|I read/studied the fascinating responses, reactions, cathartic recapitulations of trauma, etc., on the thread. I appreciate the opportunity to hear your voices.
It made me realize how atypical my experience was: I started programming at age 42, after dropping out of a doctoral program in social science after time in academia, and practicing psychotherapy. My path was from SAS/SPSS on mainframes, to 6909 assembly language to BASIC, to LISP, to PostScript.
By the time I was being interviewed, I had a rare specialty, PostScript, and thanks to a book I wrote most of for Addison-Wesley, and my work on Cricket Draw 1.1, I was quite well known in the "desktop publishing" arena.
When I participated in interviews as interviewer (at Adobe), the candidates were already pre-selected for excellence. Personality didn't matter that much unless the candidate really blew it.
Your responses tell me that the modal experience these days, in which personality is more of a factor, is in a context very different from my weird zig-zag through pre-internet days.
I hear, in many of your comments, a reflection of the current zeitgeist of political correctness in the workplace, that emphasis on protecting people from being "triggered" by whatever.
If I were hiring today, for a major desktop app project, I would try to achieve a mix of styles/personalities, and I would not base this on everybody "getting along." In fact, I'd like at least one a'hole on the team. Autistic: no problem if you write great code ! Painfully introverted: ditto. Obsessive-compulsives: you're hired. Caution for hysterics, and temperamental geniuses, however.
What this mix requires, of course, is careful planning and allocation for who works on what. And, yes, that's easy to say, and really hard to do ... well.
Meetings: most are a total waste of time. Formal code-reviews: yes. Hiring testing specialists who delight in finding bugs: yes, when budget and development allow.
Conflict/confrontation is not always a bad thing, and, imho, it's a program manager's task to channel conflict into "fair-fights" rather than sabotage, and inhibited productivity.
Say, I'm a manager, and, a relatively new hire comes to see me, someone still trying to getup to speed, but whose performance is adequate in terms of their role and length on the job:
Me: Hi, I want to reassure you you are doing okay, and meeting our expectations,
NH: Thanks, but, I'm worried ... I feel like the other programmers think I am stupid.
Me: What have you observed the other programmers doing that makes you react by having thoughts like 'I am stupid,' and feeling bad ?
NH: Little things, like the way Jane rolls her eyes when she looks at my code ... the way James kind of grins when I ask him a question that demonstrates I don't fully understand the question.
Me: What if your code is stupid ? Where "stupid" means not yet reflecting the mastery of the complex codebase you are busy learning ?
NH: I hadn't thought of it quite like that ...
Me: What if rolling eyes and a sly grin are really a kind of superficial teasing that says: we know what you are struggling with ... we've been through it.
NH: It's hard to see it that way !
Me: It is hard for anyone to see it that way ! It takes effort to become aware of the trigger for the internal negative self-appraisal and develop the habit of confronting it before it takes root in the emotions.
NH: okay, that's interesting.
Me: Remember you might need to change how you react, and how you behave, but, you don't have to change who you are !
Me: Gotta go, the VP for Sales and I are going to go smoke enough crack that we can see how to fudge the sales for the quarter to keep the VC's off our back.Well, I told you I came from the past
«One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.» Salvador Dali
modified 8-Sep-19 3:48am.