I take strong exception to every premise, motivation, and conclusion of this article. I know the author meant well. But I’m sure I’m not the only one. Most established software engineers (many of whom don’t even know what Medium is) would simply laugh at the conclusions and face palm at the amount of wasted time described to “accomplish” what the author talks about. They would never take the time to even respond, as I knew I had to as soon as I read this.
Instead invest that time in stuff that actually matters:
- contribute to open source projects,
- participate in forums and chat rooms,
- maintain a blog of your discoveries.
These activities meet the goals described by the author but are much more substantial and do no promote like mentality.
People need to stop implying self-branding has anything to do with skill (as satired on SNL’s You Can Do Anything) . I won’t dispute it is a necessary evil, but the two are completely and totally disconnected and implying otherwise suggests a disconnection from reality that any astute hiring manager would quickly identify and dismiss. It is a naive, dangerous mistake.
In fact, I challenge the author to provide any specific evidence to promote his suggestion that having a high SE ranking has affected any hiring or promotion considerations, ever. If so I very much want to know the companies involved so I can black list them for anyone who ever asks me where to work. Such a company would ridiculously flawed.
The best software engineers in the industry don’t even have an account and would rarely ever use StackExchange, Quora, or any of the other like-mentality false wisdom services that are so incredibly popular right now. It is not just me and it is not just “old people.” These services feed the cancer that is the idea that if enough people accept an answer it becomes true, which any real engineer would immediately dismiss as unscientific. It is a travesty that these services come up ahead of actual documentation sites like Mozilla Developer Network and all the other authoritative resources out there.
If you are just starting out remember one thing. Success takes work, real work and most of that work will have nothing to do with self-promotion.
Don’t be the guy who says, “I tried and therefore no one should criticize me.”