How to Write a Great ReadMe.md File

The ReadMe.md file in each of your repositories is valuable real estate because it's automatically the first thing anyone sees when viewing your repo online! The most promising sign of a quality repo is a clean, concise ReadMe:

SUMMARIZE ⮕ Compile a brief, written summary of what the app does and how it does it.

VISUALIZE ⮕ Show-off screenshots and/or GIF files of your web application!

STANDARDIZE ⮕ Write a blurb about how would someone run this code/application on their own machine: after they've downloaded this repo to their hard drive, what libraries/dependencies do they need to install using their terminal? What commands should they run to launch this web app on their local server?

FINALIZE ⮕ Discuss your thoughts on what you'd consider adding in future iterations. Mention bumps in the road that you experienced building this web app.

Are you brand new to ReadMe.md files?

ReadMe's are written in markdown.

PRO TIP: One of my favorite ways to improve upon mere "screenshots of your web app" is to use a screen recording software: do googling to find one you like. Then record a 5-10 second video clip of scrolling through your rendered web app. Upload that 5-10 second recording onto giphy.com and then save the video clip as a GIF file. Then just upload your GIF file to your repo and/or blog post to show what the rendered web app looks like without actually having to host the web app somewhere!

REMINDER: You can convert some of your weekly homework assignments into a blog post, which can be added to your portfolio. Web scraping, MongoDB, and Flask in the same project? Employers love when a project includes a diverse tech stack!

The ability to use markdown is a valuable skill in the software industry! Why? Because ReadMe.md files are also .md files, and they're always written in markdown. Everyone loves a well-presented ReadMe, with headings and images!