The 4 Types Of Programmers To Watch Out For

 In Culture, Hiring for Startups, Recruiting & Hiring

Making the wrong hire is an expensive mistake. The time wasted and loss of productivity can be enough to sink smaller businesses. This has led to a strong focus on ensuring the right hires are made through the use of big data, AI, and psychometric testing.

With the technological revolution currently underway, the demand for tech talent has never been higher. It’s also never been as important to ensure that you are hiring the right tech talent. At the current speed of advancement, the wrong hire could leave your business falling behind.

It’s already hard enough for a full talent acquisition team with money and resources to find and attract tech talent. It’s even more challenging for businesses that might only have a one-person HR team or don’t have one at all. Regardless, it’s imperative that as someone hiring tech talent, you have the knowledge, or the right systems in place, to be able to manage these employees. It can be common for a company that has never traditionally had a tech focus to place a large amount of trust in their tech employee(s), in the hope they are doing the right thing. But as some guidance, here are the four types of tech people you need to watch out for.

The Resume Padder

With the pace that technology is evolving, it’s common for IT companies to want to expand into new and exciting software. However, it’s important to understand what’s viable for the business.

“Techies” are normally curious individuals, the landscape of software is vast, and they want to explore. The good techies understand what should be explored for the benefit of the business and how it will help. And those are great employees. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that want to learn new skills and try new software for their personal gain. With no consideration for what’s in the best interest of the business, these individuals will continue to venture off into the unknown with the sole purpose of expanding their resume. Your project is viewed as a stepping stone for their own career advancement. What if this employee leaves halfway through a project? What then? You’re left with a half-done project done in a language that it shouldn’t have been done in in the first place, and now you’re left to find someone who firstly understands the software, and that can fix it and get things back on track. This will undoubtedly leave you in a world of trouble.

Therefore, it’s important to firstly educate yourself on what you want out of your tech employee. If you don’t have a good understanding of all this “tech stuff”, then it would also be wise to seek outside counsel. Find someone you know that can help give guidance and help do reviews to ensure everything is on track.

The Rewriter

It’s okay that people disagree on how things should be done sometimes. We all think differently and that’s a good thing. But compromise is important. Whether it be an ego thing or not, there are those coders that believe that everything should be done their way. And so, they want to start projects from scratch to suit them. That’s not how things work. The great coders will come in, find the issue, and fix it to get things working again. They understand that it’s not a good idea to start from scratch, and they have the skill to turn the ship around. When someone wants to start from scratch just to stroke their ego, you’ll quickly find yourself over time and budget.

These coders could be very good at what they do, they could interview great and tick all the boxes, so there’s no reason to not hire them. But if they start exhibiting this behaviour, then you need to keep a close eye. There’s no room in your business for egos.

The Chair Warmer

There are people in this world that are very good at following orders,  this is no different for tech talent. You’ll come across those coders that follow your order to the detail, but if there’s an issue or ambiguity, they don’t have the initiative to find a solution. They need to be spoon fed the whole way through process with very clear directions and instructions. The problem is, in the real world, you will very rarely receive 100% of the details. If you need someone to lead, they need to be able to deal with ambiguity and find a solution. There’s certainly a place for those that lack that initiative and do what they’re told, but it’s important to make sure they’re placed in the right positions.

The Alpha Programmer

The IT team needs to be led by a single vision. Diversity in ideas is a good thing, it can lead to extraordinary results. But the alpha programmer can turn out to be the most expensive hire of all in this regard.

The alpha programmer can be a very talented individual, someone who knows what they’re talking about and gives you confidence. But in fact, they’re spending their time developing “architectures” and “frameworks”, and not getting any code into production. They hide behind their lingo and can easily turn a one-year project into a three-year nightmare. Building “enterprise software” and leading a team on a never-ending project, these alphas will cost your business dearly. Not only on their salaries, but the salaries of those whose time is wasted and the opportunity cost of not deploying code.

There’s a time to plan and think bigger, but there’s also a time that you need to get shit done. If you’re in the latter stage, you don’t need alphas, you need solid tech grinders to push your business forward.


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