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Are coding monkeys valuable?

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 08/01/2008

Recently I’ve had a corridor talk with one of my colleagues about the required skills of the engineers to be hired. My personal opinion that in order to be successful I’d like to see the new engineers to always improve their knowledge and proficiency. This should include:

  • reading technology-related blogs
  • looking for new technologies
  • learning tools and the environments they are working with/in more in depth to better understand their capabilities
  • thinking of the ways to improve the current solutions (you’ll be amazed by how many things can be better with almost minimal changes)

On the other hand I’ll agree that the other kind of people is very valuable, they even create a strong back-bone of each company: down-to-earth coders. They do not invent things, don’t change anything, follow the processes to the dot and execute what they were told to do. No discussion there – they are very valuable, but…

The main question is: what kind of group you’d like to work with? what people you’d like to surround yourself with? how flexible and agile you want your environment to be?

I don’t think that you’ll want to work with an architect-level person that can tell to your face without any hesitation or remorse: I don’t know anything about the latest methodologies and technologies, I’m not a geek, I’m successful, so why the new people we hire should learn this new stuff.

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