1

After reading this old post on stack overflow meta. It seemed to indicate that employers might care about your stack overflow reputation/activity in their hiring process for developers. Admittedly, this post is nearly a decade old, but does some of the sentiment expressed there still apply today?

In my anecdotal experience as a developer, I have never been asked about my stack overflow reputation, and my employer(s) don't seem to care about it. I'm in Australia, but I'm interested to hear if other countries are different.

  • Do employers care about stack overflow reputation?
  • If so, how does a candidate's SO rep affect an employers perception of the candidate? (may even be negative)

closed as primarily opinion-based by solarflare, HorusKol, OldPadawan, LP154, gnat Oct 3 at 8:30

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Having interviewed 200+ candidates at 3 companies, in my experience: they don't care at all. Only one candidate ever mentioned something like a SE reputation. But then, the guy was one of the top Quora mod. Apart from that, no mention of rep ever, and obviously no hiring decision based on rep. – Jeffrey supports Monica Oct 3 at 3:42
  • 10
    Theres utterly no way to answer this, since "employers" don't get together in a big meeting once a year and officially decide what they do and do not collectively care about... :D – Moo Oct 3 at 3:43
  • (I interview candidates, and I have not once checked their SO reputation) – Moo Oct 3 at 3:43
  • 3
    Why would they when there are so many better indicators to look at? If my experience here at the workplace is any indication, reputation is based mostly on happening to stumble on the right question at the right time.If your reputation is too high, hiring managers may wonder if you have a habit of answering questions when you should be working. – AffableAmbler Oct 3 at 4:15
  • 1
6

Speaking as a hiring manager in Australia, I can’t say that I’ve ever gone looking for a candidate’s SE account.

I have gone looking up GitHub though.

  • I would expect the interesting bits to be presented by the applicant. If you apply for a C# job and have a gold badge for C# that would be a good thing to mention, but then you at least need to check if the claim is correct. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 4 at 9:42
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen Fair point. I’d certainly be interested to hear if the candidate had a community recognition of that kind, but I’ve never had an applicant who highlighted something like that, or chose to share their profile via their CV. – s3raph86 Oct 4 at 10:02
  • So none of the applicants you have had, have had a significant SO presence? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 6 at 22:44
2

Not that I know of in Australia. It would be locale and individual company specific anyway. No one in my country aside from me knows what SE is, and I only found out a few years ago.

I've seen a few Australians since I've been here, but they're unlikely to be hiring managers.

A large chunk of the World is non English speaking, SE wouldn't mean much to most of them.

  • English is the working language for most programmers. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 5 at 12:47
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen very few programmers in my country know English well, I would guess 2% – Kilisi Oct 5 at 15:50
2

SO reputation can be a double edged sword.

On one side, it gives a rough evaluation of your skills in knowing and communicating about certain topics, which might be relevant or not to your work (100k rep in the great outdoor or seasoned advice, for example, do not count the same as 100k rep in finance if you are an accountant).

On the other side, some managers can see it as a sign you spend too much time on non work related activities, maybe even during work time.

All in all, bring it out only if it adds value to your resume.

2

For my last two jobs I have used my SO actively in my application.

Having a Java gold badge combined with a non-trivial amount of reputation is a good thing for a Java developer. It says that you are not only experienced but also a good communicator, which has helped me land the jobs.

That said, it is just a single thing in the overall picture. I originally started contributing to SO to get points to use for bounties for my own questions when I was stuck (which has worked well). Using SO primarily for self-promotion for future jobs will in my opinion not work well.

  • You appear under your own name. Many people use some anonymous handle that cannot be proven to belong to a certain individual. – Bernhard Döbler Oct 3 at 13:57
  • 1
    @BernhardDöbler Yes, by choice as I have a rather uncommon name. I believe you can change your public SO handle, and if you want to use SO for self promotion I think first step would be to switch to your own name. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 4 at 9:41

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.