Richard Bucker

Job Search - The Golf Club Way

Posted at — May 4, 2012

There was a time when membership seemed to mean something. At least the members thought so. Back in the time of Mad Men member candidates were subjectively excluded rather than objectively included. Strangely, however, there are two groups of people to which this generalization applies. The young and the old; but for very different reasons.The old do not like change because change means doing something different. What worked yesterday is going to work today and tomorrow. They know that because it worked yesterday and the day before that. In many ways it’s hard to argue that, however, I remember when the “new math” came out… and when Canada converted to the metric system. In the end life was better too. (clearly there was risk)The young have a different view of the world. They look at the future and they see that everything looks like an uphill challenge. Salaries, responsibility, expenses, experience and so on. But when you add competition most younger talent will behave the same as the old. (think survivor)So why the long prelude? I read a job posting for a python programmer and there were a number of things that caught my eye and which suggest that the author was young and/or new to professional software development.Overall the job description was short. It used tokens like participate, and discuss to give the candidate a sense of inclusion. Then there was the three bullet points that said the same thing “write code”.Under the qualifications section they describe a number of pythonic tools that they use; but the one thing that caught my attention was “adheres to PEP-8”. I apologize to all of the real python programmers out there… but NEVER put “adhere’s to PEP-8” in a job description. If PEP-8 was really that good of an idea it would be cooked into the language instead of a lint-like tool; and even then it only catches a subset of the concerns.The point I’m trying to make… and doing it poorly. If you are going to write a job description then find ways to include people rather than exclude them. As part of the selection committee you want to have as wide swath of people to choose from and you do not want candidates to self filter from the process… like they do in country clubs.