August PLUG Meeting: Mid-Career Development

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Wed Aug 8 18:51:51 MDT 2007

On Wed, Aug 08, 2007 at 04:47:45PM -0600, Ryan Simpkins wrote:
> On Wed, August 8, 2007 16:31, Jason Holt wrote:
> > Hard worker: an *excessively* hard worker is probably neurotic.
> > How long is he going to hold out at that rate?  And how productive
> > are his 50th-80th hours each week?  Consider a "lazy" worker who
> > only does just enough to meet his objectives, then spends the rest
> > of his time at home by the pool.  Who's more likely to go postal?
> > (Also consider Larry Wall's praise for Laziness, Impatience and
> > Hubris).
> Some how I don't think most HR managers are going to get it if
> Robert walked in and said: "No. Don't get the hard-worker. You want
> the lazy one with the attitude."

No, they wouldn't get it. But he could charge more. Rodeo Drive

But if Robert is smart, he is dealing directly with the hiring
managers, and some of them will get it (especially if they've heard or
read Larry Wall).

Most personnel bozons don't get much at all. They are usually
bureaucratic plodders, and don't understand creativity in the
least. If you want to get a job, you have to bypass the personnel
department entirely and find the manager who has the job.

Speaking of the personnel department, I do not use the term "human
resources". That is a term that should have gone out about the time of
the XIIIth Amendment. It is obscene. "Human Resources, we're gonna
have us a real good cotton crop this yeah. Yuh wannuh go to the slave
market and get us some cotton pickers?" That should tell you how
clueless they are.

> What we need is some 'business-speak' that explains the benefit of
> creative technical thinkers who are able to remain creative while
> working for any given company. We have to translate English into
> buzz-wordish phrases that make HR managers happy.

No, we have to bypass them entirely. They are like Swift's flappers:
their job is to keep you away from anyone who can make a real
decision, and push you through bureaucratic hoops. If you keep your
nose the right color maybe they'll let you talk to a real person.

> I didn't look too hard, but I couldn't find any job listings for
> technical positions that listed 'creativity' as a requirement. To me
> that is one of the most important aspects. Software engineers often
> have to invent solutions.  They need to be very creative.

Good point. At a minimum they have to be creative in bypassing the
corporate bureaucracy so they can get their jobs done. I have a fond
admiration for Sgt. Bilko.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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