Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Recognizing Competence

Amazingly, someone is more pessimistic than I am about getting through to management!

It is true that many (most) managers who are not developers have little means to distinguish between good and bad developers. And to make it harder for them, the criteria that some of the responses to the link claim will help managers tell the difference are flawed - it's not always the competent developers who complain about conditions.

From the Ninja Historical Documents, I refer to one of my former colleagues. He was very vocal about all the problems our group had - schedules, technical defects, missing requirements. However, we discovered after he left that he was not nearly as good as he thought he was - a number of key pieces of our libraries that he had coded were not at all functional. So the mere appearance of competence is not enough; the managers will not have the technical chops to tell if any given developer can walk the walk.

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