You've learned how to create and edit the README file that contains your profile content. Now, you have to figure out what to include. This can be intimidating. For some, it can be a struggle to get past questioning whether there is anything other folks might be interested in knowing about them in the first place. For others, it's simply a matter of drawing a blank when asked to introduce themselves. Well, guess what? Whether you realise it or not, you have interesting things about yourself to share, and your GitHub profile is a great place to do so.
The first step is to consider your goal for your profile. There are a wide variety of options. Here are a few concepts to start with.
- Do you want to introduce yourself personally?
- Do you want to introduce yourself professionally?
- Do you want to showcase projects you're working on?
- Do you want to feature your community involvement?
- Do you want to highlight your GitHub usage stats?
- Do you want to give readers options to contact you?
You don't have to choose only one concept. Your profile an be any combination of them, up to and including all of them!
There are many more options available, so don't let this list limit you.
You are a vibrant person with many important things to share! It's impossible to cover all of them here. However, you need to start somewhere, and this section will help you do that.
Think about introducing yourself in person. What do you say? The first thing is probably your name and pronouns. The specific situation likely determines what you say next. Among friends? Presumably you include a couple of interesting personal bits about yourself. Exactly like introducing yourself in person, you can begin your profile with similar information.
Here is some other personal information you can consider adding to your profile. Examples are in italics.
- General personal info:
e.g. "I have two cats."
e.g. "I have a three foot long beard."
- Personal interests or hobbies:
e.g. "I am interested in astrophysics."
e.g. "My hobbies include programming and photography."
- Skills you've gained in your personal time.
e.g. "I am proficient at woodworking and jewelry making."
- Personal projects you're working on:
e.g. "I'm currently working on building a dining room table."
e.g. "I'm currently designing a program to sense temperature and humidity in my house."
- Places your personal work has been featured:
e.g. "My first open source contribution was writing the CircuitPlayground library."
e.g. "One of my paintings was on exhibition in a NYC art collection."
- Personal goals:
e.g. "I want to learn programming."
e.g. "I want to foster kittens."
- Things about yourself that you value:
e.g. "I strive to pass the things I learn onto others."
- Places you've lived or travelled to:
e.g. "I've lived in the US and Canada."
e.g. "I've travelled to Ireland and Italy."
- Languages you speak and fluency:
e.g. "I speak Spanish fluently, and French conversationally."
- Things you wish to complete in your lifetime:
e.g. "I want to touch a blue whale."
e.g. "I want to travel to every continent."
- Arbitrary fun fact about you:
e.g. "I'm related to an Olympic gold medalist."
e.g. "I have one and a half lungs."
[Doesn't need to be serious! Be cheeky if you'd like!]
e.g. "Not famous enough for a Wikipedia page."
This is not an exhaustive list (obviously), but it should serve as a starting point for you.
Whether you work with code on GitHub professionally, or you simply want to highlight your professional life, your GitHub profile is an excellent venue.
Again, think about your in-person introduction, but this time, in a professional setting. How would you want to introduce yourself professionally? Here are some ideas.
- Current employment info & responsibilities:
e.g. "I work with Adafruit."
e.g. "I work at a Fortune 500 company designing children's toys."
- Past employment info & responsibilities:
e.g. "I previously worked in health care."
e.g. "I managed an IT solution that optimized three global ERP instances."
- Professional projects you're involved with:
e.g. "I work on the CircuitPython project."
e.g. "I write automation using Python for IoT-enabled devices."
- Skills & relevant topics you've cultivated through work:
e.g. "I am a successful community leader."
e.g. "I have experience with microcontrollers."
e.g. "I am an experienced developer advocate."
- Where your professional work has been featured - showcase your skills and projects together:
e.g. "You can find my documentation in the Adafruit Learn System and on GitHub."
e.g. "I am a CircuitPython developer, and you can find my contributions in the Adafruit CircuitPython libraries."
- Professional goals:
e.g. "I want to be a senior software architect."
e.g. "My goal is to create software & hardware solutions that are accessible world-wide and can help many people."
There are definitely ways to expand upon what's laid out here. This should get you going.
Community content isn't limited to you specifically being involved with a particular community. It also applies to you expressing a desire to work with others on projects, or to share your knowledge with others. Here are a few suggestions.
- Personal & professional communities you're involved with [Open Source, non-profit, commercial, or otherwise]:
e.g. "I am a community leader for the Adafruit and CircuitPython communities."
e.g. "I served on an advisory board for IEEE."
- Projects & opportunities that you would like to collaborate on:
e.g. "I am looking to build long-distance LoRa agricultural monitoring."
e.g. "I measure the vitals of rescue animals, and I'd like to automate the process."
- Skills or projects you'd like to get help with:
e.g. "I am looking for help learning Python."
e.g. "I'm interested in applying educational & game theory so beginner projects are more approachable."
- Knowledge or concepts you'd be interested in sharing with others:
e.g. "I am happy to discuss my skills in technical writing and community leadership."
e.g. "I'm a digital artist who enjoys making animation techniques & synthesizers accessible for beginners, and would love to share."
- Volunteering efforts:
e.g. "I volunteer my time at the local pet shelter."
e.g. "I've volunteered at my local Maker Faires."
These are only a few ideas for community content. Include any type of involvement with others, past, current and future.
This section is specific to those who use GitHub regularly and are interested in showcasing their usage statistics. Here are a few types of statistics you might want to include.
- Pull requests
- Repositories you've contributed to
- Your most used languages
There are plenty more to include as well. The easiest way is to use the available tools discussed later in this guide. They allow you to include dynamically updated stats in customisable ways.
An important part of a profile, for many, is providing readers a way to find you. Here are a few suggestions.
- Email address(es)
- Signal or WhatsApp number
- Twitter, Mastodon or other social media platforms
- Personal website, blog, or other web presence
- Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Whether you frequent Twitter, your personal blog, or other various places on the internet, your profile is a great place to help folks to be able to find you beyond GitHub.
Awesome GitHub Profile READMEs is an aggregated list of various folks' GitHub profiles. If you're interested to see what others are including in theirs, this list is an excellent resource to check out.