I'm a college student, about to have an associates degree and start working on my Bachelor's for CS. I have a project that I've been working on for a while now, and I'm thinking about making it open source, and hosting it on sourceforge. The reason I would do so, is to hopefully work with others.

My question is, will it be good or bad to put an open-source project on a resume?

Really, I couldn't find the right place to ask on daniweb. The project does use C++ and is small medium sized.

6 Years
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Last Post by mike_2000_17

I don't think it's possible to give a good answer to that question. It will depend on the person reading your resume whether it's good or bad.

In my eyes, it shows initiative and the ability to set something up from nothing. Also, if there are more people working on it it shows that you can work in a team (eventhough it is not the same as in a company).

So if your contribution to the project is significant, I would mention it.


If your contribution to project is good and explainable to interviewer , you can go ahead and place it in your resume.
I dont see any problem in it.Before making it open source think of all Pros and Cons of it.Your existing team should all agree to make it open source right !

Best Wishes !


If you have your own "home-brewed" project that you could make open-source, then what do you think is better on a résumé:

"I have worked on a little home project, and I think it's good."
"I have started an open-source project, got several people on-board, managed to coordinate the work with them, and I even managed to get positive feedback from people who have used my code!"

I don't think that any employer would see the former as better than the latter. Of course, if you publish your code open-source, it also means that your potential employers will possibly take a look at it (I know I would). You run into the possibility that your code is not as good as you think and that might back-fire on you (it won't look good if you have an open-source project that includes no-one else and generally gets negative feedback).

Building a résumé is all about priorities. When you have little to show for, any little thing you have is good. Some years ago, I used to mention my home projects on the résumé or interview. Now, I have a lot more to put, so those are no longer included. I found that it is generally beneficial to at least show that you have some passion for what you do, and showing that you have spent a significant part of your free-time on home projects or an open-source one is a good way to show that. Remember that your competence as a programmer is only one of many things you need to convey to your potential future employer.

In case you were worried that an employer might not like the idea that you "are part of the open-source movement", well, that's just silly, you've been watching too many geeky movies. Companies have Intellectual Property contracts upon hire, they are not worried about you leaking code or developing open-source stuff on the side.. because they can sue you for all you've got if you do.

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