Weird how these types of articles don’t get many comments.
It’s s great article that makes great points. Probably we don’t see many comments because addressing cultural problems is hard and unsexy, despite being a hugely profitable undertaking. Even after reading that, in not sure what actionable takeaways i have.
Try to be open minded when hiring? I think everybody imagines themselves to be open minded, to value other people’s experience, even (especially?) when it’s very different from your own.
In the specific examples given by the author, it seems that engineers and recruiters (both at the same company) had different expectations as to what made for a good candidate. I think a take away might be that it’s important to assess those differences and reevaluate your recruiting process appropriately. That might seem like an obvious thing to do, but not doing so is certainly an easy trap to fall into.
I rather like this article from Thomas Ptacek for actionable hiring advice: http://sockpuppet.org/blog/2015/03/06/the-hiring-post/
agreed, that’s a very useful article.
You’re right. There are very few takeaways for hiring managers. I see the person most needing to do his homework as Mike.
Yes, the industry is very fickle and wants to see the latest and greatest technologies on your resume, and we don’t always have the luxury of choosing what we work on, but we DO have the luxury of working on side projects in our spare time.
(I know I can hear the parents in the audience laughing when I say that - spare time being a sparse commodity and all, but it all comes down to choices. There are no doubt times I would MUCH rather goof off with my wife than sit at the computer some more to bone up on the latest and greatest, but if you want to thrive in this field you have got to be willing to spend some extra-curricular cycles to keep fresh.)
but we DO have the luxury of working on side projects in our spare time.
This is very dependent on your life situation. It’s not just having children, it’s also whether you have to work an extra job (or have a job with long hours), suffer from some forms of disability, care for elderly parents, have a child with special needs, etc. Yes, most people in the tech industry can put some of their spare time into their careers. But not everyone.
There are no doubt times I would MUCH rather goof off with my wife than sit at the computer some more to bone up on the latest and greatest
You probably did not intend this, but phrased this way it sounds like spending time with family is “goofing off” while studying the latest tech is being responsible. I tend to think the opposite: studying the “latest and greatest” during family time is “goofing off” while spending time with family is actually being responsible.
Spending time ensuring that I continue to be employable is in the best interest of my family, therefore I do in fact consider it to be responsible behavior.
Finding a balance between work and the rest of one’s life is a challenge for all of us that we each solve differently. While I have every sympathy for someone who finds themselves with a resume full of technologies that aren’t currently marketable, I’m unsure of what the right answer here is.
Should the industry evolve to value general intelligence rather than a CV full of the latest hot tech? Sure it should! Will it? Likely not.
Oh, certainly. I doubt that there is much actual disagreement here. It was more the way you phrased things that I objected to.
While I have every sympathy for someone who finds themselves with a resume full of technologies that aren’t currently marketable, I’m unsure of what the right answer here is.
Personally, I tend to think that companies should give developers a little bit of time each week for technical exploration and career growth. (My employer is pretty good about this.) However, I know not everyone is in that situation.
Ah, the fabled 20% time. If you’ve worked at companies that support this, then count yourself lucky. I’ve never actually seen it practiced in the wild, though I totally agree it’s a fabulous idea and definitely in any company’s best interest.
20% Time is more of a mythology than a reality at Google, which invented the term. If your manager decides that you don’t have it, you don’t have it. If your team resents you for having a 20%T project, you’re going to get “Perfed” as hard as in any other company.
I supposed that there is a small benefit to “20% Time” which is that it’s a statement that someone who contributes in a visible way, while not acting under managerial direction, is not automatically presumed guilty/insubordinate just for having the side project. That’s not nothing, because there are cultures that are that way, but I find it to be minuscule.
I think among a lot of people, this sort of thing is a “no kidding, Sherlock” moment. I like Dan’s writings, and think his articles are good, but the “Startup X prefers Stanford grads” and “Started by Xooglers” memes have been around a while. I’m glad Dan laid it out so clearly, but for those with eyes to see, it’s been visible for a long time.
In this case I would suggest that Mike spend some time contributing to open source. Pick a hot technology that sounds interesting and dive in.