[LRUG] [JOBS] - Ruby Programmer Wanted FT/PT to join funded startup as lead tech/ CTO (urgent)

Najaf Ali ali at happybearsoftware.com
Thu Apr 18 01:36:17 PDT 2013

I agree with all that's being said in this thread but lets play devils
advocate for a second.

The email is addressed to "Techies" which I hope is being used simply to
refer to a group that the writer feels he's not a member of.

For someone who doesn't quite understand what it is we do (which lets face
it, is a lot of people) its probably extremely hard to tell the difference
in quality between one "Techie" and another. A quick, coarse-grained
shorthand is to look at university prestige. That way, worst case scenario,
you get someone who worked hard and could string a sentence together at
*some point* in their lives. This I'm afraid can be a lot to ask of the
sorts of people who apply to jobs as developers.

If I had put a job advert out for a chef for a nice restaurant, I wouldn't
be above asking for a cordon bleu qualification. If I had sent that job
spec out to the London Gourmet Chefs mailing list, no doubt they would have
all chimed in about how qualifications mean nothing and the best chefs
taught themselves to cook etc. etc. But as a person who can barely cook an
omelette*, and knows nothing about food hygiene, managing a kitchen,
sourcing ingredients or how to make a face-melting hollandaise, what else
am I supposed to do?

Less charitably, it could be that the goal of having an Oxbridge grad on
the team is to make the company more attractive to investors. In that case,
the eventual hires technical ability is irrelevant.

* I'm lying for effect here, my omelettes are fucking magnificent.

On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM, Paul Robinson <paul at 32moves.com> wrote:

> On 17 Apr 2013, at 17:28, Alex Heeton <alex at heeton.me> wrote:
> > I can also say that of all the developers, CTOs and computer scientists
> I know, degrees or where they got them has little relevance to their skills.
> By my final year at UMIST I was already working almost full-time, and so
> my degree was pretty shocking: I didn't put enough time in to my final year
> project, because I was off building real-World applications.
> I don't think I'm alone in that, there were a few of us who were off
> making decent money after second year who were still officially enrolled
> back in the late 1990s/early 2000s when the boom was still bouncing along.
> IME interviewing people, degrees are mediocre indicators of talent/skill
> level at best: there are much better ways of assessing somebody's potential
> than which University they went to and what grade they got working on made
> up problems set by academics who have mostly never worked in a commercial
> setting.
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Ali, http://happybearsoftware.com
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