Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed lately an increase in people representing themselves as Individuals in communities where they are clearly acting on behalf of an Organization.
In some cases, I understand the motivation – banks, in particular, are extremely cautious about tipping their hands to the public about their IT choices not only for security, but for legal reasons. I’ve also run into a front or two for a group of people working in national security departments throughout Europe.
But if you work for an IT company, or a large company that is predominantly IT driven, why would you go so far out of your way to hide that fact? Doesn’t it limit your credibility?
The answer seems very simple to me.
Unfortunately life is increasingly law-driven. People are getting sued and fired for nothing, and the tolerance for mistakes is very low. If you want to publish your thoughts, you have 2 choices:
1, consult half your organization (including the blood-sucking lawyer department) over what you can and cannot say. Even then you cannot be sure and you can be fired over wrong word choice or a typo.
2, publish only in your name, without mentioning your employer.
I don’t know anyone who in their right mind would willingly choose the first option. There are very very few organizations and companies who are flexible in this regard. Mine is one of the better ones yet I’d have to be very cautious to publish who they are lest I make a mistake & that badly reflects on them & they take it out on me.
One less sinister motivation is that of the independent software contractor.
I usually set-up my on-line community memberships using my personal contact details rather than those of my (current) employer.
When I’m asking or responding to questions in (software development) forums the context usually doesn’t warrant mentioning my employer…