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Discussion on: The Principle Of Association

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

To put it more constructively: we need to improve hiring processes to identify the potential in candidates; rather than lazily relying on something like association. There is just too much bias implicit in "social/community validation":

  • established communities can be exclusionary
  • the definition of "established" is subject to the employer's personal, subjective opinion

Ultimately you're hiring a developer because of their technical; problem-solving and teamwork abilities; not because they're good at marketing themselves. Look beyond the surface and instead focus on the substance of what someone has done. Consider the barriers they may have faced that means they haven't formed the associations you subjectively think make someone stand out.

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jamesmh profile image
James Hickey Author

Sure, I would agree with you for the most part. I never said we shouldn't try to improve the hiring process, etc. What I did say was that as someone who might be the subject of the hiring process, this is a way to make an impression given the state of things.

I think there's merit on both sides of the argument though - looking at a developer's real experience, accomplishments, abilities is great. But, on the other hand, if a potential hiree cannot demonstrate to me why he/she is a good fit for the job (e.g. marketing) then that's a huge flag that they aren't a good communicator (which is necessary for more senior/experienced roles).

So I think a balanced approach, for those wanting to get hired, is best.

And for hiring, the fact is that a developer who can communicate his/her worth to me best is def. going to be ahead of the game (since communication skills is more important overall)