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Ask HN: How to not lose yourself in perfectionism creating a developer profile?
5 points by ElongatedTowel 1371 days ago | hide | past | web | 2 comments | favorite
I guess I'm doing what most people did before the rise of blogs, github and social media. Stuff whatever I wrote in some folder, have code rot on some hard drive and receive mail to my yahoo address ending in four numbers and just hope the interviewer solely relies on employment history.

That doesn't fly these days. Maybe I'm taking everything too serious, but leaving some kind of mark on the internet seems so complicated and doesn't allow for experimentation. Everything is connected somehow and often it's impossible to change things you're not so happy about.

I did a lot of commits and bug reports with throwaway accounts and mails. Contributing things anonymous is still a good thing, but somehow feels wrong and doesn't add anything to how people perceive my skill or character.

Here's one chain of thought:

"I should really put my code online. I set the maila dress in my git repository to "<>" but I can still change that now, but not later. Well I can't use tomatonose384@yahoo.com but every good name is already in use, so what to do? Maybe I should get a domain first. Damn, every good name is already in use. But I can't commit now because people might end up relying on my commit history or even fork it before I can change it, if I ever come up with something better. Forget about that first, what about my writings? Static pages on github are cheap, oh wait we run into the same problem. And what if we ever move to our own webspace, urls will be doomed! Well, could get some webspace, need a domain anyway. hundred cups of coffee later that domain sounds dumb, that one's taken... Think of a user name instead. That's what people might end up calling you and you need one on github. Damn that's even harder! Screw the whole thing, I'd rather write more code."

I don't know whether I end up as the artist who's parents find a lot of paintings in the attic after his dead and finds universal praise, or the one who's work just end up in the trash can. But that whole attic thing will definitely happen. It sounds crazy in a way.

Has anyone else had that problem, or still has? What to do?

And then once you have your domain name, there's the cycle of, "Okay, what should I put here? Static HTML pages? A blog? Blogs seem like the most popular way of publishing on the web today, but I really don't think the blog format fits what I want to write, but would people actually come to my site if it's not a blog, and who is my target audience anyway? And..."

The point being, there are lots of cycles we as creators can get sucked into. I don't know that the answers to these questions don't matter at all, but it's easy to think they matter a lot, and try to answer them perfectly rather than making real progress.

OP describes me perfectly!

I like to make a different screen name on each online service I use, and be sure as much as I can that they aren't connected to each other or to my real identity.

For me, it started with growing up when the Internet was still new, and with all the Bad Things everyone was saying would happen because minors were on the Internet (the law that makes every visitor to every US website swear they're at least 13 years old was passed in this time frame). It sort of became ingrained that I should be sure not to use my real name for anything online.

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