Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dumb IT Hiring Managers

I've had a big pet peeve about IT hiring practices for several years now. I'll be perusing the IT job listings on a board, and typically I always find at least one position with an absurd set of requirements.

Today, I received an email from an unknown IT recruiter about a java position in Plano. One of their core requirements for the position was 9/10 years of J2EE experience.

The J2EE 1.0 specification and reference implementation was released sometime in 1999, and as far as I know, the first full implementations weren't shipping from vendors until 2000. Wikipedia has a J2EE timeline here. If you started working with J2EE the very moment the 1.0 specification was released, you could at most have about 8 years experience.

I also think that requiring X number of years with a particular technology is a dumb way to look for competent people. I've seen plenty of developers who've been doing java for three or four years and still haven't figured out that the Collection interface has a built in iterator.

What hiring managers should be looking for is scope and breadth of experience. How many technologies have you worked with, and how many years have you been a developer overall? Do you write code on your own time, or do you just reluctantly churn out enough lines to keep your manager from frowning at you? I wouldn't ever hire someone who doesn't enjoy programming, but then again, nobody's asking me.

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