I recently read a job advertisement, in which I stumbled upon the following phrase:
“You care about software, you have a passion for what you do which you can clearly convey by your actions rather than just waffly personal statements on your CV”
Unfortunately such statements are rare in job-postings. And (as a result perhaps…) every job application and consultant-résumés I’ve ever seen are all about skills.
Don’t get me wrong – technical, business and communicational skills are of course a must. They just only cover part of the expectations I think a good software developer should meet.
A passionate developer cares about his craft. He takes pride in improving his skills (not just the technical stuff, but soft and business skills as well), in seeking new ways to increase effectiveness and productivity for himself and his team, and takes pride in delivering high quality products that meets the customer’s expectations. That’s important stuff!
Hence I would rather work with a developer with mediocre skills but with a keen interest and passion about his work and craft than a developer with great technical skills, but little or no passion for his profession.
I would expect a good developer to be able to provide thoughtful answers to questions like: “What do you think characterizes well-crafted software?”, “What makes code beautiful?”, and “Why are you software developer?”
I would also expect a good developer to spend at least some of his evenings on catching up on trends in the developer community, trying out new features in his development environment or reading literature on technical and soft skills.
And he’s not spending those late hours because he’s expected to, but due to a profound interest in his profession and career.