Archive for January, 2009

Why employers should have geeks hire geeks

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Step 1 – The Posting, as a job poster, are you looking for script developers, or application developers. In general, scripts are loosely types, and applications – being compiled and required a high degree of stability – are strongly typed.

Once you realize this, you will also realize that script languages PHP and Ruby and JavaScript [ Python, Perl, etc ] fall under a very specific easy to find umbrella.

Conversly, C#, Java, ASP… are also very similar and could be found under the same umbrella.

Find out what type of programming you ACTUALLY do. Procedural, Imperative, Event Drive, Prototype, OO…. FIND OUT.

Step 2 – The Interview (more important than step 1) – once you’ve found the candidate, get one of your true developers into the interview. Time and again a line has been drawn between a “career programmer” and a “developer” or “geek” and a geek should know another geek, because they will share information like mating rabbits, and your “career developers” will get lost in the discussion. It’s very possible that while they are catching up, the geeks will have already devised an approach to the company’s problem.

Geeks are curious, smart, and take pride in their work. It’s a matter of pride to know why, and if they don’t, to find out, and to make it work even if the prescribed methods fail.

In their spare time, geeks are geeking, and becoming better, smarter, stronger, faster. “Career programmers” use their time searching for the next highest salary, shmoozing for a cushy course to attend, and perhaps drinking beer (killing brain cells)

“Career programmers” are only in it for the money. Intelligent or not, I’ve always found inferior results from someone who doesn’t generally care about the problem / logic at hand.

Step 3 – Architecture. Now that you have the tool, apply it to the project. A persons’ preference and specialization is still a factor, but the manager hedging that “We do Ruby” is not an excuse.

I would agree that you can’t test every framework or library can be tested to fit, but I think you would agree that a framework with a strong, open, and well-documented API is better (aside from bugs). With a true geek, API is all he requires to start laying the foundation on your application, and it doesn’t require months.