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I've recently decided to get back on the job hunt after a 2 year personal absence. In that time, I did a lot of fooling around on Github and contributed to a bunch of projects, both my own and on other's projects. I haven't gotten around to completing much, just little additions here and there. So as I'm applying to new jobs, I'm just wondering how much headhunters and hiring staff will look at commit dates as big factors on my resume.
Latest comments (8)
I don't tend to worry too much about git commmits. As much as anything a lot of my professional coding life 25 years) has been on private source control repos - so my git history is mainly just when I'm playing with stuff
Largely at interview I'm trying to assess someone's ability to do the job I'm hiring for, in the tech stack the product lives in, in as painless a way a possible. Not a lot else worries me - I've heard amazing back stories backed up by zero ability (and vice versa!)
Of course github commits might be useful in some circumstances - like someone specifically calls out a particular project, but even then you don't know if they did the code. Just that they did the commit 🙂
This isn't anything I've ever considered in hiring. To be honest, even looking at someone's GitHub before making an offer isn't that common for me, because judging someone by their GitHub contributions could result in a bias against those that don't have time or desire to work on side or open source projects, e.g. people with families, or even just hobbies that don't involve Git!
Most places I've worked tend to judge people on their CV, perhaps a telephone screening, and some behavioural and technical questions, maybe a technical test too. In many places the people hiring are busy, and they won't want to spend time going over your GitHub profile's metadata with a fine-toothed comb. Try not to stress about this :)
Everything can be important on your CV
A recently active GitHub after a large gap might not be too big of a factor overall.
Your current skills, and if they have kept updated, or even possibly growing during the 2 years would be the biggest overall factor. Few will ever dig into your GitHub activity directly, so your profile's activity grid is usually the main indicator, but only for those that actively seek it out.
I doubt commit dates matter to anyone in hiring decisions. Your source code, including tests, documentation, etc are more important than when you committed them.
Personally speaking, I usually don't look at git metadata when evaluating candidates. I'm more interested in seeing the final state of the work you're sharing. I want to evaluate your choice of patterns and project organization over the specific date you authored that effort. That goes for portfolio pieces and code tests.
If I'm looking at your GitHub (and I generally won't unless you specifically point it out, or to sate my curiousity after making a hiring decision), I will take that into account. But moreso in that I look for explanations as to why it looks like that. Much like how I would raise an eyebrow at, say, university grades steadily improving or declining over time.
If your CV shows a gap, and so does GitHub, it leaves an impression. If your CV gaps (or job changes) correspond to heightened GitHub activity, that leaves an impression. But that's why I don't look at GitHub unless you point me to it, or I've made up my mind already: It's not a decision factor, but it fills the picture with colour.