Why Do Developers Hate LinkedIn?
Disclaimer: I’m a LinkedIn shareholder.
Given a recent job search on my end, I’ve once again had to log on to LinkedIn to update and maintain my profile. I even did a trial of LinkedIn Premium.
LinkedIn is a mature platform that does many things: it’s a resume hosting service, a social network, a recruiting tool, an advertising platform, and more. It does things that are only possible on LinkedIn, e.g. “See how you’re connected to this person.”
For as inevitable as LinkedIn often feels, it seems that the product does not resonate much with software developers and designers. Why is that?
I don’t like LinkedIn mostly because of the impersonal contacting by recruiters. There’s so many ways to developers to get a job nowadays that LinkedIn isn’t necessarily the most viable option, in my opinion. I feel LinkedIn is more important for Sales people and Recruiters.
― Iheanyi Ekechukwu, Developer
In a strange way, perhaps LinkedIn isn’t useful to the most talented developers because their professional networks exist elsewhere like GitHub, Twitter, and random Slack chats. Rather than being a utility, existing on LinkedIn is merely a nuisance.
I’d say I’m not quite full on the hatred spectrum, but LinkedIn feels like a manifestation of misaligned incentives. The spray-and-pray recruiting/networking system they optimize for is like the opposite of what I want.
― Justin Duke, Developer
Does the utility of LinkedIn diminish as your career and personal network evolves? If you have a strong personal network somewhere else, what value do you get from LinkedIn? It’s easy to see that industries with a social network closer-to-the-metal serve has better representations of professional work, with GitHub being the primary example. It shows future employers your unfiltered track record:
So, why do you think developers hate LinkedIn? Drop me a line on Twitter.
This post is a bit harsh on LinkedIn with plenty of armchair quarterbacking, so I’d like to make this post a bit of an open-faced compliment sandwich. I do admire LinkedIn for making a business-focused social network, which is no easy feat.
LinkedIn is also doing some great engineering work, especially within the Ember community. The hires of people like Stefan Penner, Alex Navasardyan, and others show that LinkedIn cares about its reputation in the eyes of the software community.