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I have a number of foss tools I have written and have released but under aliases. I guess I am worried that the code is not my absolute best and is not the most robust code around. So I have always thought it was best to keep it hidden and away from my name.

Though I now am wondering if having any code at all puts you about those who have none in this competitive job market?

My code is not bad, it works and works well. But lets just say every circumstance may not be handled in a robust way. Some parts are well written while others are hacked together.

So is it better to have something while it may not be your absolute best rather than nothing?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, Dan Pichelman, MichaelT, Kilian Foth, GlenH7 Oct 20 at 14:29

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There is nothing wrong with code not handling every circumstance in a robust way - fail fast is a feature - as long as the ones using your code can learn quickly what WILL be handled and what happens when something is not handled. You cannot foresee everything. –  user1249 Feb 23 '11 at 10:05

2 Answers 2

I see two useful options:

  1. start coding under a new alias, or your real name, and link to that. Make this your show-pony code, and concentrate on only submitted changes that you think are excellent. It'll be a lot of work.
  2. Link to the better aliases. It's not perfect code, it's working code, and that's what most employers want. Well, the ones trying to make a profit want that.

An important thing to remember is that as you improve the code you wrote in the past always looks bad. Especially if you're contributing to FOSS projects as a way to learn new languages or techniques - some of your commits will contain novice mistakes.

What I do is put my personal library code online (the little box of tricks every programmer has) so that people can see what I think is reasonably good code. For a single sample I have a threadsafe logging unit that I first wrote in about 1993 and have improved and re-written since then. It's not perfect but it is reasonably well-designed code, it works and it has been tested. Those three elements are the key ones that I value, and communicating that to employers is a useful thing IMO.

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My code is not bad, it works and works well. But lets just say every circumstance may not be handled in a robust way. Some parts are well written while others are hacked together.

This itself says you have done at least decent job. There are many FOSS projects in sourceforge and you will see many are overlapping, many you may find it difficult to use and work with let alone interpret and maintain. But that's how life evolves. As people contribute, things become better.

Publish it (with your name or your online avatar) on such community portal, seek feedback and improve upon it allow others to add work in it. This will not only teach you about how to do good design, and write good code but also the open source style of development processes. You will also learn community reputation (that might be great in resume as well). Most important thing is by connecting to people, you will learn a lot.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in this. Take pride and derive satisfaction from your work. That is the matra of FOSS.

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