The value of Open Source

I get a lot of job offers, and I mean a lot! I get roughly 5-10 job offers every week. And sure, it make sense. My CV is extreme. I started developing at the age of 8, I’m 45 today, and I have almost 25 years of professional experience. I know somewhere between 25 and 50 different programming languages, and technically I’m probably among the top 1% of software developers world wide, currently still in the market.

I am also at the peak of my career, at the age of 45. Cognitively not too far from my height, yet still with enough experience to literally “feel” the source of bugs, and have enough wisdom to intuitively spot the flaws in architectural design plans, arguably from a mile away. I’m in my prime age in such a regard. However, a couple of days ago I experienced something “weird”. To understand why, let me inform you about the first question I ask developers whom I interview myself, that question is as follows: “Do you have a GitHub account?” – And yes, I have interviewed a lot of candidates myself.

Personally, I hate such 40 questions job interviews, and I don’t like to conduct them either. I’d much rather have the candidate show me some of his previous work, and then use that as my foundation for an open ended discussion. First of all, this results in that the candidate is much more relaxed, and I’m able to create a much more correct assessment of him (or her). Secondly, it shows me how he thinks, and also demonstrates that software development is something more than just an income. It’s his passion.

A couple of days ago, I got an email from an American company. They started out perfectly fine, with giving me appraisal for my GitHub account, saying something like “We see you have an impressive GitHub account, would you be willing to work as an external contractor for Silicon Valley companies in the US?”

Whoa! Finally I though! Somebody have finally picked up my brilliant idea, and industrialized it, to create a head hunting company, around a brilliant and beautiful axiom! Obviously, the initial process was probably automated, and I assume they probably just measured my commit ratio, using some sort of automated bot, vacuum cleaning GitHub using a bot, and creating an email blast out of it – But still, pretty impressive I though.

Houston, we have found intelligent life on Earth

… was my initial reaction …

I politely answered them, and told them that I found their proposal to be interesting – I even watched a couple of their marketing videos, by contractors from Kenya, India, Nepal, and God knows what, working for high end American Silicon Valley companies, as external contractors – Informing me how nice their arrangement was, and how much more money they were making working for this “Turing company”, and how cool their lives were now after having landed these jobs. So far impressing, so I answered “yes, I am interested”. Only to be met with the following …

Notice, If I click the “yes” button above, I am expected to take an 8 hour long “test”, implying I’ll have to invest 8 hours into something, I personally find ridiculous, that might pay ZERO in the end for me …

Sorry dear “Turing Company”, just 5 meters before the finishing line, you literally flunked the “Turing Test”. When you have analysed my GitHub profile, looked at my code, to found that to be enough for you guys to understand what I am capable of – You can call me back. In the meantime, I think I’ll rather spend 8 hours this weekend maintaining my GitHub account (pun!)

One thing is certain, I will not bet spending 8 hours taking your stupid test, that’s pretty darn certain …

… if you want to hire me, treat me like a human being. It shouldn’t be difficult … 🙂

So what does this have to do with the header of this article you might ask? Well, if you don’t intuitively understand that question, I suggest you bookmark this article, and come back 5 years from now – At which point I probably won’t even have to explain it to you …

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