I’m not going to do a book on hiring developers after all, at least not right now.
The good news? Instead, all the things I had written for the book, are going to be free, here instead. Or on my mailing list.
Because really, I want to help you get better at hiring developers more than I want to sell a book. Maybe someday, but not right now.
What follows is part of the in-progress book that walked through developer stereotypes. For this first one, I’m including the preamble as well.
Enjoy! And let me know if you need any help or have any questions when it comes to hiring or managing developers.
Know your developer
In order to fully think about the kind of developer you need to hire, you first need to know more than a bit about how developers think.
I’m a former (and on the side) developer myself, and I know all too well what tends to be going through their minds a lot of the time.
The stereotype of a developer is that they sit in a darkened room, chugging Red Bull all night long on coding binges and just want to be left alone. They’re blunt, aloof, crass from time to time.
Now, a lot of stereotypes exist for a reason, and there are indeed developers out there that match what I just described.
And you don’t want to hire them.
A majority of developers have some of that stereotype in there, but that comes more into play once you have them on-board and you need to manage them.
From a hiring perspective, the best developers you’ll ever hire are more than that stereotype.
The best you can ever hire are collaborative, not loners.
They’re communicative, not headphones-on and tuned-out.
And most of all: They care about things other than code.
These short vignettes are more specific developer steroetypes, including advice on how to spot and hire them (or, in many cases, to not hire them).
Seemingly native to Silicon Valley, the Brogrammer remains an emerging developer stereotype. Young, dumb, easily plied with alcohol and sexism, the Brogrammer is like a frat boy who happens to pound Red Bull and crush code, bro.
Your Brogrammer Field Spotting Guide
- Piles of the aforementioned Red Bull
- A font of misogyny
- Seriously, think frat house
- Quite possibly very, very good at code
Where to find a Brogrammer
- Hooker-themed parties for developers
- At some startup somewhere that has no chance of succeeding
- Again, at a frat house
- Hacker News
Now listen, I’m fairly certain that a lot of brogrammers are good at code; it’d be hard to get away with the stereotypical behavior if not.
But, if there’s one thing I’m able to teach you, it’s that your goal is to have a great team, not a collection of great individuals.
Even more than that: you want to hire good people who can meld together into a coherent team.
Unless you’re going to be hiring nothing but brogrammers, even one in the mix is going to upset the entire apple cart.
Because, no matter how good their code is, they can be looked upon with scorn and derision. And, given the inherent privilege and sense of entitlement that comes with the stereotype, they’re going to be short-timers.
Part of the skill to hiring, in my view, is to hire such that you don’t need to do it often. If you have developers coming through as if your company is a revolving door then either you’re hiring the wrong people or you’re managing them poorly. (Tweet a version of this)