Monday, October 24, 2005

Hiring Software Developers

I was musing over job advertisements today, and I decided that the one thing that made them all sound horrible was the all too common overuse of superlatives. Let's face it, nobody wants to hire a bozo. But on the other hand, very few people actually qualify for the ridiculous aspirational ideals posted in most job ads these days. Check out this, randomly selected from seek:

Leading Consultancy. Career opportunity.
You will possess excellent business communication and presentation skills, with the ability to deliver outstanding enterprise solutions to key clients. You will be client facing, with strong business relationships skills at all levels. You must have a positive attitude to today'’s technology marketplace, and the qualities to deliver the required solution to your clients.

C'mon, what does all that mean? What exactly is client facing? Something about where your desk points? And having a positive attitude to today's technology marketplace. That doesn't make any sense at all. Are there people out there who have a negative attitude who would admit it? And what's a technology marketplace? Your local computer fair?

I know what they mean - what they're saying is: "we want to hire people who understand and actually like technology, are comfortable talking to customers, and don't freak out if they have to talk to developers or CEOs." But it all comes out like "blah blah blah". It's not exactly attractive sounding. All those 'excellent's and 'strong's just make it sound scarier and more formal than it probably needs to.

Then, on the other hand, you can be too informal. Check out this ad:

Outstanding Oracle Funkster!

A funky, fun senior Oracle DBA is required for an interesting 12 month contract working within one of NZ's most innovative Telco environments.

You need to have solid Oracle administration skills, and the desire to impart some of those gems of wisdom to junior team members. Although this is not a 'Team Leader' role per sae, some mentoring will be involved, so here's your chance to look clever!
Apart from the obvious flaw (there are no funky, fun senior Oracle DBAs. They're all sullen and surly), This ad just looks way too desperate. But granted, it's actually better than the boring one.

Why do I care?

The company I work for, TOWER Software, is looking to hire a couple of smart, talented software developers for their product development section, based in Canberra, Australia. If you really care about writing great software, you're up to date with modern development methodologies, and you could hold your own in an argument about the virtues and risks of multiple inheritance, then you should send your resume to


  1. Would I get a car space?

  2. Anonymous4:16 pm

    Ive got none of the skills you want... Can I apply. jr :-)

  3. Sure! Application Fees can be sent to my bank account.
    (All funds will be used to buy Ian another half a car space... Really. Some people are just greedy...)

  4. Hey! I'm a funky, fun senior Oracle DBA, and not sullen and surly at all.

    Oh, wait, I am surly. And kind of sarcastic as well. And I don't think I want to be funky. Drunk, yes, funky, not so much so.