Hiring a programmer: looking for the "right attitude"

Posted by Totophil on Stack Overflow See other posts from Stack Overflow or by Totophil
Published on 2009-02-23T16:47:59Z Indexed on 2010/04/15 22:33 UTC
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It's actually two questions in one:

  • What is the right attitude for a programmer?

  • How do you (or would you) look for one when interviewing or during hiring process?

Please note this question is not about personality or traits of a candidate, it is about their attitude towards what they do for living. This is also not about reverse of programmers pet peeves.

The question has been made community wiki, since I am interested in a good answer rather than reputation. I disagree that the question is purely subjective and just a matter of opinion: clearly some attitudes make a better programmer than others. Consecutively, there might quite possibly exist an attitude that is common to the most of the better programmers.


After some deliberation I came up with the following attitude measurement scales:

  • identifies themselves with the job ? fully detached

  • perceives code as a collection of concepts ? sees code as a sequence of steps

  • thinks of creating software as an art ? takes 100% rational approach to design and development

Answers that include some sort of a comment on the appropriateness of these scales are greatly appreciated.

Definition of "attitude": a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways; "he had the attitude that work was fun"

The question came as a result of some reflection on the top voted answer to "How do you ensure code quality?" here on Stack Overflow.

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