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CPAN Authorhood

by Anonymous Monk
on Jun 21, 2003 at 23:19 UTC ( #267882=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I have recently become a CPAN author. I used my real name, but now I am not sure I should have. I like going by different handles. I have different names in different online places, including the monastery. So why did I use my real name? I think because of employment opportunities. I am unemployed and it's nice to point out on a resume or in an interview that you are a CPAN author. I noticed that most people use their real name on CPAN, except for a few exceptions like Abigail, chromatic, etc. Should I really worry about how employers will view my claim that I authored modules if I use a handle? Does it really matter? Just curious, monks. Oh and do you think the CPAN maintainers would make a fuss if I changed my name? What about people who marry and change their name? Do they get a new author id on CPAN?

By the way, do you think the Perl community as a whole prefers that CPAN authors use their real name since it may convey a sense of accountability to users who might think twice about relying on software by somebody named h/\c0r or whatever?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: CPAN Authorhood
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jun 22, 2003 at 00:00 UTC

    I really don't think it matters. Employers have better things to worry about than whether you use a pseudonym for your online work. We're usually bright enough to detect people who claim authorship of modules that they didn't write.

    The only person I ever encountered doing this was so dumb they picked a well known CPAN author (chromatic if anyone is interested ;-)

    This poor unfortunate came at the end of a long day of interviewing and was mercilessly asked to explain how things like Devel::Constants and Sub::Context worked - and asked to explain why he wasn't quite as american as we thought he should be. Sad.

    I judge the code, not the alias. Write good code. Forget about the names.

Re: CPAN Authorhood
by grantm (Parson) on Jun 21, 2003 at 23:31 UTC
    Should I really worry about how employers will view my claim that I authored modules if I use a handle?

    Wouldn't you put your real name in the POD regardless of the PAUSE author ID? And if you did then what difference would it make what ID you had chosen?

    You could have gone for the 'best of both worlds' by using your preferred handle as your CPAN ID but still registering your full name (like eg: MERLYN). But I'd say don't change it now. Move on to something that matters.

Re: CPAN Authorhood
by chunlou (Curate) on Jun 22, 2003 at 11:31 UTC
    Having your name attached to some published work matters more to an interviewer from some HR dept or recruitment firm, who has no technical knowledge whatsoever (someone who will ask you for a dozen references rather than asking you to solve one sample technical problem). (But then, if an interviewer has no technical knowledge, he probably wouldn't know what CPAN is and your authorship might mean little.)

    A technical interviewer can and will probably (hopefully) just look at what you know rather than who you are.
Re: CPAN Authorhood
by pboin (Deacon) on Jun 23, 2003 at 20:07 UTC
    Should I really worry about how employers will view my claim that I authored modules if I use a handle? Does it really matter?

    If it were me (and it's not), I'd go ahead and use my real name, mostly for the reasons you already cited: employment opportunities, credibility, permanence, etc..

    There's really no good reason *not* to use your name.

    All that being said, it's really beside the point. Long term, quality of work is just about the only thing that defines you professionally.

      There's really no good reason *not* to use your name.

      Oh I don't know about that ;-) Depends on the quality of the code. There are some CPAN authors I wouldn't work with if they paid me!

Re: CPAN Authorhood
by hsmyers (Canon) on Jun 23, 2003 at 18:42 UTC
    This is definitely a Sinatra kind of thing, as do it your way. Signed for all the world to see or not, it really doesn't make any difference. I was brought up in the fine arts tradition and am willing to sign just about anything I had anything to do with---others relate well to Kilroy! Only thing that amounts to anything is the quality of the code...


    "Never try to teach a pig to wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

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