I am registered in Linkedin, so it weekly sends me recent activities of my connections. Sometimes it’s interesting to see when all members of a certain group of a company update their profile on the same day. It is an excellent primary indicator to predict unwanted turnovers, or send them an offer.

I normally ignore these mails, but today I clicked on a job advertisment of Laszlo Spiller, my favourite IT headhunter. Finally it turned out that the ad does not match with my profile, but its link led me to Laszlo’s blog. I’m familiar with this blog, we used to discuss and share our experiences on blog engines and job hunting on the Internet. I started to browse latest articles, and I found one, which totally, fully expresses one of my thoughts.

Here is the link, the article is in Hungarian. http://spillerlaszlo.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/rambok-alkonya-az-it-vilagaban/

Laszlo tells us what requirements his clients set against software developers. I remember, when I first hired developers, I focused on professionality. Attitude, personality and behavior defects were out of the focus.

Laszlo points at the changing trend. Nowadays a software developer, who is really professional but cannot communicate and integrate with others, cannot see the big picture, cannot understand and fulfill user needs should not be hired, or should be laid off. Soft skills has become the most important factor. Anyone can learn anything, but the attitude never changes.

„The best software developers of Hungary work in our company” says the statement I hear quite frequently. And then it turns out that these people works alone like many Chuck Norrises, and the code they produce needs long years of maintenance, but no one can understand that, except them. In these cases I normally say that „you may have excellent programmers, but not software develoeprs”. Sometimes these programmers are promoted to be the leader of the team, meanwile they are lacking all necessary soft skills, and – when the team disappears – they become the only member of a board, which is created specially for him. And the only thing they can and want to do is programming. Nothing else they willing to think of.

Back to the article, Laszlo asked his clients, how a software developer looks like, who they don’t want at all. The response is exacly what I always wanted to explain to my clients:

„We do not search for Rambo. We do not want to have a person, who wants to save the world alone. We don’t like such ones, however they solve the problem very well, but what they produce cannot be used on strategic level. Takes more to understand his code than write a new one from scratch. And an important question comes up: what does happen if Rambo is relocated from Vietnam to Afghanistan? How can we use his code? He takes the knowledge with him, and nobody can continue his job ever.”

Thank you Laszlo, this is exactly, what I think, I’m sure I’ll refer to this article many times. But next time please type an article to show me the best way how to explain these facts to a management containing Rambos, of course without being fired at the second sentence.  Thanks.

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