A bunch of people took issue with the previous job posting, in particular where I said: “Other studies have shown that there can be a ten-fold or thirty-fold difference in productivity between coders. You guessed it: we only want the people on the high end of the curve.” Paul Sinnet said I lacked humility; some guys offline said it was John Romero-ish; Chris Busse called me a snob...
Maybe I miscommunicated. Maybe everybody's thinking that we only want to hire those one-in-a-million Tiger-Woods-of-programming types – the absolute top of the curve. And that's not what I meant. All I meant is we want programmers who are above average in productivity. Just like every other studio out there.
And Paul Sinnet has a good point. People aren't necessarily good at self-assessment. I'd hate to think that somebody's out there going, “Oh, Torpex wouldn't hire me...I mean, I'm productive, but I don't know if I'm that productive.”
We do not think it's “worth rejecting a false negative over accepting a false positive.” If we fail to hire somebody who would have been great, we've screwed up. I keep thinking back to all the interviews I did when I was younger, trying to get a job, that I screwed up, where I froze and couldn't say what “SHLD” did, or was overly enthusiastic about Grady Booch's book with a team that only used C – those teams didn't hire me and I'm pretty sure they made a mistake. I turned out to be a pretty good coder. We don't want to make that mistake.
And Paul's right: by posting a job listing that says, “Only apply if you're above average,” we might be ruling out a whole class of people who are above average but don't realize it.
So, if you read the job posting, and you thought to yourself, “I'd like to apply but I don't know if I'm good enough,” hey, give it a shot! Apply! (Once again, jfristrom – at – torpexgames.com.)