Pseudonym on Professional Accounts

Is it considered an acceptable practice to use a pseudonym on various accounts that will potentially be submitted when seeking employment as a dev (portfolio site, blog, GitHub, FCC, CodePen, etc.)?

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I think it’s a privilege of the working developer that we get to brand ourselves and have fun with our identities. My name is so common that I would rather potential employers know me by my GitHub name. I mean, I don’t know for certain, but I assume that you’re ok with whatever name you want, as long as it’s not something vulgar or disgusting like C*nose, Fpuppetface, or P***ableStick.


In some cases it may even be to your advantage to conceal personal identification:

Surprisingly, our results show that women’s contributions tend to be accepted more often than men’s. However, when a woman’s gender is identifiable, they are rejected more often. link

When I first joined FCC, there was a recommendation that we use real photos for our avatars to create a more professional appearance. It did not take long for me to decide that I was treated much less professionally when I had a photo. I’ve also had frustrations stemming from linking my LinkedIn profile to my GitHub/FCC account and I’ve decided that identification should only go one way. Someone who knows my personal/professional information can find my GitHub account, but someone cannot find out about me from my Open Source identity.

Aside: If anyone was curious, Ariel Leslie is actually (part of) my name.


You’re like an honorary Brit if you use that phrase!


This subject (on FCC forums) has gone from “I think it’s better to use a real name. It’s more pro”, to “Dude, f*** that!” :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry to hear that! It just boggles my mind to think that we’re still so… [insert angry derogatory adjective here] :frowning2:

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The FCC community is better than most online and on the rare occasion there was harassment, an admin jumped in immediately. I just ended up with a lot of attention focused on my gender and appearance, especially in PMs.

Fascinating and disheartening. Honestly, I can fortunately say I have not yet perceived any sexual discrimination toward myself within a coding context. Of course I cannot know others’ perceptions based on my (obviously female, it would seem, based on comments) self-portrait used in my avatar that are not voiced.

Just curious: When did you join FCC?

Incidentally, the avatar you’re using currently is one of the most intriguing I’ve seen, actually. It makes me really want to know more about you.

Like you, most of the pseudonyms I use include my real name, even if there are spelling deviations.

I suppose all we can do is be/become strong, capable (female) coders. I have found motivation in being outnumbered by males in the field.

Hehe. Since you mentioned it, would you care to elaborate on “PortableStick?” I assume your inspiration doesn’t come from this.

I have been on FCC for half a year and half not seen any harassment, so you don’t have to worry about that! In fact, some of our most notable members are not male.

Read the forums :wink: You will know a lot of things (especially if you are a moderator lol)

@ArielLeslie you forgot to hide that picture :stuck_out_tongue: (I hope you don’t mind me sharing that, if you do please delete it)

Actual harassment has been rare and I don’t actively hide my gender and as @IsaacAbrahamson pointed out, sometimes even share photos. I’m pretty active on Gitter and the regulars know a fair amount about me. I’ve just come to the conclusion that I don’t want my photo or full name to be right there when people see me online. I would get a lot of PMs to compliment me on my appearance and ask me personal questions unrelated to coding. People would find me on Facebook and get really pushy when I ignored their friend requests. In real life I have definitely encountered overt sexism, but this is a really great online space and it hasn’t been a problem here.


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