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A “Well Rounded” CV (coker.com.au)
6 points by jast 3077 days ago | hide | past | web | 7 comments | favorite

While I certainly agree that most, if not all, of the best hackers hack as a hobby, and would continue to do so whether or not they were being paid for it, I have found, from experience, that most (not all) also are "well rounded" people who have a variety of interests.

I am pretty fluent in electronic communications. This doesn't mean that face to face communication is not also essential to a good working relationship. There are some things which are just impossible to sort out via text chat - the potential for misunderstandings is just too great.

Personally, I would hesitate to hire someone who is not a "well-rounded" person. I may still do so, but I'd hesitate.

heh. Yeah, hiring managers like you are why I make a lot more than friends who are several standard deviations more intelligent than i am, who show up on time more often, and who get more work done.

But I'm tall, blond, confident and can be fairly friendly in person, so I get more money. It's stupid, because I'm not getting more done. I'm not providing more value. In fact, the confidence is a major negative, when it comes to real value. I take on tasks I can't handle, and routinely underestimate how long a particular task will take.

If you can't communicate your ideas in writing, you are unfit for management. You are unfit to write specifications, and you are probably unfit to implement those specifications.

I'm in business for myself now precisely because I can't stand to work for semi-literate morons who choose me over people who are clearly superior to me just because I wasn't looking at my shoes during the interview.

It's also the case that people don't just come into work, do the work, and go. People want to enjoy their interactions with their colleagues, and there's economic value in that: it reduces staff turnover, people stay in jobs they're not wild about if they've made friends there. It's in a company's interest to hire people who can a) do the work (obviously) and b) have an interesting story to tell on Monday morning about what they did at the weekend. Long term, that's more valuable than someone who has great technical skills but can't bond with the team or interact with anyone.

'people skills' are highly dependent on what people you wish to get along with. the 'socially skilled' marketing guy with good hair? ever notice how the more technical people on your team want to murder that guy? Many of us prefer to hang out with people who stare at their shoes while explaining what a forrier transform is over that asshole with the good hair who is talking about how cool his yoga weekend was (or whatever the cool people are doing these days)

So yeah, while you want people who are socially compatible to work together, keep in mind that managers and technical people have very different preferences when it comes to choosing friends.

No-one wants to hang out with the people who just stare at their shoes. However, those who spend their weekends at the Renaissance Faire or building a robot in their garage do have a story to tell. Do you see the difference?

Social skills are relative, not absolute. There is a HUGE difference between "being a geek" and "being boring".

nobody? really? some of my best friends are the shy stare-at-your-shoes types.

Boring, again, is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I find extroverts in general to be a little irritating. Frankly, I'd rather have you try to explain to me what a fourier transform is than tell me how great your ren faire experience was.

the worst are those guys who won't shut up about contrails or jesus or organic food or the democrats or the republicans or corn syrup or whatever. I know we all believe weird shit. Hell, I do too. I don't mind hearing a little about it, but it gets boring pretty fast if that's what you are really into.

I partially agree with much of what he is saying. As a hiring manager looking over resumes, I cared nothing at all for things that were not at all connected with the job. But I was very interested in things that were tangentially related.

For instance, I hired mostly MS Sql Server/C# developers, but having python on the resume indicated they had a broader base within programming (and also that they probably learned on their own beyond what was needed just for the job.) The same with having Oracle or MySql on the resume along with SQL Server, it showed a broader base in related technologies.

Also, I was very interested in someone with good face to face communication skills. Most of our software was used in-house so the primary users often spoke with the primary developers face to face and a lack of ability to interact that way was awkward at the best.

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