[Baypiggies] Chompapps Position - from Issue 31
kelly at nttmcl.com
Tue Oct 27 08:41:10 CET 2009
Seth Friedman wrote:
> I map "rockstar" culture to mean some number of contributors that are
> somehow perceived to be way more competent than some comparison.
> Culturally this just strikes me as a bad starting point for a company to
> be thinking of itself as. Great coding skills? Awesome. If no one can
> use resulting code but the one who wrote it, because the person who
> wrote it over-estimated how "good" it was, and can't be bothered to
> explain it? Clearly bad. I'm being caustic about it I recognize, but
> this is a real problem for contemporary software companies that
> advertise their jobs with this kind of swagger, that is my experience.
> I'm excited about a place when, regardless of coding skill level, their
> coordination skills are well understood. I believe it drives
> effectiveness of teams that are dependent on the coders, one of which,
> obviously, is users. Everyone writes code with bugs - the standard
> questions are: (a) are they understood (ie well enough to judge
> importance), (b) can they be resolved quickly, (c) can they be resolved
> quickly by person other than the person that wrote the original
> code. Code exists in the context of business and communication
> between *all* the teams required to make that happen effectively is
> paramount. "rockstar", for me, translates to "hobbyist" not business
> oriented software engineer.
I concur. When I see "rockstar" in a Software Engineer
advertisement, I read that as "overconfident and cocky". Rockstars are
brazen and rash, not contemplative and deliberate. I'm not sure I'd
want to work with a rockstar programmer, and "rockstar engineer" is just
Perhaps I'm just reading too much into the word, though. It could
just be HR code for "clothing optional & flexible work hours".
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