often overlook the brand we put forward to the people around us. How we present ourselves as an individual can leave a lasting impression on friends, coworkers, clients, prospective employers, and the list goes on. Here are six simple GitHub tips to turn your profile into a tool that works for you. So easy in fact I think you can do all of these while you sit here and read this.

First the “Must Haves”

The things that I think you need to have taken care of on your GitHub profile.

Profile Picture: If you don’t have a picture yet you should upload one. Your profile picture should be a photo of yourself, not something else, not a group of people. It doesn’t need to be a professional head shot, most smartphones have great quality for you to get a great picture.

User Name: Your user name should make sense. It is best to use some variation of your name so people can easily connect the dots, and mentally link you to your profile to you. Please don’t reference some old inside joke that only your three friends from middle school will get. Along with this make sure your name is added to your profile on the left.

Now the “Should Haves”

These are the things that are not necessary but go a long way in improving the presentation of your profile.

Pinned Repos: Pin some repos that showcase what you have worked on. These can be small personal projects to larger group projects. They show up above your contributions graph and are a great way to put your work you want people to see front and center, don’t make them search through repos of unfinished projects and half-completed work (I’ll be the first to admit I have more than enough of that). You will want to add the “about” on those repos you pin, this fills out the container giving a brief description.

GitHub Pinned Repos

Show Private Contributions: This will show the contributions to private repos in your nice little green block graph we have all grown to love. It does not expose those private repos, they will stay private. Get credit for those commits!

GitHub Contributions Graph

And Finally “Nice to Haves”

The sprinkles on top. Profile README.md: This shows up at the top of your profile next to your picture. This is like a supped-up about me you get to use Markdown to write. A few more steps and planning are required for this but well worth it. How to do this is less obvious than the other items here. What you need to do is create a repo with the same name as your username, make it public and add the REAMDME.md.

Great GitHub README.md walk through.

GitHub Profile README.md

Profile Details: And of course the details section. This is self-explanatory, but just fill it out. It is easy enough to do and shows you have taken the time and given attention to the small details.

And there you have it.

Remember branding is presenting yourself to the outside world, and these tricks help you do that with your GitHub. As web developers or software engineers we all have a GitHub so why not use these little features to your advantage? When it comes to Professional and Personal Branding always be yourself, don’t try to copy someone else and don’t try to be something you’re not.

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