In my previous post, I gave readers a link to my LinkedIn account and invited them to connect with me on the social network. While I’m usually open to connection requests there’s a specific type of request I decline on a regular basis, which I’ll describe later.

This article assumes the following:

  • Familiarity with LinkedIn’s product
  • Optional Surface-level knowledge of my professional history

I’m protective of my network on LinkedIn because it tells a story about my various journeys and my personal growth. I want to you look at any of my connections and respond with, “I have to ask how the two of you met.” Here’s a small sample of people who I’ve connected with in the past:

  • Rex Ishibashi, CEO of Originator (and former president of EA Japan)
  • Tatum Lade, CTO of Paperless Post
  • Zach Barth, founder and lead designer of Zachtronics, known for hit games such as SpaceChem, Infinifactory, and Opus Magnum

alt text

Screenshot taken from the Apple Developer site

I’m not setting the bar that high either. A couple of years ago, I talked to a college senior about career progression on the subway ride back from a Meetup event (I don’t think we even met at the actual event) and now he’s a senior developer at a major bank. If we went to school together, if we’ve worked at the same company, if you’ve somehow ended up in same physical space as me at one point I’ll welcome you in.

If you’re connected with me on LinkedIn, take it as a badge of honor. It’s an endorsement of you as a professional and as a person in general. One thing I won’t endorse though are relationships that are purely transactional. If you’ve been in the industry for a while you know the type of contacts I’m referring to. Occassionally I receive job opportunities, or more accurately, invitations to interview for a job. In reality these rarely lead to job offers since the recruiter doesn’t have a deep enough understanding of what clients want or what I can offer. Most of the time I make it all the way to an on-site interview just to be turned down because the employer was expecting something completely different.

It’s clear when recruiters don’t do their homework. I’ll get asked to interview for iOS engineering positions, despite the fact I stopped iOS app development outright in 2018. I also don’t know Swift, making my skillset even more outdated. There are way more qualified engineers out there, so please stop sending me mobile dev opportunities.

Most recruiters don’t want to develop our professional relationship either. They aren’t interested in learning about the struggles I faced to get to this point in my career, they don’t want my thoughts on what caused Makr to fail, and they don’t have the slightest curiousity of what Annual Saga is. Recruiters are paid on commission, meaning they’re incentivized to get from interview to offer as quickly as possible and sometimes that’s done by casting as wide of a net as possible. I have many criticisms of this industry, but I’ll save those for a future article.

If you don’t know me and I decline your request to connect on LinkedIn, please don’t take it personally. Unfortunately, it isn’t likely you’ll notice either.