I wanted to try and make a weekly thing of doing a quick writeup on the things I wish I knew where important when I started web apps development. Since this is a busy time in the job hunters season, let’s talk about something that is super relevant to you right now
Early on my course, I really underestimated how important these were. I would just literally jump straight into the coding part and never really cared too much about the process but now that is a something I always strive to improve on as a professional developer!
READMEs are super important to you, other people who will read your code and last but not least, future employers. After you guys get to grips with coding, the coaches and the careers team will start telling you about the other important stuff to the people who will be hiring you and your project READMEs will be something that will be mentioned a lot.
There have been many times where I have been looking at stuff on GitHub and saw no readme and it didn’t leave me with good thoughts about the project. Sometimes I even skipped using plugins & gems because I looked up the GitHub pages and there was no README on the page. No instructions, no use-cases, no possible issues. It projects an image of something that is kind of unmaintained and unprofessional. Everything we want to avoid as professional developers!
5 Things you should have on your README’s
This should include what your project is and why you created it. It illustrates your thought process and highlights the reason you have made this piece of software or code.
This should illustrate preferably step by step how to install or boot up what you have created. If you could include images that would make your projects readme’s look incredible. Do the same for the instructions and possibly include code examples for a really great readme that leaves no holes.
The perfect opportunity to list all the obscure plugins, gems, NPMs or frameworks you have used to create your software/project.
Remember to describe what testing framework you have used and also quick instructions of how to run the tests
Give credit where its due! This would be the place to have links to any contributor’s GitHub / website etc. etc.
This list can be exhaustive but it makes sense to have at least these 5 things in a readme. When you get into these habits early by the time you are in my position, you will have an incredible looking GitHub with fully documented projects and it will look SO impressive to potential recruiters, and the Makers Careers team. It shows that you are a considerable developer, who always thinks about how others can easily use and contribute to the codebase. A very attractive trait (to employers 😅)
Have a great weekend!