A quick rant on LinkedIn Endorsements

Duane OdumI am not one of those people who is constantly on LinkedIn and to be perfectly honest I update my projects and skills far too infrequently.  However LinkedIn is sending me updates on a regular basis that someone has “endorsed” one of my skills.  In theory this is a great way to know what a person really understands, especially in the IT industry as resumes tend to be “fluffed” beyond belief (Reading a book about .NET 4.5 does not make you an expert).  While I truly appreciate when a client, co-worker and/or fellow developer endorse one of my skills, I do not understand how someone I have never met or worked with for any given time period can click Endorse.

I have received multiple messages along the lines of “I endorsed you for SQL Server, can you reciprocate”. If I have never worked with you or heard of you before that moment why in the world would I endorse you for a skill I am not even sure you possess?  Even if it is someone that has read my blogs, participated in a training class I have lead, or listened to me talk at a user group the sample size is just too small.  Granted there are occasions where you go to a user group meeting and think to yourself “This guy or gal really knows their stuff” and you may feel it appropriate to endorse them which is perfectly understandable.  Again there is a caveat…How much credence can you place on one talk?

Please do not misunderstand this little rant, because in concept I really like the idea of being recognized as an expert in IT but I would rather it be done by people that have dealt with me in a business or educational environment.  As a consultant I get to work with many great folks on many projects which keeps me learning new skills on a regular basis but if you are not one of those folks and you have never really sat down and talked with me regarding IT please refrain from endorsing my skills expecting me to endorse something for you because your request will be ignored.


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