re: Why do employers check job candidates' GitHub profiles? VIEW POST


Here is my personal opinion about why I'd appreciate some GitHub account and why I value organizations that do.

  1. A public repo shows initiative. Either you took the initiative to learn something or you built something and have the courage to share it. In the end, you did more than what is expected of you.

  2. Open source enriches us all. Think of Linux and the millions of servers deployed thanks to it.

  3. It shows initiative. It is a special kind of action. Most people only react to change. But to initiate it, is quite different.

Any organization that cares enough to take a look at my profile instead of the average white board test is the kind of people I'd like to collaborate with.


I agree, it is a good way to determine a candidate's ability and interest in their work. It does a pretty good job of predicting if a candidate will be a good fit. The big problem is, if employers consider a lack of github to mean "this candidate does not show initiative", that's going to exclude candidates who for a variety of reasons may not be able to work on technical projects in their spare time. Those candidates are more likely to come from underrepresented groups like people of color or women, which will continue to cause our industry to lack diversity and equal opportunity.


Theres no hard evidence that underrepresented groups will lack a gh profile. Why do you say that?


It doesn’t actually show initiative and I really wish people would stop making that up. It only shows a set of developers that like working on open source projects or contribute as part of their jobs. Nothing more. I absolutely love what I do and have been doing it for decades. I’m a work-a-holic and have been known to literally put in 90-100+ hours/week when needed (which is too often). However, when I sign off, I sign off. I spend time with my family. I bike. I binge Netflix. I travel. I fly planes. I go camping. I do ANYTHING but write more code.

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