Agile development: Hire developers for talent not skills

The Agile development model has spawned hundreds of books and dozens of conferences. There’s a significant track record of successful companies moving to Scrum,Extreme Programming (XP), and other lightweight, highly collaborative development models.

Agile can fundamentally change the way software development is done, yet the methods for recruiting and hiring developers hasn’t changed a bit. One company has adopted a new approach, and they share their methods here.

“Hire for talents rather than skills, build an environment where skills can be learned and reinforce the culture you are trying to build in the interview process itself. Too often, our industry hires for exact skill matches.”-Richard Sheridan, with Lisamarie Babik

Most senior programmers and managers grew up in a time when software engineering classes emphasized “complete, consistent, correct” specifications and the ideal developer work environment was a quiet, private office. It was a time when the way to be most effective as a developer was to be left alone. The management team at tech problem troubleshooting consultants Menlo Innovations needed to hire several programmers in 2004. But traditional interviewing methods, with the traditional r

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