On Wednesday 30 September 2009 06:54:16 pm Greg Donald wrote:
> We programmers all already think we are exceptional.

Well, most of us.

> You
> won't make less of us apply for a job by trying to single out people
> using silly buzzwords.  So stop it.

That, I'm not sure of.

Ok, silly buzzwords, yes. It seems every marketer ends up using "exceptional" 
or "ninja", etc, so it's watered down.

On the other hand, I'd much rather work for a place which values talent 
(whether or not they can find it) than one which values rapid-but-buggy 
prototypes using the cheapest contractors that money can buy. I'm talking 
about best practices versus "I tried stuff until it worked."

I mean, it is nice to occasionally be the smartest person in the room -- or at 
least the most knowledgeable. I'm back in school (since I don't have a job), 
which means I'm starting at the very beginning -- I'm talking about a class 
which will spend a week or two on binary and hexadecimal, along with plenty of 
other trivia, before writing a single line of code. It's fun to finish a 
weeklong assignment in an hour, or an hour-long assignment in ten minutes.

But I don't really want to spend my life correcting everyone else's mistakes. 
As intimidating as it is, I'd much rather work in a place where everyone's 
smarter than me, or at least interested in improving, than working in a place 
where a bunch of codemonkeys punch a clock -- or worse, a startup filled with 
Paula Beans in Aeron chairs with dual-30" monitors.

(That's not a sexist comment, I promise. Google Paula Bean.)

So that's the reason "exceptional" at least got my attention. It shows that 
someone is at least pretending they care about learning and improving, about 
making their craft an art form, and about doing things The Right Way.

But I'll give you a secret: If you want a buzzword that'll really catch my 
attention, throw around words like metaprogramming and Domain-Specific 
Languages. Talk about how your product will be fun to work on, and ask for 
people who specialize in interesting things like CouchDB or virtual machine 
architecture. Mention conferences you send your team to -- both to advertise 
and to learn.

In other words: We're programmers. Find out what actually excites us, use 
actual technical buzzwords (not marketing buzzwords), and use them properly. 
Be a cool place to work, and explain why you're a cool place to work.