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Competence trumps a good cultural fit Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, September 27, 2013 2:29 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Competence trumps a good cultural fit


Best wishes,

Phil Factor
Simple Talk
Post #1499586
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 7:35 AM
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Thanks for the perspective. I'm a developer in his 50's and have had the good fortune to work in smaller environments that better suited my particular personality. I'm good with people about 50% of the time. After that I need to work alone. As our team has grown I've struggled with the increased communication, meetings and other "social obligations". I've done some searching recently and see the position requirements you've mentioned. I endeavor to be a strong and competent technician.
Post #1499687
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:24 AM
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Thank you for writing this editorial. You have reaffirmed what I have been seeing happen to the job that I so dearly loved for so many years.

Being productive is so difficult in the "open concept, collaborative" work environments. "Just wear headphones" is the response from the management when the fellow next to you sings aloud and announces (loudly) his receipt of every email throughout the day. Hours of focus and concentration go down the drain with each new interruption...

I was beginning to think I was the only one who felt this way.
Post #1499688
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:45 AM
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Born on 1945.
Never worked for a company or in a team.
Been writing thick Windows code for 36+ years as well as web stuff for 15+ and still filling needs.
Survived the procedural to OOPS change up and loving it.
My work periods have totem poles of coffee cups and shredded bits of notes everywhere.
Could I handle working in offices and cubicles to do the same for any amount of dollars? No way. I've seen too many fall, too many intuitives leave the craft because of team weirdness.
One lone person can change a world - their own world.
Post #1499690
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:08 AM


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I agree up to a point. A minimum level of social skills are necessary. When a colleague of mine told the wife of a vice president that she was stupid, did it in front of her subordinates, and couldn't understand why that was a problem, he just did not have acceptable social skills to remain employed there.
Post #1499691
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 11:47 AM
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I have good leadership and communication skills, but I realize that to create great software requires excellent technical abilities, good requirements and domain knowledge.

My colleagues thank me when I help them solve problems, not because I lead the scrum retrospective (the management types get all gushy though...would be nice if I didn't see right through that).

Oh yeah, I hate the gazzillion developers in one office approach as well...very distracting.

Enough said.
Post #1499702
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:32 PM


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Programming is one of the few disciplines were the ability of the individual can outweigh the ability of an army of individuals.

As long as that individual is not down right evil I would make attempts to accommodate.
Post #1499719
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:04 PM


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Come on, Phil, there was no reason to hit Agile quite that hard; after all, anyone who understands development knows that Agile is vacuous anyway, just a silly misunderstanding of principle of economy of effort wrapped up with a little pseudo-psychological lunatic sociology jargon to convince people that it's useful do it faster by not bothering to try to do it right, and people who aren't bright enough to understand development aren't bright enough to understand your editorial either.

It was great to read - so cheering to see that someone is still batting for technical ability against the fitting face; but I hope that the days of the misfit are not over. Misfits cause change; since our systems are not perfect we need change; so lets have more misfits. It's probably a forlorn hope: in the early 2000s I and my people wasted time skimming hordes of irrelevant CVs because recruitment agencies were incapable of understanding that a developer doesn't become competent by churning out the same old muck year after year and never getting out of step with the organisation, but by doing new and different things so that he or she can find out what works best and what doesn't, and people who want to do new and different things - well, they won't fit in socially, will they, because they will argue about being required to do what they are told without being able to question anything.

edit: I perhaps shouldn't be so nasty about agile. If divorced from the idea that someone must have the right social habits in orer to participate, and done right instead of sloppily, it might even make sense; it wouldnt then be much different from doing the minimal viable amount at each stage, which of course was a well understood design, development, validation, and release method long before the name "agile" was invented - sufficiently well understood that, unlike many brands of snake oil, it wasn't hyped as a panacea.


Tom
Post #1499720
Posted Saturday, September 28, 2013 11:55 PM


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I can't stand end-users. I can work with most IT people.

But there is a point where I don't care about the muck someone else put together. And I'm more than willing to state it.

But the agile just doesn't work.

Hear, hear Phil!!




----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
Post #1499726
Posted Sunday, September 29, 2013 4:07 PM
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Nice to be challenged with an opinion I can't agree with :)

I think you've put forward a bit of a straw man argument here. As a minimum, an interviewee must have the technical skills required to do the job. Nobody would hire a nice guy just because they are nice. The thing that gets people hired above that is whether or not they can apply those skills to produce what the customer wants. This requires the softer skills and a company would be silly to ignore them.
Post #1499787
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