Dan Adams-Jacobson

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July 2014

"Chinese buffet2". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Assembler. C. C++. C#. PHP. Javascript. Bash. Perl. Ruby. Java. These were just some of the technologies featured on the resume of a candidate Christian recently interviewed for a senior Linux sysadmin position. The impressive list of programming languages (and related data-interchange acronyms like XSLT and JSON) made the candidate, let's call him Rob, seem more qualified for a developer position, but he went on to list common web server databases like MySQL and Postgres (plus a couple flavours of NoSQL), and, finally, the qualifications Christian was actually interested in: Tomcat, JBOSS, the Hotspot JVM, and every major Linux distro. While the resume reeked of keyword-baiting, Christian didn't want to risk missing out on an excellent sysadmin who just happened to spend a lot of time hacking, and brought Rob in.
Mark was upset. You didn't have to sit next to him to know it, either. Even though his cubicle was at the far end of the farm, his frequent tirades were always audible to the rest of the office. Mark wasn't the most skilled or the most careful developer on the team, but what he lacked in ability he made up for in volume: a lot of his poorer decisions stood simply because his colleagues wanted to avoid a barrage.