Last night I finally made it to a Ruby Hack Night in Raleigh… And it was good. Being a “techie” the single MOST important thing we can do for our career is to stay relevant (and any techie who does this because he/she likes it should never have a problem in this department). The folks who attend a “hack night” on a Thursday evening are the types that do this stuff because they enjoy it.
Last night a lady showed up who was not a programmer or a Ruby enthusiast. She was there because she wanted to know more about how to hire a good programmer for her company. Having spoken to countless recruiters over the years who had no idea what they were talking about, I immediately had a great deal of respect for the approach this lady was taking. The approach she is taking is not the easy one: Find a programmer and get a butt in a chair; Rather, she is looking for someone who is good at what he/she does and will be a real asset. (And, frankly, if I wasn’t committed to my new role, I may have thrown my resume her way!)
So this got me thinking… I know what I dislike when I am approached by recruiters, but what is it that I like? At this point in my career it is about much more than having a job and programming. I asked this lady if she was looking for a “code monkey” or a leader, and her response was something that was indeed very honest: “I’m not sure yet.”
I think the fact that she wasn’t sure points to the answer: They need a geek with solid programming skills, organizational and management skills, current knowledge and business sense. This is VERY DIFFICULT to come by (and I’ve alluded to the reason why in pasts posts).
Anyway, when I have more time, I’m going to put my thoughts about what I think high level techies want to see in a position.