The challenges of hiring software engineers

| January 10, 2008

As noted in Works in Progress, I’m writing a book called Surviving Complexity, which deals with the challenges of IT development and deployment. Over at my personal website, I’ve posted material adapted from the first chapter of that book:

In my forthcoming book, Surviving Complexity, the very first chapter is called “The Wetware Crisis”. This is a greatly expanded look at a problem that I first discussed in print twelve years ago in the late, great BYTE Magazine, namely that one core problem today in information technology (IT) is that there just aren’t enough good IT engineers and that there never will be. The article itself focused on just one aspect: inherent talent. My argument, supported by various studies, is that certain people have inherent talents that help them in IT, just as others are gifted in math, music, language, and so on. My follow-up observation is that the percentage of really talented IT engineers in a given human population is (a) small and (b) fixed. (It’s hard to argue for natural selection increasing that percentage where we’re talking about geeks breeding.)

Go over there to read the whole thing. ..bruce w..

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Category: Information Technology, Main, Project Management, Surviving Complexity

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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