I had interview today, so reading Scott's set of .Net questions was rather topical.
I was thinking, if I was recruiting a developer, what weight would I give to the number of questions they could answer from the list compared to their knowledge or experience in other areas ? In other words what weight would I give to their in depth technical knowledge with one specifc technology and what weight would I give to a broader set of skills.
I think if I was recruiting a consultant/contractor for a short term contract and a defined work package then the number of questions they could answer correctly would be important. In that case I am looking for a worker bee and I want to be certain they have skills for the job from day 1.
However, for a permanent employee I would place a much lower weighting on the number of answers given. The reason is that I am much interested in a person who knows where to look for the answers, knows their limitations outside their specialist area but knows to ask the right people and has experience to determine what is the appropriate solution for a problem. It is much more important to me they way go about solving a problem than knowing everything in detail.
When you work in IT it is very simple to believe technology is the holy grail and can solve all problems and forget that sometimes the pen and paper will provide a better soluton for the customer.
Also, I would prefer to employ someone with wider range of experience, so that they would be more objective. For example, some one with Java experience or Oracle experience can bring an objective viewpoint to a project. Naturally, it is important that they don't have blinkered view of life. Also there knowledge of the industry where the company sell products and the business processes used in that industry are vital as well.
For the first time in my career I am having to look for a new job because of a change in the strategy of the company where I work means that my skills are no longer required. It is a scary situation as the IT market is still a difficult one.
One of things that you soon realise is how important your friends can be and how they provide you with information about jobs you would not otherwise hear about. So often people working in IT forget how important an active social life can be. I act in the amateur theatre which is great as it takes me away from the computer screen, proves I can work in a team with people from different backgrounds and temperaments. It also provides a strong social network and many leads for possible jobs.
I think in IT we often forget that while technology skills are important in the end the soft skills can be the deciding factor. Even if you are safe in a job always continue building that social network and of course, though, in some ways it obvious, make sure you keep your resume(cv) up to date and ready at hand. If the contents of your CV are still the same after a year, what have you being doing, are you still learning or have you stagnated ?
If anyone is looking for someone in Switzerland with strong .Net skills as well as consulting and team leadership skills, I think I have the skills you are looking for. Also I speak fluent German. Please contact me and I can send you my resume(cv). Just use the link on the weblog to contact me.