This is one of the statements that we have grown to accept as an axiom: “good skills make good employee”. More so, we now live in the world so complex that skills become more and more specific and narrow. We dig deep but not wide. Every skilled worker is focused on just a handful of skills. It takes years to acquire the new skills… Or is it so? Well, I’m a no expert in nuclear physics or quantum mechanics. I make living by writing computer code and creating software.
Today’s software industry offers a huge variety of technologies and corresponding skills, that become ever more specialized. For example, 10 years ago you would see a requirement for Java. Today Java is no longer specific enough: it could be Java for Android or Java for WebSphere or Java for Oracle. An employer will very specifically require one of these while asking for a number of years under your belt doing just that.
Anyhow, a few months ago I ran into a need to write a script in Python. I never did Python before, but knew enough about it to tell that it would be a right tool for the job. I got Python plug-in for Eclipse, read the documentation, started coding, ran into problems, googled for it, found answers on stackoverflow.com. Got the job done. My next Python script was much quicker. Now I feel I can do anything with Python. So skills…
Skills are only a mere effect of something bigger and more fundamental. For the lack of better term I’ll call this other something a “personality”. Just like in many other cases we resolve to dealing with the symptoms rather than looking into the real cause. It’s no shame – real cause is much more illusive and hard to quantify. This is very often the case. That leads us to saying “skill in the resume is worth two in personality”.
This is not a sales pitch. I’m not going to mention even once our product name (it’s enough that you see it in the domain name) or tell you “we are the best – use us!”. The point is: whenever possible try to break away from judging by the symptoms and go for the real thing!