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Protect your contributions!

sroehrl profile image neoan ・1 min read

My contribution graph looks empty!

I recently left a company and subsequently the private GitHub organization. Additionally, I used my work email for commits. The result is that my contribution graph was reduced to my OS contributions.

Now, while on one hand I despise the fact that our society treats likes, karma, and alike as currency, GitHub activity can be relevant for the career.

So needless to say, this is a bummer.

How to protect yourself

As a result, I want to remind everyone that

you should always commit using your personal (main) email

Even after leaving (or getting kicked out) of an organization, you will at least keep your contribution count.

What if it's too late?

GitHub will count your contributions even for unverified emails as long as nobody else verifies that email. I have heard of cases where intranet emails like "mylocalmail@localhost" where used in order to enable switching corporations without any hastle (be aware that you need to make sure it's unique enough).

Why did this happen to me?

I am afraid that all of this should have been obvious to me. But I assume that I am not the only one not thinking about such things. So I figured the least I can do is share this information as a reminder and would ask you to help me doing so.

Discussion

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

My understanding of Github was that any email address under your profile was considered "yours" for commit claims. So if I had "me@itsasine.dev", "kayla@bigcompany.com", "kay429386283969@university.edu" all on my verified emails in my personal profile, any commits from any of those emails would suffice. Is that not true? I'll admit my assumption stems from LinkedIn where contacts can find you by any email you have associated ever, so it's useful to link work emails even if you eventually leave the company and lose access to that email.

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jcoelho profile image
José Coelho

You’re absolutely right! I have all my work emails (previous and current) associated to my github account.

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sroehrl profile image
neoan Author

This is true! However, it is common for companies to "take over" your work email after you leave in case clients reach out. Of course you can set your private email as the main email, but as far as certain notifications go your former company might be in the loop. Also make sure to consider possible tokens.

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jcoelho profile image
José Coelho

Actually you can have multiple emails associated to your account. I have all my previous work emails associated to my personal GitHub account. This way I keep my contribution history 😉.

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sroehrl profile image
neoan Author

I replied to another answer regarding this. In short: someone else might have access to these email addresses now. What's done is done, but it seems to be a better approach to prevent that from ever happening at all.