In the wake of Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub the idea of using someone's public profile as a hiring filter appears to once again be making waves. It seems to be shocking to people who have used it this way, because apparently they have never considered that there are groups of people who have been excluded from basic evaluation just because they had no public programming profile.

So let me state the following for the historic record:

  1. Being able to find time and energy to program in public for non-work reasons is a privilege that relatively few people can afford to enjoy.
  2. Your GitHub contribution graph tells me very little about you.
  3. Looking at random piece of code someone has written on the web devoid of context is only marginally better than nothing at all.
  4. I could name a dozen developers who are much more adept than me who do not have a public profile.

Let me make this personal for a moment, my LinkedIn profile contains sufficient signals that I pass most tech recruiter filters today. However, I have only very recently found both the time and energy to work on an open source projects, prior to the last 18 months my GitHub profile would have been a negative filter thereby limiting my options.

I have no problem with the idea of a candidate proudly sharing actual code during an interview, or even doing so in lieu of a basic code evaluation. I do have a problem with managers and developers asking or implying that recruiters use it as a primary filter for initial candidate evaluation. In doing so it becomes easy to create monolithic groups and create a perception of a lack of diversity in pipelines.