Recruiting the right person for a role is hard. When I spoke with Dr Hugh Thompson, who was with Blue Coat Systems at the time and is now the CTO at Symantec, he told me one way his business went about recruiting infosec professionals was to find people with great analysis skills and curiousity first and then worry about teaching them technical skills later. Finding people who could learn was more important than finding people with ready-made skills.
Over at Elegant Code, David Starr gives some thought to the most important attributes of a great development team member.
Starr lists nine different attributes. Interestingly he doesn’t list specific developer skills, such as proficiency in particular languages in his list.
When I’ve recruited people, I’ve typically focussed on problem solving skills and communication skills. These are harder to teach and I think, while they can be developed, there’s an innate element to them. I’ve also been conscious of hiring people that fill particular gaps in my team – particular in areas where I know I’m not as strong.
When hiring developers, what are the skills and attributes you think are most important?