I hire software developers all the time. When I’m not hiring software developers, I’m busy being a software developer. Sometimes, I have to be the software developer just because I can’t find someone good enough to take the reigns and make the right things happen.
“If the bus ain’t moving,” they say, “sometimes you have to get out and push it.”
Sometimes a developer lets you down, and you have to roll up your sleeves and pitch in. You have to have the skills and talent to do it– and not be helpless waiting for someone else to come in and save the day. That means more work, less sleep, and more frustrations. Excuses shouldn’t exist in software.
In a corporate environment, excuses and problems definitely exist. They result in meetings. They result in compromises and political battles between departments. A developer can give an excuse or a problem (“The server doesn’t have the right component installed”) and let a project manager handle it and fight all the battles. Outside of a corporate environment, problems must be overcome and it is up to the developer to find a way.
The difference between a “corporate” software developer and a successful developer is the amount of hunger they have. A corporate developer does his time and when obstacles show up in the path to completion, it is someone else’s decision on how to proceed. A hungry developer knows problems will arise and always looks for ways around them.
The objective is not work. It is not busy-ness. The objective is also not job titles, or bullet points on a cv. The objective is excellent software.
And it doesn’t matter where a software developer is working as to whether he or she is a corporate developer or not. I’ve been in corporate environments and seen developers who will look at a problem that no one else could solve and make it work (even if they had to get out and push). I’ve also been in small start up environments where a developer would wait around for someone to tell him what to do (“No one tells me anyone around here”).
The “corporate developer” is a mentality, rather than a role. I’ve seen hungry developers become corporate developers and vice versa. I’ve been both myself in the past– as much as I hate to admit it.
And when I’m hiring? I want the hungry developers! The desire to improve and the desire to succeed FAR OUTWEIGH the years of experience. When you’ve been in this business as long as I have, you know that the years of experience on a CV mean nothing. But the desire to succeed is something you spot right away.
The right developer will make things happen
EVEN IF THEY HAVE TO GET OUT AND PUSH!
And when I determine that the hunger is gone . . . when the code gets sloppy and the pace slows down . . . then it is time to move on and part ways. I would be doing a disservice to the developer and myself (and my clients) if we kept going through the motions.
Overpass does not pay a lot to software developers. I would be the first to admit that. We are looking for the up-and-comers. We are looking for those that are destined for greatness but haven’t gotten there yet. Overpass is a stepping stone for talented developers.
We want developers who are hungry.