Re: electronic portfolios - just say "sure I'll try it" with a filter

Subject: Re: electronic portfolios - just say "sure I'll try it" with a filter
From: nhickman <nhickman -at- GVI -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 1998 01:48:48 -0600

Creating a portfolio is a good idea; afterall, you should view work as
it is intended to be viewed. But software developers have a
couple of problems that graphic artists may not experience (or at least
to the same degree) when creating portfolios.

You sometimes run into a couple of problems (or limitations) in freely
handing out copies of your work to anyone that interviews you. One
limitation exists when you have signed a non-disclosure agreement with a
current or past employer. On the other hand, sometimes you are dealing
with commercial material, such as books, magazines, interactive CD
materials, or subscription content, and you'll have similar limitations
if you don't hold copyright to the material. If your publishers can sell
it, they probably won't like you giving away CD knock-offs to every Tom,
Dick, or Harriet that wants to interview you. You can provide excerpts
sometimes, if it is not secret material, then demo or show the "full
monty" in the interview (of your software creations, not anything else).

Another limitation is a problem for Help developers. Unless you are
solely delivering standalone products, web pages, or on-line books, you
are hard pressed to truly demonstrate them as they are meant to be
experienced. Judging them in standalone isn't really true. It would be
like listening to an audio tape of a movie to evaluate whether you'd
hire the writer/director. In fact, I'd say that if you can completely
demo without a sponsoring product, you've developed an online book, not
online Help. The best that you can do short of sending the whole product
is sort of snapshots, and hope that you can get in the door to discuss
and demo your work.

-- Nancy Hickman
"Building Windows 95 Help"
M&T Books

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