Why github and LinkedIn are not my CV

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 29, 2014

I recently read a compelling article, “Why github is not your CV“. I was shouting “yes yes yes” as I went through it.

As you may or may not know, I recently closed my LinkedIn account. I was feeling some of the same things the first article expressed. In short, these platforms don’t let you put together a properly edited and polished perspective. Instead, they put together a one-size-fits-all view and try to couple several features that they think work, like building contact lists.

I prefer to use my own blog site as the place to publish my public persona. I spend time on the sidebars showing key things I want people to know. I order things as I see fit. And I move things up and down based on priority. Try that with github or LinkedIn.

The best developers aren’t always found on github

Another critical nugget in that other article is the issue if your company won’t interview someone with no github profile. If having a github profile was a critical component, I would never have made it to the Spring team. I had worked for years at my prior company, polishing skills, and building rock solid apps…for the government. None of my work was staged on github.

Yet I had maintained a mission critical, 24×7 system. This was a system that evolved constantly and had tons of real world issues I had to solve. With a legacy, EOL’d, no books or public forums language. Your ability to contribute to OSS projects should NEVER be the end all/be all of your skill set. If you want to become a team leader for a particular OSS project, your contributions to that project are certainly of value. But the lack of such contributions shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.

As a meet more and more people, and travel more and more places, it is apparent that the universe of software development is infinite. Whether or not someone has contributed to OSS is simply not enough to slap a pre-determined filter on prospects, which is what recruiters are always looking for.


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