Young and Quirky Equals Fantastic Programmer



  • I am about to ruffle some feathers here. But I just have to say what's on my mind.

    I have noticed a tendency in this forum to equate awesome programming skills with the "young and quirky".

    The logic goes like this. If you are young, and you are quirky, you must be an excellent programmer...on the verge of programming godhood.

    Sound familiar?

    That's because just about any post you read on the WTF has somebody defending a younger programmer, claiming that their strange habits indicate sheer genius.

    Check the posts. It's the same story, over and over.

    Is this because the majority of posters are younger and are somehow trying to overcompensate for their lack of experience by making up stories about how every quirky programmer they know is the next Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, or Donald Knuth?

    Wow, you guys must just be surrounded by wonderful talent. But let me ask you this. What does that make you? Every youngster around you is a genius-in-disguise. But what are you? You must be average huh? The truth hurts, doesn't it.



  • I'm close to old (I'll be thirty this year, that destroys my credibility I hear), and I'm average. I'm very happy being average. But, there's average and then there's average.

    I had a programmer come back with a 65 hour estimate to make a very simple extension to a web service. I explained that his estimate was extremely over-inflated and he should work with me and we'd just do the work together. He decided to take another crack at the estimate instead and came back with 61 hours. It wouldn't be so bad if he hadn't padded it with things like "8 hours of design review", "2 hours for deployment", "2 hours for build" (build and deployment are automated here).

    I ended up doing the work this Sunday. It took me an hour and forty minutes. My estimate was 2 hours. I can live with being average like that. He's a contractor that is on the fast track to being termed, here at least; I'm not so sure he'll be happy with that level of average.

    For the record, I'm quirky too... hell, everyone is quirky to some degree. Even you, mr Suit. I mean, c'mon, how quirky is that ;-)



  • @CPound said:

    I have noticed a tendency in this forum to equate awesome programming skills with the "young and quirky".

    The logic goes like this. If you are young, and you are quirky, you must be an excellent programmer...on the verge of programming godhood.

    I don't agree with this and this isn't what I perceive to be the common consensus around here.

    Personally, I think that it's so rare to find a programmer who is significantly above average that when most people find a great programmer they will put up with the programmer's quirks.  This may actually skew the world towards having more quirky great programmers (because average and below average programmers might have to get rid of their quirks to remain employable), but quirkiness by no means guarantees greatness.

    Basically in most cases a programmer is only as good as his or her code at the end of the day, and that usually trumps any other personality traits. 



  • ZOMG I AM LINIX HAX0R I AM IN YOUR BOX DELETING UR FILEZ

     

    Hire me ::puppydog eyes::

    Ooo! Coffee!

     



  • @CPound said:

    I am about to ruffle some feathers here. But I just have to say what's on my mind.

    I have noticed a tendency in this forum to equate awesome programming skills with the "young and quirky".

    The logic goes like this. If you are young, and you are quirky, you must be an excellent programmer...on the verge of programming godhood.

    Sound familiar?

    That's because just about any post you read on the WTF has somebody defending a younger programmer, claiming that their strange habits indicate sheer genius.

    Check the posts. It's the same story, over and over.

    Is this because the majority of posters are younger and are somehow trying to overcompensate for their lack of experience by making up stories about how every quirky programmer they know is the next Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, or Donald Knuth?

    Wow, you guys must just be surrounded by wonderful talent. But let me ask you this. What does that make you? Every youngster around you is a genius-in-disguise. But what are you? You must be average huh? The truth hurts, doesn't it.

     

    I love how you misinterpret things. 

     I could say: "Lots of smart people act strange."

    and you will just damn near quote me as saying: "Only smart people act strange and all strange people are genius."

     



    Can you comprehend how the two are not the same?   Frankly I'm tired of reading a new thread by you every other day complaining about people that are young and different than yourself.  Can you even consider the possibility that people can be different than you and STILL know how to program a computer?



  • @tster said:

    Frankly I'm tired of reading a new thread by you every other day complaining about people that are young and different than yourself. 

    Don't forget making more money than he does.

    -cw



  • @tster said:

    Frankly I'm tired of reading a new thread by you every other day complaining about people that are young and different than yourself.  Can you even consider the possibility that people can be different than you and STILL know how to program a computer?

    Tell me about it, CPound seems to have huge problems with people that are different to him.

    Imagine working for that guy, from reading some of his other posts too it seems like he'd be a complete pain in the ass to work for.

     

    @CPound said:


    I have noticed a tendency in this forum to equate awesome programming skills with the "young and quirky".

    I have noticed a tendency in CPound's posts to equate "young and quirky" with evil.

    I think the point most people are trying to make is that being "young and quirky" as you call it does not necessarily make them a bad programmer or person which judging by your posts in other threads seems to be your opinion.

    CPound you need to suck it up, act like a big boy and just accept that not everyone is the same as you, this doesn't make them bad, just different. 

     



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    @tster said:

    Frankly I'm tired of reading a new thread by you every other day complaining about people that are young and different than yourself. 

    Don't forget making more money than he does.

    -cw

    And better looking



  • I think many people have a natural tendency to behave a bit quirky, but it depends on the skill level whether are not this is tolerated by their employers. The more it is tolerated, the more people will act out their quirkyness. If it is not tolerated, they have to conform to the rules and suppress their quirky tendencies, or otherwise lose their job.

    Older programmers have a little comparative advantage: They are, by any chance, the only ones who know how to maintain the legacy application the whole enterprise depends on. For that reason, they can also be a bit quirky and no-one cares, though they don't have to be excellent programmers.

    Considering that, chances are that a quirky young programmer who still has a job is a good progammer, because otherwise, he would soon become an unemployed programmer. But that doesn't mean that an employer should hire a quirky young programmer, unless he knows for sure that the skills of that person are outstanding. Even a quirky young excellent programmer should be able to  temporarily behave normal, even if it is just for the time of the interview and the probation period. People who are complete unable to surpress their quirkyness are at least problematic, no matter how excellent they are in their field.



  • @tster said:

    Frankly I'm tired of reading a new thread by you every other day complaining about people that are young and different than yourself.  Can you even consider the possibility that people can be different than you and STILL know how to program a computer?

    Uh, no.

    I'm a suit, remember? 



  • well at least you admit it.



  • I'm young, come in to work carrying a sceptre wearing a green robe (sometimes nothing but), and spend at least 2 hours a day running around screaming "whoop whoop WHOOP!"

    I attribute my amazing prowess to these young and quirky techniques. So in summary, cool kids are way better that grey suits at coding.



  • @RayS said:

    I'm young, come in to work carrying a sceptre wearing a green robe (sometimes nothing but), and spend at least 2 hours a day running around screaming "whoop whoop WHOOP!"

    I attribute my amazing prowess to these young and quirky techniques. So in summary, cool kids are way better that grey suits at coding.

    Your majesty, the psychiatrist needs to see you. Now.  



  • @RayS said:

    I'm young, come in to work carrying a sceptre wearing a green robe (sometimes nothing but), and spend at least 2 hours a day running around screaming "whoop whoop WHOOP!"


    I'd like to offer you a $100K a year job!   Hey, you carry a sceptre, you must be good.

    -cw



  • @CPound said:

    Wow, you guys must just be surrounded by wonderful talent. But let me ask you this. What does that make you? Every youngster around you is a genius-in-disguise. But what are you? You must be average huh? The truth hurts, doesn't it.

    What's the matter gramps, got another "FMN0607I FILE MANAGER ABENDED WITH CODE 840C4000 - REASON CODE 00000010" while referencing a COBOL copybook?



  • @CPound said:

    Wow, you guys must just be surrounded by wonderful talent. But let me ask you this. What does that make you? Every youngster around you is a genius-in-disguise. But what are you? You must be average huh? The truth hurts, doesn't it.

    An experienced person surroundbed by young geniuses is a very lucky person. BTW, ingenuity doesn't fade away that fast. YMMV



  • @ammoQ said:

    BTW, ingenuity doesn't fade away that fast. YMMV


    I don't think it fades at all...just the tendency to self-label as a genius.

    When I was in my early 20s, I thought I was pretty hot (and had a high quirkyness factor), but I worried that by the time I was getting to my current age (pushing 40), I'd have to be looking for a new career.  I figured there was no way I'd be able to compete with the up-and-coming kids, that the new technology would be lost on me, that there'd be fleets of newly minted geeks who knew way more than I did.

    I couldn't have been more wrong.  

    Oh, there's plenty of smart 23 year olds out there, and lots of technology that I haven't had a chance to crack into yet.   But none of it scares me, there isn't much out there that I think "holy cow, how am I going to figure that out?", I've even kept up with what's going on in quantum computing just in case that pops up and suddenly gets interesting.

    Indeed, a big chunk of my career has been spent fixing the WTFs that were made by young self-declared geniuses (including a few of my own).  

    I've found that some of the most impressive engineers I've ever worked with are 35-50.  They tend to know how computers work from the chip on up; if they didn't originally have a background in comp sci (algorithms & data structures in particular), they picked one up along the way; they have an exposure to at least a big handful of languages and immediately pick up new ones; they're used to actually working for their money; they have a sense for the implications of what they are building and design accordingly; and they've seen enough WTFs not to build them again.  

    I am a big fan of quirky, but I'm a bigger fan of experience.

    -cw



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    Oh, there's plenty of smart 23 year olds out there, and lots of technology that I haven't had a chance to crack into yet. But none of it scares me, there isn't much out there that I think "holy cow, how am I going to figure that out?", I've even kept up with what's going on in quantum computing just in case that pops up and suddenly gets interesting.

    I'm not afraid of the 23 years olds either, but I think we should keep an eye on the 28 years old - already experienced, still quirky ;-)

    (Coincidentally, I made significantly more money when I was 28-30 than I make now, but maybe that's just because of the internet hype, y2k and the Euro conversion that created a big lack of coding skills then...)



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    @ammoQ said:

    BTW, ingenuity doesn't fade away that fast. YMMV


    I don't think it fades at all...just the tendency to self-label as a genius.

    When I was in my early 20s, I thought I was pretty hot (and had a high quirkyness factor), but I worried that by the time I was getting to my current age (pushing 40), I'd have to be looking for a new career.  I figured there was no way I'd be able to compete with the up-and-coming kids, that the new technology would be lost on me, that there'd be fleets of newly minted geeks who knew way more than I did.

    I couldn't have been more wrong.  

    Oh, there's plenty of smart 23 year olds out there, and lots of technology that I haven't had a chance to crack into yet.   But none of it scares me, there isn't much out there that I think "holy cow, how am I going to figure that out?", I've even kept up with what's going on in quantum computing just in case that pops up and suddenly gets interesting.

    Indeed, a big chunk of my career has been spent fixing the WTFs that were made by young self-declared geniuses (including a few of my own).  

    I've found that some of the most impressive engineers I've ever worked with are 35-50.  They tend to know how computers work from the chip on up; if they didn't originally have a background in comp sci (algorithms & data structures in particular), they picked one up along the way; they have an exposure to at least a big handful of languages and immediately pick up new ones; they're used to actually working for their money; they have a sense for the implications of what they are building and design accordingly; and they've seen enough WTFs not to build them again.  

    I am a big fan of quirky, but I'm a bigger fan of experience.

    -cw

     I'm pushing 30, and wondering why neither of us is afraid we'll be left in the dust when the next big thing in programming comes along.  Some of the people I've met(this is not at my current job, in case you're reading guys) are old mainframers who just don't seem to be getting modern programming at all.  I finally figured it out when I had an epiphany about how learning to program in 80-byte chunks might cause that difficulty, but I just don't see myself becoming similarly lost.  When everyone's using the genetic-quantum-model-driven-highly-parallelized-epsilon-oriented-hyper-cubic programming paradigms, I'm not worried about feeling lost at all.

    So the question is, in a plea that sounds like anticipated survivor guilt, "why not me?"  Do most programmers just do this stuff to bring home bacon?  Is there just no passion for programming there, or is it something else?



  • @Oscar L said:

    (...) I just don't see myself becoming similarly lost.  When everyone's using the genetic-quantum-model-driven-highly-parallelized-epsilon-oriented-hyper-cubic programming paradigms, I'm not worried about feeling lost at all.

    So the question is, in a plea that sounds like anticipated survivor guilt, "why not me?"  Do most programmers just do this stuff to bring home bacon?  Is there just no passion for programming there, or is it something else?

    Paradigm changes come slowly, very slowly, with a very long accommodation period. For example, object orientation became a topic in the early 80s (I think I've first heard about it during my military service in 1989), but it took at least 5-10 years until it became mainstream, and I'm pretty confident that a lot of software is still written in the old "procedural" paradigma.

    So maybe, there will be rumors about genetic-quantum-model-driven-highly-parallelized-epsilon-oriented-hyper-cubic programming in 2020, so we should ready ourselfs by 2025. If we fail to do that, we might share the fate of the mainframers - we become the maintainers of the OO legacy.



  • @Oscar L said:

    I'm pushing 30, and wondering why neither of us is afraid we'll be left in the dust when the next big thing in programming comes along.  Some of the people I've met(this is not at my current job, in case you're reading guys) are old mainframers who just don't seem to be getting modern programming at all.  I finally figured it out when I had an epiphany about how learning to program in 80-byte chunks might cause that difficulty, but I just don't see myself becoming similarly lost.  When everyone's using the genetic-quantum-model-driven-highly-parallelized-epsilon-oriented-hyper-cubic programming paradigms, I'm not worried about feeling lost at all.

    So the question is, in a plea that sounds like anticipated survivor guilt, "why not me?"  Do most programmers just do this stuff to bring home bacon?  Is there just no passion for programming there, or is it something else?

    It's all about where your head's at. I'm working with one of the sharpest integrators and BizTalk specialists I've ever met. He's literally done it all, mainframe assembly programming to 'manager of managers' to a place he's happiest... code jockey. He could have been just another mainframer.

    My wife's great-aunt is in her 90's. She still drives, still lives at home, and uses her computer to video conference with her grandkids. Now, I may be a failed history student, but I do know enough to just bet that she didn't pick up those mad computer skills in her teens. Her sister, my wife's grandma, is nearly as old, trades email with us all of the time, and loves playing the games over at pogo.com.

    On the flip side, I see so many people in life that just stagnate. People that are unhappy with their careers but never bothered to learn how to do something else. Or, people that are barely into their 70's but their minds seem to be fading.

    I think the key, really, is to stay active; physically and mentally. When it comes to new-fangled technology and dealing with whippersnappers, some of us are going to be better prepared than others simply because we've never stopped learning.

    I'm also not worried because I'll be damned if I'm still working in IT by the time I'm 50. That gives me a little over 20 years to get the hell out of dodge.



  • @Oscar L said:

    I'm pushing 30, and wondering why neither of us is afraid we'll be left in the dust when the next big thing in programming comes along.

    I'm sure the answer to that is a complex one, and I can only speak for myself...

    I think a big part of it is that I try really hard to work in a broad range of areas with a broad range of technologies.  I immediately worry when I hear about someone who has been doing the same basic thing for the last 5-10 years.   I have trouble keeping my interest up for a single year, much less a decade.  There are too many interesting problems out there, and too much to learn.  I'll spend a few years in doing mapping systems, then a couple in firmware & mathematical simulations, then some low level protocol work, then a couple years in .com/enterprise land, then I'll spend some time on developer tools. Different languages, different OSes, sometimes GUI stuff, sometimes web stuff, sometimes in a leadership role, other times as a code-slinging dev.  I'm already hopping on some of .NET 3.0, and I really want to play around with Fortress and start thinking about multi-core development.   I'm working my way through books on compiler design, quaternions, and Feynman's lectures on Computation (having had a chance to talk with one of his ex-grad students).   It doesn't even really matter that I'll only grok 1/10th of it, learning is a life-long pursuit -- and in 5 years maybe I'll be up to 1/2.  :)

    And it all comes around...math work that I did makes the mapping work easier, database stuff from a few years ago is right there when I need it on a new project, debugging a web problem is a lot easier actually knowing how communications protocols work...and after all of that, a web-based, database-driven mapping system isnt much of a challenge.   It also makes me the person people come to when they have some weird out-of-the-blue problem because they know there's a decent chance I've seen something like it before -- and if I haven't, at least I know where to start. 

    At least, that's why I don't worry.  Do I 'take it for granted'?   I don't think so.  I work damn hard at it, and have for the last 20 years.


    @Oscar L said:

    Do most programmers just do this stuff to bring home bacon?

    In some cases, yes.  I've interviewed more than a few devs who basically say "When I go home, I'm done for the day".  They can't tell me about any cool projects they're working on for their own edification.  They aren't reading anything interesting, they aren't learning on their own.   Especially for people with kids, I guess it has to be that way...but sometimes there's no reluctance there, no look of "but I wish I had time to learn X".  It's a job, and when the job is done, they turn off that part of their brain.   I couldn't do it.  Even when my wife convinces me to do something else, I'm always geeking out about it.  Too much to learn.


    @Oscar L said:

    Is there just no passion for programming there, or is it something else?

    That's part of it, I think.   I sort of went through college/university twice.  Once was in the 80s, once in the 90s.   The first time through, there was a very high geek-factor.  A lot of the kids had taught themselves programming, many had already learned assembly language (at least at a conceptual level), and they were prepared to spend all night in the computer lab just having fun.    The second time through, there was still a contingent of the real hard-core types, but there was an even larger group for whom it was apparently just a good career move.   It was as if they had said "Well, I couldn't get into med school, I couldn't get into law school...hey, computers, that'll be a good career".   They didn't particularly want to be there, they weren't excited to learn, had no basic knowledge, spent most of their time complaining that the classes were too hard.   

    Whether that was a difference that 7-8 years makes, or just the difference between schools, I don't know.  But there was no doubting that a large portion of the  class wasn't particularly passionate about their craft. 

    In the end, though,  the truth of the matter is that it's really pretty hard to write software...well, it's easy to write crappy software, it's hard to write good software.  People who are good at it require a certain skill set and are probably likely to find that skill set applied to other forms...people who aren't are probably locked into a single set of techniques they learned by rote.  They aren't evolving (not fast at least), aren't teaching themselves, don't learn from new experiences very well.  They're going to find it a lot harder to adapt to changing landscape.   

    -cw



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    They aren't reading anything interesting, they aren't learning on their own. Especially for people with kids, I guess it has to be that way...

    No, it doesn't have to be that way. Not at all. Kids can't kill the irresistible desire to learn new things. In fact, I guess I learn even more in my free time since I have kids, because I spend less time hanging around in the pub with my friends.



  • If I knew what brand of whiskey he [General Grant] drinks,
    I would send a barrel or so to some other generals.
    -Abraham Lincoln
    Source:Remark at Cabinet meeting, 1864

    The gulf in productivity between average, good, and great programmers is so vast that a good leader is wise to make great exception to the idiosyncracies of those at the top, even when those quirks could be called character flaws.

    Unfortunately, those who lack talent have often survived through mere superficial imitation.  In Lincoln's day, lackluster generals with flawless pantomimes of inspired military prowess resented Grant for being the genuine article.  I believe Lincoln was being facetious by suggesting that they were such good imitators that they ought to imitate his drinking, too.

    So your best programmer wears hawaiian t-shirts and is surly with HR.  Now all the mediocre programmers are doing it too, carefully cultivating an air of eccentric genius.  CPound would be well within his rights to put the smack down on the preening ameteurs and tell them to crack open a couple books or win coding contests if they want to look good.  But the star programmer, he's your General Grant, and he can fight bush-twins-drunk in his pajamas if that'll win the war.



  • @GeneWitch said:

    ZOMG I AM LINIX HAX0R I AM IN YOUR BOX DELETING UR FILEZ

     

    Wierd...a browser game gives that error whenever u try to access the forums through the "Old" view or try to switch to it 



  • @SchmidtBrickhouse said:

    So your best programmer wears hawaiian t-shirts and is surly with HR.  Now all the mediocre programmers are doing it too, carefully cultivating an air of eccentric genius.

    Thank you! You put it so much more eloquently then I ever could have.

    "cultivating an air of eccentric genius"

    That's exactly what they're doing. And with most companies, they're getting away with it.

    They eventually give themselves away after time however, They always do.

    And you will only have yourselves to blame.

    "But I thought that because he was wearing flip flops and a torn wife beaters shirt that he was quirky! And smart! Am I a bad judge of character?" 



  • @CPound said:

    That's exactly what they're doing. And with most companies, they're getting away with it.

    They eventually give themselves away after time however, They always do.

     

    You clearly cultivate an image of your own, that suit is obviously more than just a set of clothes to you. 

    -cw



  • So, apparently I lost my voicemail box. It was either the several hundred unread all company announcements or the fact that I hadn't logged in since July that finally expired it.

    On the one hand, I guess it's a bad thing. On the other hand, everyone either has my cell phone # or can easily get ahold of someone that does... I think I'll get it reactivated sometime just so I don't have to worry about having yet another flaw.



  • @CPound said:

    "But I thought that because he was wearing flip flops and a torn wife beaters shirt that he was quirky! And smart! Am I a bad judge of character?" 

    "But I thought that because he was wearing a suit he was a good leader! And a good manager! Am I a bad judge of character?".. said the new addition to the team.

    "But I thought that because he wore a suit to the interview he'd fit in with the team. How come he's so quirky now, am I a bad judge of character?".. said the hiring manager that likes to hire based on looks.

    I own four nice suites, two tuxedos, two fedoras, and a five hundred dollar pair of shoes. Be careful, if I interviewed at your company and the handler told me to dress up, and I actually felt like still going through with the interview, I'd damn sure show up in exactly the veneer you expected. I do a great job of cultivating an air of eccentric behavior no matter what I'm dressed in... clothes don't make the oddball



  • @CPound said:

    That's exactly what they're doing. And with most companies, they're getting away with it.

    They eventually give themselves away after time however, They always do.

    And you will only have yourselves to blame.

    Now, wait a minute, what on earth are you even talking about?  

    "give themselves away after a time"?   What kind of a joke of an interview do you conduct anyway?   Oh...wait...

     @CPound said:


    Wouldn't it be nice if interviewers had standardized tests to give to their applicants? This wouldn't be easy, mind you. It's not like you could get a copy of the test beforehand and cheat.

    It would go something like this...

    10 true/false questions
    5 definitions
    15 multiple choice
    1 essay

    Well...that and wearing a suit apparently. 

    You're blaming other people's clothes for your inability to spot BS.  You want to know how to get good people?  Conduct good interviews that aren't based on true/false questions and what the person wears.  

    Not saying that flip flops are appropriate interview attire, but how are people's affectations YOUR concern?  Some people conciously cultivate an appearance of "coolness", some conciously cultivate an appearance of affluence, some people wear business suits at inappropriate times.  Some people just care more about being comfortable than about what you think of them.   What part of any of that reflects on their ability to do the job?  

    (Not that I expect you to answer, you're more a fan of drive-by trolling, obviously; so perhaps it's a rhetorical question)

    -cw



  • @webzter said:

    @CPound said:

    "But I thought that because he was wearing flip flops and a torn wife beaters shirt that he was quirky! And smart! Am I a bad judge of character?" 

    "But I thought that because he was wearing a suit he was a good leader! And a good manager! Am I a bad judge of character?".. said the new addition to the team.

    "But I thought that because he wore a suit to the interview he'd fit in with the team. How come he's so quirky now, am I a bad judge of character?".. said the hiring manager that likes to hire based on looks.

    I own four nice suites, two tuxedos, two fedoras, and a five hundred dollar pair of shoes. Be careful, if I interviewed at your company and the handler told me to dress up, and I actually felt like still going through with the interview, I'd damn sure show up in exactly the veneer you expected. I do a great job of cultivating an air of eccentric behavior no matter what I'm dressed in... clothes don't make the oddball

    I want a fedora. I didn't have the $60 bucks to order the version of redhat linux that came with a red fedora... I consider it a missed opportunity.



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    You're blaming other people's clothes for your inability to spot BS.  You want to know how to get good people?  Conduct good interviews that aren't based on true/false questions and what the person wears.  

    Not saying that flip flops are appropriate interview attire, but how are people's affectations YOUR concern?  Some people conciously cultivate an appearance of "coolness", some conciously cultivate an appearance of affluence, some people wear business suits at inappropriate times.  Some people just care more about being comfortable than about what you think of them.   What part of any of that reflects on their ability to do the job?

    You win. I will hire the very next applicant who walks in wearing any combination of the following:

    • flip-flops
    • sandals
    • ripped or torn clothing
    • tie-dye t-shirt
    • wife beater shirt
    • "Che" revolutionary shirt
    • any style muscle or tank top shirt
    • smelly clothes in general
    • jeans
    • shorts or culottes
    • just shows up in briefs or a thong


    Special consideration goes to cross-dressers and those who appear in the buff with multiple piercings.


  • @CPound said:

    @CodeWhisperer said:
    You're blaming other people's clothes for your inability to spot BS.  You want to know how to get good people?  Conduct good interviews that aren't based on true/false questions and what the person wears.  

    Not saying that flip flops are appropriate interview attire, but how are people's affectations YOUR concern?  Some people conciously cultivate an appearance of "coolness", some conciously cultivate an appearance of affluence, some people wear business suits at inappropriate times.  Some people just care more about being comfortable than about what you think of them.   What part of any of that reflects on their ability to do the job?

    You win. I will hire the very next applicant who walks in wearing any combination of the following:

    • flip-flops
    • sandals
    • ripped or torn clothing
    • tie-dye t-shirt
    • wife beater shirt
    • "Che" revolutionary shirt
    • any style muscle or tank top shirt
    • smelly clothes in general
    • jeans
    • shorts or culottes
    • just shows up in briefs or a thong



    Special consideration goes to cross-dressers and those who appear in the buff with multiple piercings.

    not to fuel the fire but what if they had submitted a portfolio that you were impressed with, and they had really good grammar in all emails, and they spoke clearly on the phone... but showed up in jeans and a T-shirt? with "tats" and "piercings"?

    Would you not hire them?



  • @CPound said:

    You win. I will hire the very next applicant who walks in wearing any combination of the following:

    And yet another point in the "CPound just doesn't get it" column. 

    Did you even read the post?   How on earth would that be a win for me?  I'll summarize: clothes are pretty much beside the point -- conduct a good interview, and if the person DOES happen to be godlike in his technical skills, then ask "We have a more formal work environment here, do you think you could put something on over that thong if you were hired?"  If he says no, don't hire him.  See?  I said don't hire him.  You're the only one here who makes hiring decisions based on clothes... 

    Now, I'm pretty sure that I have hired people who had worn one or more of: jeans, shorts, a Che t-shirt, and sandals.  But that's beside the point.   Actually, maybe it isn't because I ended up being happy with them.  None, as far as I recall, of them 'were found out' later, because we conducted fairly thorough technical interviews.  I don't think any of them even lept around the office pretending to be ninjas while they were being technically competent.  

    I've also passed on MIT grads who wore a suit to the interview.  Not because they wore a suit, but because despite the shiny exterior and the degree that some people means "I'm one of the smartest people on the planet", he had shaky technical skills and a real lack of imagination.  

    -cw

    (Note:  There is some faceiousness here...if someone showed up in a thong, I'd tell them to go home, put on some clothes and come back.   Jeans & a tshirt is acceptable though)



  • @GeneWitch said:

    not to fuel the fire but what if they had submitted a portfolio that you were impressed with, and they had really good grammar in all emails, and they spoke clearly on the phone... but showed up in jeans and a T-shirt? with "tats" and "piercings"?

    That word..."tats"...I think I'm going to be sick.

    Doesn't that make you nauseous? 



  • Apparently not.

    Actually, I always found the term vaguely squicky...not sure why.  But then I'm not a big fan of abbreviations for the purpose of being in the know.   I'm not a big fan of musicals, and I never saw Les Miserables, but I was even less likely to see it once people started calling it "Les Miz".   My wife really enjoys zinfandel wines, but I cringe everytime I hear someone refer to "zins".  I once dated a girl very briefly but had to break it off when I found out she liked to play on her "'puter".  >shudder<

    Don't ask me why...but hey, a point in common between CPound and myself, that's got to be worth something.

    -cw



  • The one that really got me was that apparently cognac has now been shortened to something that sounds like it should be spelled "nyak", you know, to save that pesky extra syllable.

     

     *yes, I did hesitate and verify that tag with word.


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