Building Portfolio with Government Work

May 13, 2019

Hey everyone. I'm starting to build my portfolio of work, but my current stuff is with a government contractor, so it's unclear to me whether the work can actually be public or not. Has anyone created e-learning for their government and, if so, what might be the best way of demonstrating that work on an online portfolio? Thanks!

6 Replies
Judy Nollet

Hi, Andrew,

Is your work available on a publicly-accessible government website? If so, then you can link to it.

If not? Then it gets trickier. If you're working for a company that works for the government, you need to check your contract re: who owns your work. Usually, it's work-for-hire, which means you don't own the copyright, even if you wrote every word and designed every slide.

That said, a company might allow you to show some of your work, possibly with caveats such as not revealing the company name and, of course, not showing any proprietary content. If showing samples isn't listed in your contract, then ask what's permissable.

Another option is to create a portfolio with your coolest interactions -- but replace the content with Lorem* (i.e., fake) text. That allows you to show your design and programming skills without using company-specific content. As appropriate, you can tweak the colors and/or fonts.

*FYI: To insert lorem text, type the following into a text box:


You'll end up with something like this: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna.

If you want a specific number of paragraphs of lorem text, enter that number within the parentheses.

Tim Slade

Hi Andrew! Both Judy and Trina make really great points. If you're unsure, the best thing to do is to simply ask. Depending on the content contained within the eLearning course you're wanting to showcase, they may be unwilling to let you post the full course on your portfolio. In that instance, they may be more willing to let you include certain pieces that don't include sensitive information.

Another option is to create your own samples that are similar to the ones you're wanting to showcase. For example, in you designed a really cool interaction, recreate that interaction using different content. That way, your prospective clients / employers can see your abilities, without you having to post the original course. In my experience, I've found most clients and employers are really forgiving and understanding when you can't post the work you created for others. As long as you're demonstrating your development abilities, that's all they really care about. 

Andrew Ratner

Hi folks! Sorry for not responding for a bit. Thanks for all of the great advice. It looks like, unfortunately, I can't even do the Lorem Ipsum suggestion. Apparently we're legally unable to do it. A bummer.

That said, I'm excited to do a few challenges to show my chops. Do you all have any suggestions? There are a lot, so I'd love to find a few that are simple, effective, and also show my specific passions, too. Thoughts?

Andrea Mandal

Hi Andrew! Same situation here. Not sure how your procedure works but we would have to run it by someone to check for classified information and then have it categorized for public release.

You probably can't create ANYTHING on your government-owned computer and release it publicly without going through that process, whether it be Top Secret Mission Training or How to Make a Cup of Coffee. So you'd probably need to get a license for your personal computer and create from there.

I'm sad I missed out on the musical instrument e-learning challenge - I could have had a lot of fun with that ? Not sure what your passions are, but you can probably create something for any of the recent challenges that addresses them. When I interviewed for my current job, I made a course about how to prevent the flu because I am a nerd like that; I did it in the pretest challenge. You can work the things you love into anything!

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