And when I say that, I am talking about the HN crowd. It's one thing to say "I can't believe people use IE6", but this is tech-savvy people using a joke of a social media.
Guys, if you want to look professional, buy your own domain name. Something professional, like yourname.me, or clever like "yourna.me". Build your own web page with your own damn profile and don't leave control over a company on how you look on the web. Be in control of the first point of entry to your identity.
For god sake guys. LinkedIn has had so many security issues, so much scummy behaviour regarding spam, user retention etc... yet you are still blessing them with your presence. (Obviously this doesn't apply to those that don't)
PS: Use gandi.net as a registrar for your name. They offer a free ssl cert along with the domain (and support almost every tld) for added "professional-looking" value to your site. I am not affiliated with them, I just love Gandi.
Edit: I'm being called out for "living in my own bubble" it seems. Yet LinkedIn is the very definition of a bubble. I used to have a LinkedIn profile and from it all I got were the most awful recruiting experiences, and all of them through cold calls. Your own site with CV + portfolio + Github + contact details is a LOT better.
PS2: Downvote or not I don't care, but please reply if you disagree; I'd love to disagree even harder!
Edit 2: I'm starting to think there is correlation between finding LinkedIn useful and not having a Github profile. A lot of the points people are bringing up here are solved in a very similar way by Github (which is in many ways a social network). This does bring me back to my original point though, why use LinkedIn when you can use a company that isn't scummy and actually have your real work experience on there and a link back to your personal website with more portfolio etc?
Everybody I've ever spoken to (outside of small JS type devs) has got a linkedin profile and expected me to have one. So many recruiters (I contract now) have used linkedin to contact me based on searches they've done which I have converted into 6 separate projects now (and at £650 per day that's a lot of money).
Depending what circles you move in (I move in big enterprise software and services circles) it's just a given that you will have a linkedin. I have a domain name which directs to my blog and one page profile but even then people still ask for my linkedin.
I don't know what the smaller time software dev world is like but for me linkedin is essential..
Saying you can't believe why anybody in the HN crowd would use linkedin probably shows that you only know about the bubble that you operate in.
It does not have to be the only tool in your toolbox (own site, blog, Twitter all come into play), but it is expected that you have one.
It is also very useful to keep in touch with former colleagues/customers after projects are over. These are the people who you would not add to your Facebook account but would like to exchange a message with every couple of years or so...
Yeah, as a software developer you're probably in high-enough demand that you can get away with not having one. I hope that state of affairs lasts forever. But for everyone else who still has to hustle for work, the benefits of Linked-In outweighs the scumminess (which is significant, I grant you).
If you are in sales, it's invaluable in finding individuals in organizations. Maybe some think this is a bad thing and that's fine; I do not. If you are job hunting, it is unbelievable to be able to put something directly in front of the actual person hiring before getting in the door.
Despite being filled with strangeness, many of their industry groups are good for finding specific knowledge. It's scummy (and much less knowledgable than HN or forums around the net), but that's just how some of the internets be, I guess.
It does seem a bit like MySpace; something almost exactly like what they are actually trying to accomplish.
I understand the disdain some have for Linkedin, but I myself have benefited from using it.
I've had people ask me for my LinkedIn and I sent them my personal site instead - they were just as happy with it. When people ask you for your linkedin, what they really want is a business profile; portfolio, cv, etc. They don't want to "friend" you and "share funny pictures" or something.
> Github isn't a social network
It's not Facebook, but it appears to tick most of the social network boxes.
Also keep in mind: A day rate implies consultant (i.e. non-employee) work, which further implies <100% utilization. Assuming he only works weekdays and takes 4 weeks of vacation (comparable to working at a BigCo), 80% utilization gets you to ~192 days, or $210k.
That's probably optimistic, though. This math further assumes he is able to sell 80% of his time in the 20% of his nonbillable time, and that he doesn't lose any billable time due to scheduling issues (i.e. each client is ready to go as soon as he is). Depending on his business, he'll have to spend some cash on overhead (accountants, lawyers, etc.).
Under utilisation is true enough, but you also have to take into account the tax efficiencies you can put in place as a freelancer (in the UK at least), which means he's still well enough off to have a Porsche 911 and a flat in the Swiss Alps.
Nice work if you can get it.
However, I'm also not denying that there are many highly influential, priceless, people getting paid these high salaries that are greatly beneficial to our society and have legitimately earned their fortunes. It's just unfortunate that everything is being done to support the continuation of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer. However, thanks to some people, the entire world can become richer.
Usually a contractor charges from $150 - $200/hour, with a discount if you need them for more than a couple weeks.
Most good Java guys that I know take around £500 - 700 per day in the enterprise, telco, banking and ecommerce space.
> Everybody I've ever spoken to (outside of small JS type devs) has got a linkedin profile and expected me to have one.
With Facebook the stigma is lessened, but still there.
Now I get more recruiter email, except they actually sort of know what I'm good at, because they found me through GitHub (or my blog) instead. Not to say that GitHub is inherently a better indicator of capabilities, but it's more likely to be looked at by someone with some technical understanding, whereas LinkedIn is basically keyword soup.
I don't believe I've ever once been asked for my LinkedIn. But I work for an SF company, so maybe your experience is a reflection of enterprise and its love of résumés.
I also find it strange that while you clearly know that over-generalizing your own experiences shows that one "only knows about the bubble that one operates in", your first sentence is that you can't believe people don't use linkedin...
I'm all in favor of replacing LinkedIn with something decentralized (or just less exploitative), but isolating yourself on GitHub (which is not even the software dev industry but a minority subset of it) is not a solution, it's immature clique-ish behavior.
If you don't have a LinkedIn profile, I assume you're either very junior, shady, or clueless, and none of those is good. [Edit: per comments below, you might have some deep principled reason for not using social networks. In this case my metric is wrong, but I'm okay with having a false negative once in a while.]
Expecting everyone to have and maintain their own domain probably isn't practical, but even for those that do, the discoverability of that domain is low: I don't search google to find developers, I search LinkedIn. That's what it's for, and it's really pretty good at it.
They do some really dumb UI stuff around privacy that is trivially worked around using Incognito. I wish they didn't, but it's not dumb enough to make me abandon the giant utility of the network as a whole.
[Update: I took this thread to Twitter and got a bunch of really cogent arguments, including that LinkedIn enables harrassment/stalking of marginalized groups. That's more than a few isolated people who don't like social networks or object to the dark pattern UI, that's a systemic flaw. So I'm going to change my hiring practices to take that into account. Thanks, everybody!]
Your approach is a minimal-effort Pareto principle based hiring. By eschewing any and all candidate information sources other than the market leader professional social network, you get access to a pool of 80% of the candidates with minimal effort. For you, it's great. For your company, it's passable. For the candidates, it's disgusting.
I know many professionals, top of their class, that do not maintain their LinkedIn profile. Some don't even have one (usually out of principle). You absentmindedly dismiss these 95th percentile professionals in the "junior, shady or clueless" category. It reeks of profiling, smells like laziness and must be called out as bad practice.
Not the OP and playing a bit of devil's advocate but why do I care what's best for candidates? If I'm able to hire the people I need then I don't really care if there's a group of developers that I'll never find.
That's a choice you make when you take your principled stand.
Current good management practices envision managing as optimizing company behavior for all company stakeholders. In past times, management optimized for shareholder profit. Optimizing for shareholder profit alone has been repeatedly proven not sustainable. It usually leads to very spectacular failures, which themselves cause the public notion that all management is still shareholder-oriented. Not all companies are managed like this. Successful ones manage their relationship with all stakeholders. It is in this view that caring for candidates is important.
In this view, in order to maximize long term profit, you should aim to create positive effects on every individual or organization that somehow interfaces with your company. This is obviously theoretical, and impractical. Sometimes it is just not possible, and anyhow you have to give higher importance to central stakeholders (shareholders, customers, employees). However, when the cost is not too high, you should strive for positive impacts.
In hiring, the cost of reviewing non-standard resumes is not relevant. The cost of causing a bad impression on the random important candidate that you decline, or the cost of missing an excellent hire, is relevant. The OP's position is fundamentally wrong.
I don't mind short coding examples. Thats cool. However when a company asks for web applications... come on. Not everyone is jobless and has time to jump through that many hoops.
What am I asking for? Learn how to identify talent... have people master that skill. The insecurity about "would this guy be good?" lets make him/her jump through a billion hoops just to work here is irritating.
> I have come to the conclusion that most companies don't give a shit about candidates as long as they are getting enough. Hell, even some companies that bitch and moan about "talent shortages" seem to have their own Pareto principle bullshit getting in their way.
It sounds like a lot of the companies you've encountered have embraced irrational business practices. That can definitely happen. I'm not convinced it's the norm, though. And I'm sure that it shouldn't be.
Homogenising for efficiency carries long term risk. If you don't have several primary sources for hiring, then not only are you artificially narrowing your available pool, but you are also introducing a single point of failure. To borrow a phrase, if something goes badly wrong, Linkedin can remain irrational for longer than you can remain solvent.
No, at different levels it is the approach everybody takes. The concept of search cost always existed in economy. You can think that an answer to your question is in some obscure web site but if that web site is in the #1000 position in Google, very few people will find it.
Regarding LinkedIn, I think if you want to increase the probability of being hired in US (and other countries where LinkedIn is popular) you must be there. You can argue against it like I argue about needing to have a Skype, or a PayPal account to receive payments: everybody is there, network effects, etc.
-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_cost
Hiring managers need to filter out somehow. I know a guy who gives explicit - but not difficult - instructions for applicants. Anything not following the instructions gets circular filed. Another silicon valley exec was famous here, recently, for trashing applicants who like country music.
But I have no idea whether you work for yourself, for someone else, or whether you're a hiring manager.
I'm quite certain I'm none of those things. I'm gainfully employed and well-respected. Yet I'm not on LinkedIn. Why? Because I prefer to minimize my social media footprint, because I've heard a lot of things about LinkedIn that rub me the wrong way, and because I don't see a clear value proposition.
So no, my absence from LinkedIn has nothing to do with me being a bad candidate for a job. If you assume it does, you miss out on a good hire.
I think any statement of the form "a person who doesn't use product X is necessarily a bad candidate" is absurd, unless product X is something like disinfectant and the job is something like doctor.
- I agree completely.
>If you assume it does, you miss out on a good hire.
- Again, I agree completely.
On the other hand, any company that vets potential employees by LinkedIn, or any single metric or source, isn't a company that I want to work for. So my lack of presence there helps weed out companies that I don't want to work for anyway.
Also, I find some of the LinkedIn groups pretty good. Gone are the good old days of Usenet, unfortunately, and there are niche topics for which I can't find better forums than some LinkedIn groups.
I suspect that LinkedIn is more useful to some people than others. And that's fine. Most products are like that. My comment above was really just arguing against the idea that LinkedIn usage somehow correlates with the quality of a candidate.
I didn't intend this to be taken as a personal affront to people who don't use LinkedIn, so I should have used less inflammatory language. My apologies.
I think you're actually shooting yourself in the foot, and as someone else mentioned - you're actually missing out on the very best developers out there by taking the shortest, easiest path to recruiting.
Works in what sense? Does it reliably help you make the best hires? Are you sure? (I hypothesize that it does not, and you might not even know it.)
Yes, every hiring manager has lots of resumes to scan. But I wouldn't consider that a logical justification for establishing an arbitrary criterion that's likely to weed out some of the very best candidates. (As others have stated, there anecdotally appears to be a trend wherein the very best don't bother with LinkedIn.)
I've been casting about for a way to illustrate clearly what I mean by "tech snobbery". Many of my conversations go in a direction similar to this (scrollaway > seldo > jarrret). Your sentence will help me. Thank you.
Where does this logic end? On the extreme end of the spectrum, we can agree that a doctor who skips the disinfectant is categorically a bad hire. But what about less extreme cases? Where do we draw the line? What about a developer who doesn't use version control? Or who doesn't use automated tests? What if they do use those things, but within those genres, they've chosen tools you happen to despise?
So I think it's tricky to know which products should be considered mandatory for quality hires.
That being said, I still stand by my comment on LinkedIn. The more debatable examples I gave above are tools that directly affect the quality and efficiency of a developer's work. LinkedIn is not, and that's a pretty big distinction.
How about smarter than you, because that is one hell of a stupid position.
I don't have a LinkedIn (or Facebook, or Google+ or whatever) because I don't sit and spew my details all over the internet. For job searches, another reason I don't use LinkedIn is because I have worked with people that I do not want to be associated with. That I have is not important to my looking for a job now.
You don't need a public, updated copy of my resume, you'll get my resume if I'm interested in working at a place. Don't worry, you won't have to worry about it.
I guess another benefit of not using LinkedIn is not working at places that promote idiotic practices such as this.
And to gf - I'm glad you agree on missing out on people, because some of the best people I know don't have an up-to-date profile, and I'd hate for them to work with people who update their profile too often :)
shady: of doubtful honesty or legality
I suppose everyone who went to high school with Dahmer is shady too since for reasons out of their control they all went to the same school for a period of time. I doubt they feel the need to broadcast that information even though a little bit of extra looking would reveal the information.
The saying applies "You run into an asshole in the morning, okay, you ran into an asshole. You run into assholes all day long, you're the asshole."
It's the same reason you don't badmouth previous employers or coworkers in a job interview.
Yes, they could find out that I worked with Bob because Bob does spew all his details everywhere, but I am not presenting it to them as part of my resume. I also don't list the people I've worked with that I would work with again. They're hiring me, not the people that happened to work at some places I was at the same time.
> It's the same reason you don't badmouth previous employers or coworkers in a job interview.
Yet it's perfectly fine for their reputation to bad mouth me by association. That's what LinkedIn's network does.
pg's is basically empty.
don knuth doesn't have one.
bruce schneier doesn't have one.
and thomas ptacek's declares:
I hereby declare LinkedIn bankruptcy. LinkedIn sends me so much spam that my mail client refuses to show me its messages anymore. If you try to ping me here, I may never notice. Sorry!
You'd be able to get away with it, if it wasn't for us meddling kids.
> Expecting everyone to have and maintain their own domain probably isn't practical,
for web developers? why would you hire a web developer that didn't have their own domain?
As stated in my other comments, I'm in the not-Linked-In camp. But still, I must take issue with the above. I happen to own a number of domain names, but I don't have a personal site at the moment. That's simply because I don't need one. At the moment, I successfully rely on other signals of my trustworthiness as an engineer.
When would I want to create a personal site? If I worked on many small projects for many small clients, I'd constantly be in a sales cycle, so I'd have a personal site for that purpose.
So in answer your question: "why would you hire a web developer that didn't have their own domain?" I'd hire such a web developer if she were qualified, quite simply. If she lacked a personal site because she had to practical reason to create one, I wouldn't hold that against her. I'd think it reflected well on her judgment of priorities.
The problem, for some of us, is that it's awful awful software. It sends spams to our contacts. It is very difficult and unpleasant to use. It is hard to keep accurate and up to date. We don't like sharing our information with it, because we don't trust Linked In.
That is the reason many of us avoid using Linked In, rather than an objection to social networks in general. (Although some of have that too).
Of course, if it's actually harming our job application prospects, I suppose some of us would reconsider. For most actual programmers, it probably isn't, but who knows.
The more general question here is -- what do we do when there's a social website that has become so popular that it's considered a requirement in at least some communities for hiring, and is one of the best ways to network because everyone is on it -- but is also just a terrible terrible website, in terms of both their UI and their business ethics, and we just dont want to use it. Apparently we've found the answer to how Linked In can get away with being so awful though, they've got the network effect and people have to use it anyway.
Similarly, if a hiring manager requires a LinkedIn profile, I assume you're either very junior, shady, or clueless, and none of those is good.
I wonder which one of us is right?
This is very ... interesting. So the next thing is to expect everyone be active on Facebook, otherwise they're socially awkward and perhaps mentally unstable?
I should have probably provided my personal experience with LI - I had LI profile for ages, and keep on maintaining it. No good ever came out of it - lots of spam, that's all. From hiring managers mostly.
I don't need Facebook. In fact, nobody needs. I have the need to share what I do with everybody and I surely don't want to see every details of my friend's list. You know how I talk to them? Face to face. I give them a call, ask them if they whant to have a cup of coffee and talk about what's up.
Now, everyone I tell this responds with "What about those people you don't see a long time ago, or are away, or have been in your clas in the nth grade?" For those that are away, I use email and skype. For the rest, well, there's a reason I haven't talked to them in a long time.
There's also the point of events. I like to invited personally. Even a text is enough. I feel like the person really remembered me, and didn't just click a "send all" button.
And finaly, there's friend bloat. Lots of people I meet ask me for my facebook. they would invite me, I would add them and never remove them because of common courtesy and because of common friend pressure. "X asked me why you unfriended him. Did something happen?" No, I just don't give a damn about his cat!
I don't like facebook and I don't need facebook. I find that, while it may have some interesting uses, is just used for gloating and voyerism.
Other than the unnecessary "WTH?" at the start, this is a thoughtful and considered response. Is it just the sentiment that is unpopular?
To start, I later realised my tone was angrier than it should. For that, I apologise. The "out of the norm" comment really ticked me in a weird way. (I don't know why, but it just did).
Now, to answer you, as this is a reply to your post.
What I really wanted to convey is that I don't need facebook. I don't think Facebook is bad. I don't hate it. But I don't like it either. I respect it as a product, and understand the impact it had in society. But don't think I don't use it only for the bad stuff I said earlier. I just don't see any use for it.
So, for a tl,dr: I don't think those reason are enough for me not to be on facebook. I'm not on facebook because I don't see enough reasons to use it. It's not "too much bad", it's "too few good".
I guess I'm thankful tech work is a seller's market.
Hah ha ha...
When I see resume inflating on LI, you think I'm going to annoy someone I already have a relationship with by flagging it so recruiters can get accurate information?
It's nothing personal, but if I ever encountered that while job searching, I would turn tail and run.
This HackerNewsOnion tweet best lampoons this phenomena:
EDIT: Just want to point out that seldo is a co-founder of npm, Inc. where (i'm assuming) he currently works. So apparently to work for npm, you must have and maintain a LinkedIn profile. I find this disturbing for an otherwise important and great company.
Note that this is at a different level of abstraction from "I do/don't care if you have linkedin".
Roughly speaking, seldo said "I use <proxy> to attempt to predict performance" and you said "I don't care about <proxy>, I care about performance".
I didn't realize I could work-around the privacy concerns of publishing personal details on a social network by doing it in Incognito mode. Fascinating.
You wouldn't hire me, and I'm OK with that; I'm not going to feed a bunch of data into a scumbag spam factory like LinkedIn just to make your job easier.
But at this point, if you're not active on GitHub and/or StackOverflow (assuming you're hiring for open source technologies), I likely am not interested in wasting my time vetting out your resume.
Meanwhile, I'm not sure if I see tons of benefit in keeping a personal website up to date. Designs go out of style so quickly, one would have to re-do their site every 2-3 years or get caught looking stale. It's not worth the effort to a hardcore coder when there's more "fun" projects to play with. Most great coders don't want to whore themselves.
Your comment is a very good one... in 2009.
As an employee, I expect managers to change their opinions when provided with evidence and/or cogent arguments. You've passed, well done.
Depends on the job. I fully expect a web developer of any type to be able to set up and maintain a domain.
And I Google the daylights out of candidates. LinkedIn is usually towards the bottom of the list for things I check.
Is it possible you're getting the cause and effect the wrong way round and it's just that your current search method rarely finds a candidate that isn't a few degrees away from you? It would be interesting to have a follow up if you find your new hiring practices find more candidates that you couldn't have found via the social graph.
Thinking that the job applicant can control the information flow in the entire process by how the applicant fills out a resume or an application form is one of the biggest misconceptions nonlawyers here on Hacker News have about employment law (again, at least in the United States, the jurisdiction I know best). To the best of my knowledge, there has never been, and could never be, a successful lawsuit by a rejected job applicant if an employer checked back references (for example) and found out something about the applicant's previous PUBLIC, WORKPLACE behavior that suggests that the applicant would be a bad fit for the new job.
All that said, a LinkedIn profile specifically is obviously intended for public information, so finding it and reading it seems morally 100% okay in my book, and I do this all the time. I also google applicants to find their Github profiles if they haven't supplied them, and that seems fair to me too.
We've done somewhat the reverse...we had a script that would use the GitHub API to find projects using certain technologies, measure them according to certain metrics (test coverage, LoC, etc) and resolve them to GitHub profiles which were filtered for location and then reviewed manually. The ones that passed we resolved to LI profiles and contacted about our open positions.
It worked well and almost completely eliminated any discrimination along any protected class. Then again, we may have been violating the GitHub ToS, so a lawyer probably would have dinged us on that. Still, it was such an effective recruiting technique that it may be worth it. And reviewing code in GitHub is so much more enjoyable (and informative) than sifting through resumes.
I'm appalled that you are somebody that hires for a living and you don't know the basic legalities of your profession.
It probably hurts candidates at least a little on the average over the long term, even when they have everything you've mentioned.
But as the other replies have said, it's not illegal today.
Background checks are different to researching a candidate. They are to check that the person doesn't have a hidden criminal record, for example. Researching their private lives crosses the line.
LinkedIn is different, yes, because it's intended as a professional network publicizing your work. But you better be up-front about looking their profiles up, and even then it's troublesome because profiles often include details you would never put on a resume - such as your photo.
I think you should be very careful about researching a candidate for anything beyond normal background/credit checks.
I guess you don't work in a field where good resources are scarce. People where I work don't even check references anymore, you might lose the candidate during the process.
A glance at LinkedIn would indicate that that rarely if ever happens.
Geez, Sherlock ...
Or the kind of candidate who will pedantically lecture me about the evils of LinkedIn, which is even worse.
First of all I completely, absolutely agree with everything you are saying about scummy behaviour, spam, etc. And yet they are basically average in that regard among social networking sites. But they provide a service that's much more useful to me than a maximally addictive feed of trivia. It's one of the few social networks I actually use because it makes me money and it's easy to mitigate all the harm. It's a completely pragmatic decision, not affected by how bad their implementation is.
And yes, of course you have your own site with professional details on there. That's just a given isn't it? LinkedIn isn't my main presence on the internet, I agree that would be a sad state of affairs for a tech-savvy person.
The most confusing thing to me about you being surprised is that of all the communities in the world, the one that has the biggest cross section of people responsible for social media having all that scummy behaviour you are complaining about might be HN. If you wanted to find the community with the largest number of that group combined with people who non-ironically refer to themselves as "hustlers" and spend a hell of a lot of time on LinkedIn then that is definitely HN. I'm not saying it's the majority or anything, but of all the "crowds" to expect to not be on LinkedIn ...
Why would it be a sad state? Not all of us are interested in social technology, not all of us want to write content for a blog or website, and not all of us want to share the details of our lives with others online.
When I'm hiring I definitely don't expect technical people to care about social network crap or want to write content for a blog (although that would definitely be a plus if it had technical content). But not having your own website? That would be judged pretty harshly if I'm being honest.
Maybe it's because I'm mostly doing this for jobs where the software is related to the internet and depends on a lot of open source software. If all you have online in your name is a LinkedIn profile then that signals a pretty profound disinterest in a lot of the things that would help them be a good fit.
I do have my own domain, I host my own email, I am interested, I just don't see any need to have my own web presence.
* It's where my "general business" social network lives. Which is different from my company network (which lives in a CRM). My twitter social network (public facing me) and my facebook social network (mostly private me) and my app.net network (... erm... mostly tumbleweed ;-)
* The rest of the world uses it. Like it or not a stack of people go there to find out about people. Not being there means those people miss you or trust you less.
* It has some level of value that a private site does not. Recommendations etc. are more than mildly useless - but slightly less useless than a random quote on your own web site.
* The network is useful. I've managed to contact and strike up relationships with folk because of my LinkedIn connections. People have reached out to me from my network. Some of those connections have resulted in non-trivial money for my business.
Sure - having LinkedIn as your only profile on the net is foolish in the extreme. Having it as part of your identity online has been useful — for me anyway.
Before every meeting I have, I look the person up. If I use it, and most of my friends do, I can figure out who we know in common. If I need something from another company and I don't know who to contact, I look at 2nd degree connections for hints.
LinkedIn is in the toolkit of every tech-savvy business person. It can also be a people for engineers who want a good permanent place that non-technical people can find them. Non-technical folks won't look in Github.
Your last point is relevant. Yes, there is a correlation between LinkedIn proponents and Github profiles, but why wall yourself in to a Github only universe?
I can't tell you how important this can be, especially for sales meetings where the other participants may not be the kind of people with their own domain names and websites.
I really don't. I just avoid LinkedIn. My Github profile is the predominant one when you google my name (after the g+ profile because Google is like that), but I maintain profiles on a couple of freelance websites which host relevant work experience. Through those sites and my personal one, I get regularly contacted about prospective employers.
My LinkedIn profile had not brought me a single good offer when I turned it off. I've not felt its loss. I strongly believe a lot of people who "rely" on linkedin only rely on it because they don't realize the alternatives are better.
Again - this is just respectful disagreement. I appreciate the discussion.
Appreciate the discussion.
Unless you're already a big name superstar, you have to maintain at least some presence in a centralized location where people can find you.
Github. Github Github Github.
LinkedIn for recruiters seems to be a case of aggregating people who potentially have some sort of experience related to what you want. It's great for them because it gives them a pool of people to cold-call. It's not so great for the aspiring employees because chances are greater you will be contacted by a company that doesn't care about you and vaguely relates to what you do than anything else.
It seems like people are afraid that if they delete their linkedin profile they'll miss out on "all those job opportunities!"... Damn it guys, everything dev-related outside of js/html/php is a buyer's market. If you're in need of jobs, there's plenty of high quality freelance websites that can act as a linkedin profile and actually have running jobs.
I'd love to know if anyone actually relies completely on LinkedIn to get their all-precious jobs in the tech sector... because if you do, you're doing it wrong and I'd love to help you.
"I don't have time to put my stuff on Github" when talking about your tech career easily equates to "I don't have time to go to the doctor" when talking about your health.
I rather spend my free time after work on this one life, with family and friends than coding.
Not to mention that most corporate work is under NDA that prevent us to publish anything about it.
Those kind of contracts are quite common in the finance world, and to a lesser extent in R&D in big enterprise tech firms (Apple, Microsoft, etc.)
Tell me I'm in my own bubble - fine. Talk about the "HN bubble", what? You're on HN. All these people replying and disagreeing with me are on HN. In fact, despite the upvotes, it's pretty clear a lot of people find LinkedIn useful.
So again, what bubble are you referring to? Seriously...
You can read more about such arguments here -> http://www.ashedryden.com/blog/the-ethics-of-unpaid-labor-an...
But to brush off LinkedIn entirely is naive. I'm a "hacker" but I use it all the time. When I identify a potential customer, I need to look up who to contact there. And I need to know their email address. LinkedIn lets me search companies & job titles so I can find the right person. That's very useful.
In both cases I've had no reply. I eventually got through to one of them (by googling them better a few days later) and eventually got to ask them why I didn't get a reply - turns out the message went straight to spam and that "LinkedIn just sends me crap emails so I ignore them when I see them".
Having a LinkedIn page isn't mutually exclusive with creating your own page / blog / whatever. What it does do is let people see at a glance where you come from, who you've worked with and what work you're interested in. It's the tl;dr of your professional profile; not the entire profile itself.
I don't care about the security issues because I don't intend to put anything on there that I don't intend to be public knowledge. I don't care about the spam because I basically just forward everything from LinkedIn to spam. LinkedIn is very useful at what it does; and as long as I can keep it in that little box, I'll continue to use it.
And I know very few people who have gotten a job from a cold call on LinkedIn. Nobody gets jobs that way; you usually have to know someone who works there already. LinkedIn helps answer the "who do you know here again?" question because the interviewer who looks at your profile 5 minutes before you walk into his office will already know that you used to work at some startup with his head of development. That kind of connection is what helps you get the job, and LinkedIn is great for it.
And how long do you think LinkedIn will be the hub for this specific use?
I'm not being facetious; these companies come and go. The fact that it makes no money and uses a few "dirty" tricks makes me skeptical of LinkedIn's persistence. As the OP said, it's nice to control your online persona.
LinkedIn pulls in a lot of revenue. They're expecting $2bn+ in 2014.
Sure, 90%+ of the recruiter contacts on LinkedIn are not interesting to me. I could do a better job of telling recruiters ahead of time not to contact me. I use the contacts as a determination of the overall health of the industry and my visibility in that industry. Both useful things to have.
In short, I like LinkedIn. I work with many ex-LinkedIn folks and I think it has added real value to my professional career.
Gandi has a morality clause in their ToS; there are any number of good, cheap registrars that don't, so I'd say go with one of them instead.
Thank you for highlighting this!
I've had nothing but good experiences with LinkedIn. My LinkedIn profile is set for as-public-as-possible. For some reason I don't get all the problems that everyone else seems to complain about. Fwiw, I've never allowed LinkedIn to connect to my email and scrape my contacts. I will also say that I put care into my LinkedIn profile. It's purposely "unprofessional" and honest. Probably would look natural if I pasted it into an OKCupid profile. It seems to attract the right people(fun trendy tech companies) and repel almost all the ones I don't want(financial, telecom, insurance) except for the few recruiters who are clearly just doing scatter-shot to any profiles that has any vague mention of anything somewhat related to the role they're trying to fill.
As an engineer with 10+ years experience, I realize that relationships matter a lot. Especially with people outside your world. And a lot of great work can be done with non technical people who bring other things to the table (money, IP, connections, reducing barriers to entry). So, imho, it's best not to shut off Linkedin as it's a decent enough channel of discovery and contact in the working world, bridging people with different experience, expertise and backgrounds. It's that mix that I like.
Im not saying it can't be better - it can and should be. But network effects are in play, adding to it's value. It's not that easy to go at it differently.
Most of the time when someone asks if I have LinkedIn it is because they are leaving the company and still want to stay in touch professionally or even endorse my skills.
Both have benefits but try to see outside the HN bubble.
Given the love LinkedIn is getting on HN, I'm not sure what bubble you're referring to here...
I deleted my LinkedIn profile when I got fed up with hearing how scummy the site was; one story too much got me to take a look at my profile and realize that nothing good ever came out of that site for me.
Also, you don't see the connections between people you didn't know met each other. I find it useful despite all the issues that they have.
Disclaimer: I don't live in USA and I suspect the experience is quite different over there.
You could say I was glad I still used LinkedIn.
You may find the best job for you when you aren't looking if someone reaches out to you. Kind of hard if you don't know they are actually looking.
Do we use SAT scores or personal interviews? Do we recruit from Harvard or allow anyone to apply because there are diamonds everywhere?
LinkedIn has simply made itself the defacto standard for most people in terms of an online resume. (So has, btw Github for developers, and maybe even StackOverflow.)
We can debate all we want about whether or not it's "right." But at the end of the day, different people will have different philosophies and lie on different ends of the standardized vs. customized spectrum. There are trade-offs toe each. So let's minimize the negativity a bit please =)
So it's almost a sort of self-validating resume checker.
I'm tech-savvy, but not a programmer. LinkedIn is a useful tool that I rarely use. However, when I've needed it, it's done what I wanted it to do.
Is it the best tool we have for public resumes? Yes.
No need to go into it any more than that, your post was so negative and didn't propose any alternatives. Sounds like someone is bitter they didn't get more friends requests accepted...
Your thing about just having a github and a cv and portfolio actually doesn't work, because most of your market as a dev is not trolling Github all day?
It's a good first funnel.
Check your site analytics if you disagree.
That aside, people who judge others by their (non-)use of social media are the worst. Someone who mocks friends for not using facebook is not a good friend. Someone who mocks colleagues for not being on LinkedIn is not a good person to work with.
All of your 'issues' with LinkedIn can be solved by creating a separate LinkedIn e-mail alias that goes to trash.
Recently they stopped access to a whole bunch of CRM players to LinkedIn API. Only Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are allowed now.
(Disclosure: Zoho CRM was one of the affected products - we offered to pay for their API access but no dice)
That person may be in your address book, which you've never shared with LinkedIn, but you are in their address book, which they clearly have shared.
No idea how they've gotten access to that, but I've never knowingly authorized a connection to my address books.
The only other mechanism I can think of is that maybe they're getting them via Android or iPhone apps (not necessarily linkedin's app) with less-than-upfront disclosure of what the app's doing. Either way, it's slimy behavior.
Rapportive captures the contact info of every person whose email you open (or who you write to).
This is a serious question, I don't know and am curious.
Harvesting of contact information even without permitted access is less clear cut but there's widespread concern due to the large number of questionable coincidences.
Inevitably, I get endorsed by people who have no knowledge of said skills: I'm not sure why a technology-phobic college admissions officer would endorse my skills in distributed software engineering, and what would be the value of such an endorsement?
I have to agree. I've gotten so many endorsements from non-software engineers who I've never worked with for my apparent XML abilities. I literally don't know what to think about that.
The "endorsement" system is an utter joke. When it was implemented, "endorsing" people consisted of clicking on any and every little oval that was in front of the user. I bet everyone here has been endorsed for multiple things they are unassociated with.
The idea that someone thought that a real-life, personal "endorsement" could be recreated by clicking a button that half the population won't read is beyond me.
LinkedIn seems to be useful because it's hot (as in, everyone is there). But outside of that original, clever idea (a professional social network) it doesn't offer much outside of its network effect.
(BTW It's slipped to #9 now... if anybody wants to endorse me for coffee that would be lovely ;-)
A previous boss endorsed me for PHP, at that job I used PHP exactly 0 times. Needless to say, he wasn't a very good boss either.
I can't wait for the day LinkedIn goes the way of the Myspace. The only thing people will be wondering is how it took so long. That being said, I'm looking for a job now and couldn't imagine not using LinkedIn. Everyone asks for it.
I just use a incognito browser when I need to lookup someone on LinkedIn unless I want them to know that I visited their profile.
I think Quora changed their behavior a little since the earlier days? They now always have the first answer visible to everyone.
The first two times I deleted my account, my account magically resurrected itself after I accidentally clicked a link to a LinkedIn page and my password manager automatically logged me in. Apparently logging in resurrects deleted accounts, no questions asked. After the second time, I wisened up and removed all my LinkedIn cookies and disabled my password manager for the domain, then deleted my account for the third time.
That had worked for a long time, until just a few days ago, when I received a random LinkedIn newsletter out of the blue. This was disturbing. I clicked the Unsubscribe link, which asked me to log in, but my login didn't work (which is nice, because apparently my account is slightly more deleted now). So I tweeted at LinkedIn, and they said they put my email address on their Do Not Contact list.
Hopefully the reign of terror is over, but I somehow doubt it.
I had the same experience with Facebook.
While they were growing, they allowed great amount of sharing. Now it seems they are transitioning from a growth based company to growing their revenue--I've personally been finding more and more examples of this increased friction.
So far that tension seems to still be 'ok', they still give away, for free, most of the value is in their huge user database. Their monetization strategy has been to tighten things up so it's still valuable for most people, with the exception of sales and recruiters. If you are one of them, then to get the value of the database you need to pay.
Given the network effects of their user database, I suspect over time what they give away will be less and less and we'll see more examples of this.
I can't offhand think of any, but that's one difference between these two use cases.
Before any interview, I'd check out the people I'd go see. They would know I looked at their profile (which shows interest and due diligence) and if they had not checked out my profile already, they would now which helps me imprint on them better, if that makes sense. I'd also check out the people I'd be working with, and if they see that I checked out their profile, they'd probably check mine out too (just to see who this guy is that visited their profile) thus that makes me stand out a bit and we're on a better footing.
On the flip side, if an interviewer checks me out before I go in for an interview, it shows actual interest and makes me consider the company more seriously. So I actually appreciate it when an interviewer drops by my linkedin and I can see that they did. It's a plus. Like a pre-connect before an interview.
Outside of that, I'm not sure.
I took a look at the company he worked for and contacted him myself about an opportunity. Now I work for him (he's an excellent leader too).
Had I not seen that he viewed my profile, I wouldn't be working for his company now.
As an aside, I will generally always view profiles in an incognito window.
That's the kind of thing expertsexchange.com was busted for amongst other sites. Or is LinkedIn simply "above the law" because of their search volume?
That's just one of the things EE was busted for. For logged in members, they would see the pages from a Google SERP one would expect to see; for non-members (or those who weren't logged in), they would see a page that said "sign up". It's not unprecedented -- the New York Times does the same thing -- but the way EE did it (over strong objections from the user community) was singularly creepy. That EE's competitors had Matt Cutts on speed dial just hastened the imposition of the Panda et seq. penalties.
The good news -- at least, for those of us who aren't natural born haters -- is that a change in management has resulted in the paywall coming down, and the penalties imposed are slowly but surely being overcome.
Never used LinkedIn before, no account - see exactly what Google SERP shows.
Never used EE before, no account - you get a page asking you to "sign up" instead of the Google SERP page.
You DO get a message asking you to join just above the question, but nothing else.