Free minutes aren’t. Unlimited data isn’t.

I absolutely love the English language. It’s so wonderfully slippery.

There are hundreds of ways you can say a thing, depending on what effect you want to have. I love that.

But I hate it, too. I hate the way words are hijacked to deceive and to manipulate.

Free minutes (provided you pay).

Unlimited data (subject to fair use).

Problems are in fact opportunities, and Agile means damn near anything you please.

Machiavelli was an amateur clown compared to the marketing gurus of today.

It’s as if the morally degenerate have staged a coup and no one has noticed.

Which brings me to the subject of recruiting-speak.

“This position requires a heavyweight” means you’ll be working with bullies, so you need to be one too.

“We need a middleweight developer” means they actually want a heavyweight, but don’t want to pay that much.

Rockstar or ninja or superstar means they’ve coded themselves into a hole and now need a hero to fly in to the rescue. It could also mean they have no idea what they’re talking about, they just want someone who will get wasted with them on VC funded hallucinogens.

A ground-floor opportunity usually refers to compensation. Exciting opportunities are mostly vapid. Fast-paced means impatient and intolerant of deviation. Self-motivated means no training.

I could go on. I won’t.


Oh, and PS: I’ve started a thing for volunteering as a programmer:

Posted in Hiring, Recruiters

Ed Guiness

I am the author of Ace the Programming Interview, published 2013 by John Wiley and Sons. In 2012 I founded, a volunteering organisation for programmers. I have been a professional programmer for more than 20 years, and a hiring manager since 2004.

Ask me anything.