Sunday, January 07, 2024

Is it possible to have too many wizards in software development?

Once upon a time, long ago, a middle manager (D.P.) in a tech org told me she didn't want her team to be made up only of wizards. I don't recall her exact words, but the essence was that developing quality products takes a range of skills. A wizard or two is useful, but much of the work is methodical and tedious and repetitive. A wizard will get bored and restless. A methodical, disciplined, and reliable non-wizard who enjoys or tolerates the less celestial work will be happier and more productive with many tasks. 

Basically, the tasks of producing and maintaining quality software products requires a range of skills and talents and temperaments. Sometimes you need a carpenter, sometimes you need a finisher.

I realized today that I've only ever heard that from her. It seems Google and Microsoft only hire wizards. So maybe she was wrong, but I've thought of it often.

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