Branding Yourself

By mrbagnall | 22 May 2017

Branding. It's something a lot of programmers think about, but not many very seriously. On the other hand, I have been obsessed in my past with how I branded myself and my work. 


When I owned my business, Powertools Productions, it was easy. All of my work was done in the name of the company. After I sold the company I felt compelled to maintain a business front as to appear not to be a "one man band". I formed "ElusiveMind" and worked under that moniker for another 7 years.  


Here briefly, I've been playing with another branding model which leads me to this topic. After considering another entity based brand for my work, I have finally decided to simply put my name on everything that I do (there are obvious exceptions especially as it relates to contracted work or work done for my employer). Ultimately, I want to build myself into a brand, and not be something else that reflects me. In many ways, if you are an independent contractor or self employed person, you are your own brand and you should approach things accordingly. 


I've been putting this into effect on all of my open source work as well as new personal projects. It links to my web site, my LinkedIN, my GitHub and other resources that talk about me as the developer and not some third party that makes it seems like I am trying to distance myself from my own work or represent it as a team as opposed being my own. I have great ideas, and I want them to be reflected by properly crediting myself and letting people know that yes, indeed, this is my original work and not part of something else. 


It is my assertion that by being your own brand you increase your worth not only to future vendors, but also as a potential employee. By being able to claim the work you've done and put your name on it - then you can give an accurate reflection of everything you have done. 


This does have the down site of being that if you don't do quality work, it could negatively impact you or if you fail to produce or do shoddy, half-assed work - but this should inspire and motivate you to do your best work. In this regard, there is no excuse. It pushes you to be better - and that benefits everyone.  


So if you feel you have the chops -- and you want to increase not only your visibility but also potential credibility within your field, don't be afraid to credit yourself for the things you've done or the projects that you have created. In the end with enough quality work, this can pay dividends. Don't be afraid to get peers to review your work and provide feedback so you can put your best foot forward. This will not only make your project better, it will also make you better by having outside eyes look at your project and be able to tell you things you might do better, or other ways of approaching the same problems.