fixing hiring problems

As long as I’m figuring things out here’s another one for you. The Silicon Valley technology worker crunch is a self-inflicted wound. Looking for programmers with X years of experience makes no sense and if this is your criteria for hiring technology workers then you are going to fail miserably. In fact, there is no way to tell if the person you’re hiring is even any good in technology X. See the number of blog posts on the issue of hiring competent technology workers if you don’t believe me.

The way to heal this wound is to just pump resources into finding generally smart people and then teaching them to program. None of what I do day to day is in any way specific to technology X. I can pump out the same solution in Java, Ruby, Python, C#, and even C if I have to. So the years I’ve spent with technology X is not what makes me good. Teaching general problem solving ability is hard and detecting it is even harder. I learned it by going to graduate school and spending a few years banging my head against hard theorems and their proofs. Universities are good at teaching those kinds of skills, big companies are not. So big companies should just focus their efforts on the much simpler problem of teaching people to program.

In conclusion:

  1. Find generally smart people
  2. Spend a few months teaching them to use technology X
  3. Profit