Jokes aside, those phrases raise red flags in my mind. I think maybe it is that from such an employer, I would expect to see the occasional presentation with swear words ("We're all adults, here" -- "Sure, but you act like you just left your parents' house, and with your first taste of freedom, you express your naughty self."). Ah, that is the word I am looking for: professionalism. I have a hard time taking them seriously.
> "Rock star" signals that you haven't thought enough about the role this developer will fill, leaving developers with a feeling that they'll be receiving ill-defined requirements, not enough time, or not enough resources to do their job (in addition to being overworked and underpaid).
Or more specifically, they really need 5 people to do this work, but they only plan to get 1.
One has to wonder how much the ranks of computer science programs everywhere would swell if the other half of this supposed rock star equation were present. Orgies, copious narcotics, groupies, press coverage, and throngs of adoring fans? For an office job? Shit yeah, I'll learn everything von Neumann ever day-dreamed about. Worst case scenario I can take my girlfriend out to the beach and write her a little PHP script that outputs a screed indicating my level of interest (over HTTP), right?
But I would venture to say that you never find that kind of person from a job posting. A "5/1 ratio" person certainly only lands his next gig through word of mouth.
My experience from reviewing/interviewing people based on job postings is that almost all of the applicants are looking to be a part of an already established team - very few seem to have the initiative to work on their own or create new systems from scratch - both of which are something you'd look for in potential employees at a startup. Almost all of the applicants have worked well in teams but haven't done much on their own. I'd say they're good 1/1 candidates but not 5/1. The latter are indeed found through word of mouth.
I think how most musicians, signed to a major label, who perform as "rock stars" still get a net zero payoff after two years.
I think how if programming degenerated to the level of music or motion pictures, the average programmer would labor for nearly nothing in a start-up "hoping to be discovered" while handful got a fake buy-outs with no long term money and a much smaller handful became actual multi-millionaires.
Welcome to the source of my startup skepticism.
Recursive Super-Hero Bingo for the win!
The M&M's thing served a purpose when it started though. It showed attention to detail when that could be important for a decent show or even safety: http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp
I would point out that the weird contractual demands are often canaries meant to uncover a venue that has not read the contract closely enough to guarantee the safety of all performers and the audience. The famous example, of course, is Van Halen and the brown M&Ms:
Perhaps you were recruited by a related program?
Perhaps the event you saw was the sister event for their not-diverse recruits.
Rock Star = He looked more productive than he actually was.
Rock Star = praised, promoted, highly visible, and in management's view infallible.
I worked at one of these places, as a contractor. They never offer health insurance. They buy a lot of pizza and junk food, and give out lots of cheap praise, but will never send you to a conference or otherwise contribute to your well-being or professional development.
These guys offered me a permanent position, and I turned it down for a real job.
It's cliche, yea. But sooner or later you'll miss out on a great opportunity if you run away when you see "rock star".
It's probably all the time spent on LtU mucking with my brain, but I have to suppress a minor rage every time I see this idiom. Does this happen to any other programming languages people?
In other words: Absolutely. (Good, free book, btw.)
A house with 'character' is in a bad state of repair.
A 'rockstar developer' is competent, but young enough to not know his or her worth.
There is no such thing as a rock star developer. It's a stupid stupid term. You have no inherent connection with rock music, you are not famous and don't have thousands of adoring fans. I'm convinced that a number of balding, pony tailed idiot developers and snotty college grads think they do - but you don't - get over yourself.
Stop using the term, right, now, it's stupid, seriously.
I'm not going to get started on "code ninja". Jesus... WTF comes up with this rubbish.
At first I thought that's what the article was going to get into: "We want you to produce amazingly high-quality output for an unfairly-low wage and relatively low performance bonuses." Instead it implied that rock star musicians get a significantly better deal than "rock star engineers," and that's pretty bogus. Just ask an aspiring rock star if they'd like to make ~$75K base salary with bonuses (i.e. equity) that reward the quality of their output.
1) Will they be paying me Rock Star money?
2) Oh great, another bunch of douchebag middle managers trying to sound trendy....
There is no way that they really want a rock star, i.e. a fussy, unreliable prima donna who won't work unless they get things their way. What they really want is a genius who's inexplicably dumb enough to work for median salary.
Someday we may well ask, "What was it, once, to rock?"
A salary estimate search on Simply Hired for "rockstar accountant" yielded no results :-)
Good developers are 10x more productive than average developers.
There are no comparable studies for accountants.
That's not to say the website's information is accurate or indicative of what people each of these categories actually make.
Salaries probably not a normal distribution, and the real high earners wouldn't be captured by guesses based on mean income. I would rather make the argument that the graphics displayed and information provided are really bad metrics. They are at best confusing, at worst misleading.
Strangely enough, it happened in hospitality just before I left that industry, the term 'Rock star chef' was being used a lot to describe the new wave of chefs who were more interested in getting their profile up so they could get on television rather than actually try and cultivate a decent restaurant. The focus of the business drive shifted massively.
I have a vague theory that it just cycles through industry after industry and it's interesting to try and spot the wave before it occurs.
Being able and being willing may take a while to converge, usually after interviewing a large number of the ordinary.
EDIT: the article has a purpose .. it's content designed to complement the main purpose of the site - which is to get people to use their recruitment service. They are showing that they understand what developers think - and at the same time, they 'might' also be educating hirers.
A less cynical response for the downvoter - and yes I expect to be downvoted again ;)
When you write, "We're looking for a rock star developer."
A developer sees, "We want to treat a developer like the RIAA treats rock stars."