Goodbye LinkedIn, it’s not me it’s you

By Greg Turnquist

Greg L. Turnquist worked on the Spring team for over thirteen years and is a senior staff technical content engineer at Cockroach Labs. He was the lead for Spring Data JPA and Spring Web Services. He wrote Packt's best-selling title, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition, and its 3rd Edition follow-up along many others.

October 21, 2014

I finally did it. I’ve debated for the past four years whether or not to close my LinkedIn account. When I saw an email come out about how you can get ALL your data in a single download, I jumped at the chance. I grabbed all my connections’ contact info, and put it on a private page inside my personal blog. Then I proceeded to dump LinkedIn.


Starting back in 2009, I wanted to relocate my family to Tennessee. My old company didn’t have offices there, so I started on a hunt to find a new position elsewhere. The first place I turned was all the contacts I had built via LinkedIn. Guess what? Not a single opportunity was raised with my so called network.

Perhaps that’s a bit drastic? Agreed. Which is why I didn’t drop it at the time. I found an interview with one company at the time through a past co-worker. Another interview was yielded through a recruiter I found through other means in the Nashville area. The best opportunity was when I met Keith Donald at the 2008 SpringOne conference. I had to travel to a remote conference to find out his office was five minutes from my own back in Melbourne, Florida.

Any who, a year after handing Keith a resume, he calls me up with a new opening. Suffice it to say, that’s how I found my way into VMware, and now Pivotal.

LinkedIn: 0  Users: 1

Updates to LinkedIn

I can’t remember if this was last year or two years ago. LinkedIn comes out with a new “plugin” to your iPhone. Essentially, it routes ALL your email through their servers just so it can add a bit of metadata about the person emailing you using your connections. The security alarms this threw off in my head were justified by the amount of negative press it generated in the blogger community.

GPG-signed messages would break. The possibility for MITM attacks was there. And pay note: this predated the discover of NSA snooping major companies.

LinkedIn: 0  Users: 2

A few months ago, I saw the ultimate thing. Someone had screen captured a headline from LinkedIn’s own website which read more or less, “You don’t like recruiters? We don’t either.”

Are you KIDDING me? LinkedIn, you make your money on upselling accounts so that recruiters have more access. This told me that LinkedIn would do anything to keep to come to their site. And in the meantime, the only emails I am getting are from recruiters. No friends, no colleagues, nobody. The people that wish to contact me either email me directly, buzz me on twitter, or reach me through another channel NO ONE Is using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn: 0  Users: 3

Anybody using endorsements today? I know. What a joke. This year, I have received several endorsements from past co-workers of my old job for subversion the CM tool. From people that don’t write software. A tool I did NOT use when I worked there. I tool I haven’t used for four years.

I get endorsements on Rational ClearCase. A tool I haven’t seen for just as long. Anytime i go to their website, I’m always seeing, “Will you endorse so-and-so for abc?” No NO NO!!!! Endorsements have no value.

Bottom line

  • Endorsements haven’t earned me a dime of value
  • Reviews from past co-workers and colleagues hasn’t earned me a dime of value
  • Security policies from LinkedIn are absurd

I have better control over my personal brand using this website. I can post links to what I think is important. I move things to the top of the sidebar based on relevance. Right now, Learning Spring Boot is at the top. Two months ago, I had SpringOne 2014 at the top. Two months before that, my updated keys due to heartbleed.

And I am in control of this data. No one is spamming me. Recruiters aren’t hassling me. The place where I can build real relationships is through twitter, my responses to questions on stackoverflow, and meeting people face-to-face at the Nashville JUG. Why do anything else?

If you’re still reading, then feel free to raise me on twitter. You’ll find the link on the sidebar.

Goodbye LinkedIn. It’s not me it’s you.


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