Friday, November 30, 2007

response to 'Hiring a *buzzword* Developer ... '

There are a lot of blog postings out there with the subject of to hire the perfect developer. The most recent article the sparked my interest was '11 Tips on Hiring a Rails Developer'. That describes a great or *shudder* rockstar Rails developer as a hard to come by. There are many articles like this in the Rails world. Describing how to get the Rails developer that goes to the RubyConf, goes to the local Ruby meetup, and dreams in Ruby.

In short, these articles often leave out the most vital argument of most programmers, engineers, scientists, etc. that have the willingness to learn and expand their expertise. At my current job, before I became the Rails developer/Software Engineer, my experience in Rails was next to nil. Mainly it was me tinkering around with the famous screencast showing how to make a blog. I was hired on as QA to test the currently developing website, but sometimes I would go in and tinker with the code, to make fixes that the other developer didn't have time for. Eventually I became the goto guy for the Rails development and I switched roles within the company.

My point is that there are people out there who are passionate about Python, but can pick up Ruby. There is a Java developer out there learning the potential of languages with Groovy. If you look to hard for the person whose main experience has been everything in one concentrated field, what happens when the next buzzworthy thing comes out? Will they be able to learn it, or will they stick to what they know because it can do everything they need it to do?

My belief if the true rockstar is able to adapt to anything.

*PS - In response to the article that sparked this annoyance, You can hire people with a degree too. I have a Masters in Computer Engineering with concentration on data mining.