Hiring Application Developers – Three Types We Avoid

Application developers make the world go around. Web apps, desktop apps, mobile apps, server applications, microcode, interfaces, programmable controllers – we love all our applications and depend on the people who build them. Our entire digital experience and modern lifestyle, and all our businesses, depend on applications. Successful businesses hire winning developers to make great applications.


Application Developers – Not All the Same

JQuery Code

Productive Developers Write Great Code and Help Your Team Get the Job Done

Within the universe of application developers, there’s a wide range of skills and, more importantly, work habits and attitudes. Developers with some personality types are far more effective, and productive, than others. The types of developers that you really need might not fit neatly within the typical profile, and some developers that appear to meet your profile just won’t be a good fit in your team. Let’s take a look at three types of developers who we avoid.


The Academic – Not Your Best App Developer

The career graduate student you interview may be the most personable candidate you’ll meet. Usually academics are good conversationalist and many have latest and greatest programming skills in several tools and environments. They initially fit in well with most teams and go out to lunch with your programmers. People enjoy talking to academics because of their wide range of interests. However, this wide range of interests is the academic’s downfall in a production coding environment. As time goes by, you’ll come to discover that your academic-personality programmer has his or her own motivations and interests, and that it’s often hard to keep your academic working at the mundane programming tasks that your team needs to complete. The academic developer prefers to research in-depth, find the most interesting development problems to solve, but not always to contribute working code on the same timeline as the rest of the team. Academics are sometimes effective on solo projects, but we avoid them for team environments where everyone has to keep up with the leading edge of the code going into your Git repository.


The Piddler – Arranging Star Wars Action Figures

It may be hard at first to recognize the piddler, but a little conversation will reveal weaknesses you want to avoid. The piddler is the developer who moves into an office and spends nearly 3 hours on the first day arranging the bookcase and table just a certain way, and lines up Star Wars action figures on his desktop in such a way that there’s very little room to work. This may seem odd at first, until you realize that work is not top on the piddler’s agenda. Piddlers can be very personable, but they often are not very good problem solvers. Piddlers write code that looks beautiful on-screen, with every comment indented just the right amount. However, the code piddlers write often works rather poorly. Piddlers take an awfully long time to write code, so that by the time the team moves on to the next milestone on the timeline, the piddler is far behind. Everyone else commits their code to the build, but the piddler is late a day or two and delivers buggy code. During the interview, you can ask the piddler to write simple pseudo code for a basic operation like adding an element in a linked list. Thirty minutes later the piddler has used four different color whiteboard markers and decorated the board from one end to the other, but your problem may not be solved.


The Egoist – Nobody Listens to Me

The egoist is the most unhappy, self-centered individual you’re likely to interview. During the interview, we hear this type of web developer or application builder describe a career where he wasn’t allowed to succeed because his bosses were always envious of his skills and vision. “I could have fixed it if they’d listened to me”. You may also hear the egoist explain that each of his successive bosses was a moron. As the interview winds down, it becomes clear that, if you hire this person, you’ll later join the list of moron bosses.


Application Developers – Peak Helps You Hire the Best

Peak Resource Group works hard to find developers who have technical skills, great experience, and a wonderful working-together approach to work. Great app developers keep up with the team, help others on the team, and show a friendly attitude. They don’t go dark when they’re in trouble on a programming problem, but instead communicate with the team to get help and advice. And great application programmers from Peak will contribute to the team and celebrate with the team, rather than piddling around as solo players who waste time on cube rearrangement.
Zac Lopett

Zac Lopett

Social Network Recruiter at Peak Resource Group, Inc.
Zac is a Horror Movie junkie that works by day as a Social Network Recruiter for Peak Resource Group. He is the proud father of Bundy the wonderdog. He is also the editor of the Peak monthly Newsletter.
Zac Lopett
Zac Lopett
Zac Lopett

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