I am a PhD student in computer science and have enjoyed my time very much so far. I just finished my 4th year and I plan to graduate in a year. During my degree, I worked on a few papers that became well cited. Throughout my PhD, I consistently worked with another student, let's call him Mike A. My name is Lilly M. and my advisor is Timothy Z. (all names are made up). On all of my papers, Mike A. and I are listed as “these authors contributed equally”. However, my advisor is adamant that he publishes in alphabetical order (this is becoming less common, as far as I can tell), so all papers are Mike, Me, our advisor. I have noticed that this has more and more of an effect, as fellow researchers tend to know Mike or my advisor but rarely know me, even though I contributed half of the work.
I have spoken to my advisor about this and he assures me that (a) he does not think it is a big deal and (b) he does not want to change it because he consistently publishes in alphabetical order. Most papers in his group are with him and a student, and in these cases it always means the student is first, and then him.
Is this something I should be concerned about? Do you have suggestions on how to approach this with him?
Note: The reason I ask is that in the last few weeks, Mike was asked by three separate institutions to come and give a talk about one of our papers. I was never asked. In this case, Mike told me and we worked it out. However, it suggests that there is a different perception of my work than I would like. I plan to graduate soon and apply for new positions. Are there things I should do this year that you would suggest?