Why Every Software Engineer Needs a Brag Document

Why Every Software Engineer Needs a Brag Document

At the beginning of this year, as I was drafting my performance review document, much like in previous years, I only highlighted the significant achievements.

They are easy to remember and I was able to go into details.

But, in a 4-quarter cycle when projects are large, you might only have a couple of big wins.

When I was trying to recall all the "small activities" that I performed that could show leadership, ownership, and team spirit, I was just not able to recall any.

The clever bug fixes, the mentoring of junior developers, the hours of debugging that rescued a critical release from disaster – well, all of those slipped through the cracks.

I realized how crucial it is to document all those activities.

In fact, there's a term for such a document, and developers who maintain it swear by its advantages.

Introduction to Brag Document

Brag documents, also known as shine documents or hype docs, are a way for software engineers to keep track of their accomplishments and successes.

They are essentially a collection of useful talking points, anecdotes, and achievements that can be used to showcase one's skills and contributions to the team.

Benefits of Keeping a Brag Document

There are several benefits to keeping a brag document, including:

  • Recognition: Brag documents help ensure that your work is recognized and appreciated by your colleagues and managers. They can be used to highlight your contributions during performance reviews, salary negotiations, and other important meetings.

  • Reflection: Brag documents can also help you reflect on your work and identify areas for improvement. By tracking your successes and failures, you can gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as a software engineer.

  • Career Development: Brag documents can be a valuable tool for career development. They can help you identify areas where you need to improve your skills, as well as opportunities for growth and advancement within your organization.

Components of a Brag Document

A brag document can include a variety of components, depending on your preferences and goals. Some common components include:

  • Accomplishments: This section should include a list of your most significant accomplishments, along with any relevant metrics or data. Be sure to highlight the impact of your work on the team or organization.

  • Skills: This section should list your technical skills, as well as any soft skills that you have developed over time. Be sure to include any certifications or training that you have completed.

  • Projects: This section should provide an overview of the projects you have worked on, including your role and responsibilities. Be sure to highlight any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.

  • Feedback: This section should include any feedback you have received from colleagues or managers, both positive and negative. Be sure to include any action items or areas for improvement.

Overcoming Modesty and Impostor Syndrome

One of the biggest challenges in creating a brag document is overcoming modesty and impostor syndrome. Many software engineers are hesitant to "brag" about their accomplishments, fearing that they will come across as arrogant or boastful.

To overcome this, it's important to remember that a brag document is not about bragging or showing off. It's simply a tool to help you keep track of your accomplishments and showcase your skills and contributions. By focusing on the facts and being honest about your successes and failures, you can create a document that is both informative and humble.

Please find below the resources and examples of the brag doc. Do not hesitate to create your own version - there are only positives here.


Brag Doc Examples

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