A lot of people worry about information about themselves showing up on the internet. Pictures from the past their spouse might find. Accounts on shady sites that they no longer have access to and can’t delete. Things they posted when they were younger and less than wise.
And there is a definite reason to worry. Once something shows up on the internet, then it’s pretty much there now, in many places. Oh, you can take it down from the original location. But then there is Google that will cache those search results for you or the WayBack Machine. I recently used the Wayback Machine to find stuff I had written about 15 years ago and thought was gone. Not to mention scrapers that steal content from one part of the internet and put it on another.
But when it comes to your career, the fact that nothing disappears can actually help you out. Sign up everywhere. You don’t have to hunt for places to put your name and codes or words you have written. But if you run into a place you can create an account for free and can put something there that has to do with your coding skills, then do it.
I first set foot on the internet about 20 years ago before the word “blog” existed. But there were article directories. Sites where you could submit articles that other users could post to their own site. There was no Stack Overflow but there were forums where new coders could get help from more experienced developers. Many of those sites still exist today and some have evidence that even 20 years ago, I knew something about writing code. So, even though I didn’t get a job that I could put on a resume until 16 years ago, I still had my activities on the internet that weren’t going away soon.
So help out someone new on Reddit or Stack Overflow. Contribute code to an open source repository on Github. Add your profile to LinkedIn and all the other sites that create profiles by pulling from LinkedIn. Create a blog somewhere and write posts. Be everywhere you can.
Because I am pretty sure there are a lot better developers out there than you or me. But that doesn’t matter much unless they have promoted themselves more than you or me. Because as long as you start embedding yourself in the internet today, you will be the developer recruiters find first.