I prefer people to degrees
I have noticed this post by John Saddington a few weeks ago and I kept it around, mulling over it from time to time. It resonates a lot with me.
When I look at the past I really enjoyed working with people that really didn’t qualify for the job if I just looked at their degrees. I enjoyed working with them because we got along, we shared the belief in the first-make-it-work-and-then-make-it-better principle and we never judged the person but just the code (or the design). I value much more the attitude of a person than the number of well written lines of codes that he or she has on GitHub.
I prefer somebody that is quick in replying to emails, that is open to a conversation, rather than the one locked in the dark room spitting out high quality code conforming to a high quality architecture that was conceived during his/her Phd.
Before joining a team/project I always asked myself: would I have a beer with this people? It might seem a shallow test, but think about it for a second and try it out next time. You’ll be surprised.
I know that having a degree can’t be the key. I know people with a computer science degree that are friendly, easy to work with and good at communicating. I think it’s because they are good as human beings, and not just owners of a piece of paper signed by the president of a University.
I am writing this as the holder of a Phd. I bet you didn’t know uh? I bet you didn’t suspect it when we were working on that project or having that nice chat over a beer uh? :)