Monday, April 28, 2008

Fewer, better developers

In system development would you rather have more okay developers or fewer but better developers? It depends...inflection point is somewhere in there. It seems like people just say, hmmm, I have the budget to hire five developers. I'll interview for a few weeks and pick the best five. I don't know how well that works in general, but it always causes problems for me.

Even worse is just taking the first person to show up with the right languages on their resumes. That's happened to me quite a bit in the consulting world. Hey- train this new guy, get him up to speed. Three months later, he's still trying to get Word running. Once I was training someone to be the overseas system administrator for a system I had built. I walk over there and she's trying to talk into the mouse. It was a long week of training.

Depending on your needs, you may want a place to train new people. May I humbly suggest not throwing those people out there on consulting assignments? How do you do that as a consultant, where you don't want to put junior people out there? They've got to go out there with mentors and protectors. You've got to have a few big jobs where they get some support. But still it happens to us, where we have people that just end up out there alone on assignment. It can suck even if you are good, but it must be hell when you are not.

Maybe consulting shouldn't be someone's first job...