[Chicago] finding python programmers

Brian Curtin brian at python.org
Wed Aug 29 22:53:31 CEST 2012

On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Jeffery Smith <jeff at allthingsdork.com> wrote:
> My question is do employers care about personal versus professional
> experience considering the talent drought? I've been contemplating working
> on a few projects for friends, just so I have something to point to on my
> resume. I've heard mixed feedback from recruiters about referencing open
> source project contributions.
> Thoughts?

Just about everything in this paragraph gets a "depends" response.
Even from interviewer to interviewer in the same company, "depends" is
still the likely answer.

Caring about personal experience: It depends entirely on what that
experience is. My dad was always a fan of the saying "does he have 10
years of experience, or 1 year of experience 10 times?" If you've
involved yourself in meaningful personal projects, either being
meaningful to your personal development and/or meaningful to a
community, it's likely that these projects could help you. Some
companies flat out don't care about what you do on the side so your
personal projects may not be a factor at all places.

I've also come across people who try to puff up their side work. They
list their github and bitbucket accounts, but they only have doc typos
merged into 3 of the projects from a year ago. Doing that work is
certainly not a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but it's not resume
worthy. It would be like me listing my horrible GPA - better as

Feedback from recruiters on open source projects: As from who you
heard it from, it depends on who they want to try and place you at. In
general, it again depends on the quality and quantity of the work. At
Canonical, since we're an open source company, getting a hold of your
open source work is a plus when interviewing you. For one, we can see
that you've gone through coding out in the open, and we have actual
real code to gauge you with. We can probably trace code back to bug
reports, to code reviews, etc. Having someone who writes good reports,
submits good patches, writes good code reviews, is receptive to code
reviews, etc...that's awesome information to have, especially before
we've even said a word to you.

This is where three doc typos aren't helpful - yet. Having 25 changes
into some project probably gives us a good look into how you do
things. If you're going to list open source work, you're best off to
wait until you're in a state to show it off.

Overall, I can't see open source contributions being listed as a bad
thing unless you just contribute things that put you in a bad light.
No one is actually going to say "ah this guy put a link to his
github...borrrrringgggg", or if they do, oh well, you're better off

More information about the Chicago mailing list