There are so many superstar programmers in the blogging world, speaking in geek tongues, blowing off about the latest RSS aggregator they’ve written in their lunch breaks, and making 48-hour marathon coding sessions sound like a good thing, that it’s refreshing to find two articles in the same day that emphasize some of the other qualities that a professional developer needs:
Eric Sink: Great Hacker != Great Hire
[…] When great hackers are as fussy as Graham says they are, they’re not worth the trouble. We want the super-productivity, and we want the innate love of software development, but we don’t want all the extra baggage. Instead:
- Hire people who care about users.
- Hire people who understand the difference between a job and a hobby.
- Hire people who want to contribute in lots of different ways to the success of the product.
It’s okay to be in awe of these great hackers. But as a practical matter, small ISVs would be much better off hiring professionals.
Paul Tyma: Kick-ass Software Developer looking for work
So – the question wraps around to “Is a kick-ass programmer the best kind of programmer to hire to make the company the most money”. The answer seems obviously yes, but it may not be. In a specific instance we learned (as do all consulting firms) that sending 3 rockstar programmers to a client ends up with the “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome.