Do You *Really* Want a Rock Star Programmer?

Dear Interweb Entrepreneur,

I’m writing to express interest in your ad for a “Rock Star” Programmer. I am interested in knowing whether you really want employees who think they are rock stars. And, if you do really want someone who thinks they are a rock star, isn’t it bad form to come straight out and tell them? Seems uncool to me.

I suggest that you really want a Master Craftsman, an artisan, a virtuoso. Perhaps you really want someone who has a commanding presence but is still approachable, someone with quiet confidence whom people respect, a teacher, and a wizard with code.

If that’s who you really want, don’t come right out and say so. Try a different approach. Present them with the opportunity to solve a fantastically intriguing and unique problem that they just can’t resist, and let them know that you will make it worth their while.

If you don’t have such a problem to solve maybe you just need a solid journeyman programmer, someone who has solved problems like yours many times in the past and does so consistently and confidently.

Or, maybe you really do need a rock star to add a little glow to your otherwise completely unremarkable product. I’m just saying maybe it’s a good strategy for you…really.