Long before opening the doors on the original EH-Net years ago, there’s been an ongoing discussion on the use of a hacker pseudonym or just nym vs the use of one’s real name and the effect on one’s career. There are many sides to this argument as with any.
On the pro nym side, there was always the fear of connecting one’s activities to them personally. One might argue that they’re doing something illegal thus the need for anonymity. Others claim that it is a basic right to privacy.
Although I can see both sides of this argument, there’s also no doubt that using a nym and a nym only will have a negative impact on the future growth of one’s career. Of course, there’s always the point that someone could make an entire career with their nym and the nym might have more value than the name. However, it is my contention that eventually a career will hit a ceiling with a nym. Now let’s not confuse a career with street cred (and that’s probably a whiole other discussion). But a real name is the only way to truly advance, especially in the age of personal branding.
Counterpoint is what type of career? This doesn’t even get into the debate between legit or not, legal or not, etc. But, one can make a really good living and a completely legal one at that doing research and only using a nym publicly. The paycheck or reward would have to be in a name (be it a person or company), but one could always ask to remain anonymous. But for most, the paths for a successful career include utilizing your own personal name (even if changed legally from your birth name as many actors do to protect their history, family, etc.).
As you can see, this discussion can go in many directions. Where will you take it? What do you prefer? Why?