CEO David Barrett wrote an excellent post a few months ago about their hiring practices.
While a lot of the article focuses on .NET programming (and has a lot of great points), there’s one excerpt that I was cheering as I read it…
See, experience is cheap. All it takes is time. Skill is harder, but really only requires hard work — a lot of people can get that. But attitude. You either have it, or you don’t. The right sort of person is so passionate about coding, they can’t be stopped from doing it. They typically started before high school — sometimes before middle school — and never looked back. They write everything from assembly to jQuery, on PCs to mobile phones, doing hard core computer graphics to high level social networking. They’ve tried everything.
You know you’ve worked with someone who just doesn’t have that go-gettem-tiger attitude about their coding. I’m sure you know some high-functioning, well-pedigreed programmers who went into the business because its consistently one of the highest paid bachelor’s degrees available. You probably know another person who started out with that attitude, but over time it was mollified by lush pay and the bureaucracy that surrounded their work.
I hope you’re the type of coder that sees a goal, and attacks it like a monkey on a cupcake. (Dog with a bone works better, but the monkey analogy made me chuckle a bit…) These are the type of coders I also hope you’re fortunate enough to surround yourself with!
This is part of what I like about open source. It keeps you sharp, keeps you learning. It has a plethora of coders with the right attitude. The only ones who make it in open source are the ones with the unstoppable attitude, which is the attitude to accomplish your goal no matter what stands in your way.