Monday, August 08, 2011

Writers are shitty programmers, so I've heard

I'm part of the recruiting effort at work.  Tomorrow I'm headed over to a local college to talk to students and alumni and do a bit of recruiting.  And I've been working with a separate recruiting group to bring in new .NET, Java, and sundry other programmer-types (operations, et al).  Last week, one of the managers in the hiring meeting noted (for FrenchDip - this is the same manager who was offended when I talked about technical managers), "They have to have a CompSci degree. We don't want anyone else.  HR will remove non-CompSci candidates from the queue."  And today, another manager, "A BS in CompSci should be considered almost mandatory.  We'll talk to MIS students, but they aren't generally good coders.  And we can consider engineering majors for operations roles, but otherwise we should just move on to the next candidate."

My wife wanted to know why I didn't call them on it.  I will.  But I didn't want to do it in those meetings because I want to hear it from all the people who think it so I know who they are.  I don't want them to start censoring because it's common knowledge I'm a history/English with a master's in writing.  While I'm no Mean Mr. Mustard, I think I could still outcode the managerial branch of those discussions.  And just so it doesn't seem like I'm an edge case, I know of at least one other very good programmer who wasn't originally a compsci major.  Come to think of it, my boss was a biology major.  He's not a coder, but he's pretty savvy when it comes to tech (although I admit, I wasn't fond of his last hiring decision).  The rule for hiring people isn't that you should put restrictions around who you hire based on rigid qualifications.  The rule is hire smart people who are passionate and know the space.

1 comment:

Bill Roehl said...

I like to pretend I can write code just fine and I was also a History major and I'm currently in a research/writing focused masters program (MPA).