Requirements for an IT Job

Here's a list of qualities that an IT company is looking for in job applicants from Early Adopter Weblog. I link 'em here because it's good to know where I need to improve and what my industry is valuing in people (at least they're not looking for guys that have hacked into at least 2 big companies or drink at least 9 coffees a day or spend at least 5 hours online gaming each night or want to start at 10:00 pm and work till 5:00 am).

Notes for non-techies: "!=" means "doesn't equal", and "==" means "equals"; an MSDN Universal Subscription is roughly $3,000US of all the Microsoft software a developer would ever need; I would probably have to ask what Groove, VMWare, or Virtual PC are; and, Dennis Ritchie invented Unix and the C programming language (I had to look that one up).


  1. You are smart.

  2. You are not arrogant. If you’re not arrogant, but everyone else seems to think you’re arrogant, then for the purposes of this discussion, you’re arrogant.

  3. You own an MSDN Universal subscription.

  4. You don’t have to ask what Groove, VMWare, or Virtual PC are.

  5. You are a master at figuring out technology that you’ve never worked with before (probably because it didn’t exist before). In fact, given the choice, you would rather charge in to the uncharted jungle, wrestle alligators, and show everyone your cool scars, instead of drive down the well paved road.

  6. You understands that all e-mails, phone calls, carrier pigeon, and smoke signals must be responded to the same day, at least with “I’m working on it”, or in the case of smoke signals: Puff……..Puff..Puff.

  7. You can speak like Anthony Robbins, write like Ernest Hemingway, and code like Dennis Ritchie.

  8. You understand what a deadline is. In this context, Understand != HeardOf, and Understand != KnowsDictionaryDefinitionOf. Understand == HasALongAndImpressiveTrackRecordOfBeingDoneEARLYAndCanProvideProof.

  9. You understand what “Done” means, and never says (on the day it’s due) “It’s done except for…”

  10. You understand that if you click on Start | All Programs, and they don’t all fit on the screen, this would not be a good machine to use for clean box testing.

  11. You understand that sometimes you’re hired to paint the Sistine Chapel, and sometimes you’re hired to paint Wallmart, and you have to do them both equally well.

  12. You know the difference between “real code”, and “demo code”, and you don’t produce one when asked to build the other.

  13. Stealth plane are nice.  You give one orders, and it disappears. When it reappears, it always says “Mission accomplished. I hit the target”, but sometimes it really hit Lichtenstein's embassy.  You are NOT a stealth plane, you are a big, noisy, C130, that we can hear, see, and talk to for the whole project.

  14. You know that communication != listening.  Communication == asking questions.

  15. You can tell me your favorite bug from .NET Beta 1.


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