PEAT Online Course -
How To Improve Your Personal Performance in Java work Technology

  • Focus
  • Autonomy
  • Proficiency
  • Purpose
  • Covid-19!!!
  • Deep Hidden Meaning
  • FREE updates
Your Promo code: TECHLAYOFF
Exclusively on

Contracting #19 – I never give upfront references and here is why

15 June 2015 1 comment

2 minutes


I never give two references up front in an interview process. It seems to me that some people [recruiters, talent acquisition hunters and researchers] are just chancing their arm to get into my business social network or pump me for information. If you know Kevin Mitnick then you probably know about Social Engineering too. This is a relative new term for a uncool business practice that is over one hundred years plus years old (P. T. Barum).

It is you are part of the elite (like I am a Java Champion, one of  125 worldwide on this planet Earth) then you really should not be relying on referees at the first stage of potential contract interview process! (Err that is really just dumb.) Even if you aren’t part of this elite group, such requests is just plain wrong. This is where I feel that designers [the web,  physical architects, creatives, artists, musicians, singers, sculptors and painters] are luckier than software developers, because there is a tangible product at the end of their work. These artistic workers have portfolios, and well stocked and recent portfolios tend to drive their freelance business model. In the software industry, much of what we as engineers do for business, lurks behind the close doors of the web front-end or some suped-up rich client. Our back-end development work is just plainly not immediately noticeable, but it is there nonetheless. We, therefore, should not devalue ourselves as digital engineers that work behind the scenes. Have you taken notice of thousand line name credits at the end of the latest Hollywood CGI movie? Movie work is paid for professional work, not free.


Asking for credit barber shop could result in a punch in the head!

A Poster found at a barber shop!


So let me repeat again, I do not provide up front references or referees of any sort, because I find it patronising. Don’t scandalise mine. If I and the potential client, during negotiations, both get to the contract job offer stage then I am more than happy to provide them directly to him or her. Then again the types of clients that I tend to work for, already have researched my skills online and/or, at least, spoken to other people about what I can do for them.  All that said, I am always happy to provide testimonials.

[Reference Contractor UK Forum – I just need two references – sticky]


– update – 2015/06/15 6:48pm

Clarification of the people statement at the beginning; revised generalisation as there as some great talent resource folk that help contractors and obviously client.

Hey all! Thanks for visiting. I provide fringe benefits to interested readers: checkout consultancy, training or mentorship Please make enquiries by email or
call +44 (0)7397 067 658.

Due to the Off-Payroll Working plan for the UK government, I am enforcing stricter measures on contracts. All potential public sector GOV.UK contracts engagements must be approved by QDOS and/or SJD Accounting. Please enquire for further information.