My "online name" is, universally, OverLordGoldDragon. It bears a long history of associated accounts, including some relevant to my future job prospects - like StackExchange and Github. I additionally host a site, DragonNotes.org, where I summarize/explain academic material with own words, diagrams, and animations - and its footer has my online name on it.

The three (SE, Git, DN) serve fine illustrations of my technical and communicative skills - however, we humans aren't always objective. Some decades back, I'd be ridiculed for my name by society, and a job would be out of question. The question is - how different is it now? In particular, in STEM industries - software engineering/development. The matter's two-fold:

  • (1) How are my employment odds affected? -- Basically, the HR - getting past an interview, getting an interview
  • (2) How are my workplace relations affected? -- Should I expect to be disadvantaged in negotiations (wage, benefits, workload...)? Do I appear "less controllable", hence less desirable as an employee?
  • 1
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – user44108
    Aug 20, 2019 at 5:02
  • Are you asking about the name itself, or the possible risks of association with your existing online presence?
    – MikeQ
    Aug 28, 2019 at 20:12

2 Answers 2


Unless you draw unusual particular attention to your online name, it isn't going to harm you.

For example, don't show up at an interview with a t-shirt saying "I am Overlord Dragon". And don't use phrases like "we humans" during an interview.

You won't appear "less controllable" solely due to your online name. You'll only appear that way if you act that way.

Just be yourself, and allow your online name to be what it is - a link to your work.

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    Would it be sensible/advisable to link to the work/website directly and thus only give the name by implication? Aug 18, 2019 at 8:13
  • You can also use the online name to make fun of yourself in some way. "Properly" making fun of yourself is hard, you don't want to show a lack or confidence, nor do you want to risk a misunderstanding, but it could lead to great results and solve this minor issue. Aug 18, 2019 at 13:51
  • @JoeStrazzere: You're missing the point of P Hopkinson's question. Even if you can use Google once you know OP's name, that means OP still didn't advertise the name to the prospective employer (which was the point). I wouldn't advertise my Movies.SE rep when applying for a software dev position but that doesn't mean I want to make it impossible for someone to look it up if they really wanted to.
    – Flater
    Aug 19, 2019 at 13:49

Regarding (1): As someone who's been involved in reviewing, interviewing and hiring applicants in IT (developers): If you put this information forward and make sure I know it's important to you, finding "Antitheist Gnostic Atheist" at the top of your Twitter feed and seeing questions like this on SE will certainly make me wonder about both your perspective and your ability to work well and professionally with others.

As far as (2), you'd probably have to be throwing this around in the office/on company chat/whatever for it to come up at all; if you're doing that, I can definitely see it coming back and going poorly for you socially. I doubt you'd see a direct correlation with wages, benefits, or workloads, but having the respect of your coworkers isn't something you should take lightly. If you're putting yourself way out there online, it's better to keep that anonymous and retain some control over your image by limiting the amount of personal information you're handing anyone who cares to look.

If there's something you definitely want to be associated with, e.g. particular open source projects or contributions, I suggest starting a fresh, separate handle for that.

There's a certain level of humility and neutrality that are valuable in the workplace, and rather than self-censoring online, maintaining separate profiles for your personal and professional online presences is one way to avoid torpedoing yourself should someone reviewing your application/resume actually look at what you've provided.

Since I doubt your Human Name is substantially similar to OverLordGoldDragon, I would expect it to be fairly easy for you to avoid association simply by not bringing this up with interviewers or coworkers. And I would absolutely not bring this up with interviewers or coworkers.

Editing to add that this is exactly what I do; it's unlikely any employer will ever see something I've written as 'kungphu,' even though none of it is extremely controversial. Control your information as much as you can.


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