Friday, 29 June 2007


When I’m recruiting developers, what I’m actually looking for is Solutioneers. These are developers who consider “getting things done” as one of the problems they need to solve. For example, if another part of the project team is holding up their work, this isn’t an opportunity to kick back and grab some slack time. This is a problem that needs solving. May be the simply solution here would be to walk around the office and get the blockage cleared. I here non-solutioneers saying “but that’s not my job” or “I didn’t want to step on anyones toes”. Finishing a project on time must be a Solutioneers primary goal and as such is always willing to "solve this problem" by rolling up their sleaves and getting stuck into any aspect of the project. Solutioneers take ownership very seriously and often lose sleep at night over particular aspects of project delivery.

To be dynamic enough to solve problems they need to keep on top of what’s happening around the industry, and constantly pushing their own intellectual capacity and technical abilities. These Solutioneers are avid bloggers who not only write blogs but also see blogs as a valuable source of knowledge. They spend their daily commute glued to technology podcasts and spend lunchtimes scouring the web for quicker and better ways of developing software (these are the guys who keep sending emails saying, “hey, have you seen this!”). Almost certainly they'll have what is approaching an enterprise class data centre in their home to enable them to tinker in the evenings and weekends. Solutioneers posses an almost unhealthy passion for software development and never rest on projects until they’re over the finish line, so a sense of urgency is one other facet here.

You may be thinking that outright Solutioneering can be very hazardous in a commercial project environment and spits of perfectionism which can easily blow project budgets (over engineering syndrome or paralyses by analysis!). This is yet another problem for a Solutioneer to overcome. Solutioneers are experienced enough to make a balanced call on trade-offs, i.e. I know the purest approach to a software problem, I know the quick and dirty approach, but what’s the risks associated with trade-offs from either end of the scale?

Solutioneers have to be good communicators and be very personable, friendly, and approachable. But most of all they must posses a good sense of humour.

Oh yes, I forgot, and if they know the .Net Framework, C#, SQL, and most Microsoft technologies and platforms then that also helps! ;)

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