People should be more focused on vision and product. What I see is that people tend to forget that Code, Design, and Agile methods are all just tools. They are tools for people to create something for an end-user. As an entrepreneur that hires freelancers every now and then, I value someone that shares my vision and has an optimistic attitude. With that, we’ll solve any problems that we will encounter.
I value that more than I value someone that is a genius within his/her field. Being passionate about your craft is very important but when I hire someone, I need them to know that those skills are for creating something. And on top of that, every project and company have its own unique challenges. So I would much rather have someone that shares my vision with the ability to adapt. This way we can meet those challenges rather than taking pride in what he/she already knows. It’s OK to not know everything, as long as you have a drive to create something great.
I have been on both sides of the coin, as an employee and employer. Something that is getting more frustrating by the year is that there is so much focus on your craft. No matter if it is about design, coding, management etc. My LinkedIn feed for example, is filled with Agile headlines. There’s tons of Medium articles about why a certain code technique is better than the other. Don’t get me wrong, it’s crucial that people are passionate about their craft! I sure am when it comes to what I do daily. But there is a big part of the equation that is being left out in the conversations and it’s probably the most important.
For the employer
My message to you is, don’t look too much at the current skills the job seeker are putting forth. It’s important yes, but no one can know everything. And it’s impossible for someone to know your “taste” when it comes to what you consider good quality if you haven’t worked together before. Ask yourself, do you want someone to be passionate about his or her craft? Or do you want the person to be passionate about the vision you two share? Those two can be completely different from each other. If the person is a genius within his/her field, that might mean he/she also might be very protective with his or her skillset. So much so that it might clash with what you are trying to accomplish as a company.
The other person might not be as skilled, but might have a passion for building things and shares your vision. This might also mean that the person might be better at adapting to whatever the company needs to move forward. Instead of being the most skilled on day 1, that person makes up for it with an attitude and mindset. With some time given, might even blow everyone else out of the water and lift the company more than any other person would.
For the employee & job seeker
This is hard and I might sound a bit contradicting. I do believe that it’s important to be passionate about something. This way you build up the necessary skills needed to stay on top of things. With that said, something I wish for people to realize is that, whatever you are good at, those are tools to help build something. Code builds applications, designs helps with communication and branding, agile methods helps with process. They all meet to build a complete service or product.
This is where I see narcissisms a lot on social media. People very much like to write about their own craft, why agile is so good, why you should write React applications and not Vue etc. This to position themselves as an expert I’m assuming.
What I instead would like to see is for people to write about the vision and product. What was the impact it made and how did it help the world become a little bit better? After that you can always make a case study in how the product came to be and mentioned the different aspects of building it. That to me is far more valuable and makes me believe you have a better understanding of the bigger picture. This leads me to understand why you are so passionate about what you do.
…what I’m saying is, focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. Then make a case about what tools and methods you need to master going forward to get there.