Revitalizing LinkedIn's Advanced Perl Users Group

Deven Corzine is revitalizing the Advanced Perl Users group on LinkedIn, and I've volunteered to help. We're going through all of the join requests to approve everything we can, delete the obvious spam and HR requests, and figure out what to do with the rest.

But, besides clearing out the backlog, I want to quadruple the number of members in the group by the end of summer (which is sooner than Christmas). We have 250 members right now. I want that to be 1,000.

LinkedIn is essentially a trust network that relies on connections and recommendations for other people to get a quick read on strangers. That's amplified with controlled groups, such as Advanced Perl Users group on LinkedIn, which is set up so "new members will only be approved if an existing member is willing to personally vouch for the new member". Deven's intent is to have a group of serious Perl programmers who we'd want to hire ourselves.

Going through the requests, I made that requirement a bit soft. Some requests I approved without the explicit recommendation:

  • You're a CPAN author (and it's listed in LinkedIn)
  • Someone else on LinkedIn recommended you specifically for your Perl skills (even if they called it "PERL")
  • You listed a position at a company known for high Perl standards (cPanel, pythian, and Shutterstock were a few examples)
  • You connected your Slideshare presentations to LinkedIn, and I saw some Perl presentations in there.

That leaves about 200 requests which have no sponsor, recommendation, or trust attached to them. That doesn't mean that they aren't advanced Perl users; just that we have no reason to think that these people we don't know actually are.

Most of those 200 requests have bare bones LinkedIn profiles, and many use only job titles without descriptions. Some are a bit coy about what they actually did, using the buzzwords we all hate but also all seem to use in our résumés anyway.

Maybe LinkedIn doesn't matter that much to you, but remember this: many of the good jobs never show up on the jobs boards. Recruiters find candidates they want and try to fill positions before they open the floodgates. If you aren't tending your social and occupational networks, you're getting the left overs.


Hi brian

I wouldn't use LinkedIn if I were you. I've had spam from them (yes, LinkedIn themselves) which was forged to look like it came from someone I know personally here in Melbourne, who also uses LinkedIn. In fact he and I had never shared the fact that we both registered for LinkedIn. When I rang him he told me he too had been spammed likewise, and that therefore he now (also) refuses to use them.

The other reason to never use them is that it is impossible (the last time I looked) to delete your account. They refuse to let you get their hooks out of you.

Nasty, very nasty.

Ron Savage

Noting that Ron is a fellow Australian, my experience is that IT recruiters here are all using LinkedIn now. I am still getting the level of unsolicited offers that i claim in the below link. Saying that - if your employment situation is to your liking there isn’t much reason to join linkedin.

I have to admit that i haven’t looked in to if LinkedIn will let you close your account. Saying that, as with ANY resume you should never include details beyond your name, a contact and pertinent details about the skills you want to be hired based upon (I wax lyrical here ->

I have just sent a join request to the perl group, and want to thank you for putting in the effort brian.

> You're a CPAN author (and it's listed in LinkedIn)

Is the "correct" way to list this to list it as a Job? I've seen others do it this way:

So that's what I've done too:

Looking forward to being accepted into the group :-)

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About brian d foy

user-pic I'm the author of Mastering Perl, and the co-author of Learning Perl (6th Edition), Intermediate Perl, Programming Perl (4th Edition) and Effective Perl Programming (2nd Edition).