Objects in the Job Description May Be Fuzzier Than They Appear

Oct 29, 2011

Look for a job in most places involves reading a lot of job descriptions. Once you get a job you usually find out that the description never matches the actual work. Even worse is reading a job description for your replacement - you wonder how you ever did all of that.

Eventually you begin to understand job-description-speak and being a good engineer you figure out what the coded words mean. It's like reverse engineering, except there was no engineering to speak of at the start.

  1. Great work environment We give you a chair to sit in and we expect you to sit there for 10 hours a day or more

  2. Minimum Required Skills You must know everything there is to know about everything, including stuff we no longer use and stuff that hasn't been invented yet

  3. Compensation: Not Specified We want you to go through our 24 hours of interview hell before we tell you how little the salary is

  4. Translate business requirements and functional specifications into software and suggest innovative solutions to business problems/processes that leverage technology to provide marketing differentiation, performance improvements, and better user experiences We're hiring you to write programs

  5. Follow relevant coding standards We don't have any but maybe you know some? Or possibly we prefer style over substance

  6. Full software development life-cycle methodology SDLC Yes we use a waterfall because it works so well

  7. Stays current on emerging tools, techniques, and technologies related to programming On your own time; we rarely ever change technologies and you can only use free stuff to work with.

  8. Strong communication skills Speaks English.

  9. XX years experience in two completely unrelated technologies Only the CIO's son in law meets this impossible requirement (yeah right) but we don't want to be accused of nepotism.

  10. Experience with project time estimates Used to failure.

  11. Experience with CMMI level 3, or ISO 9000 or some other standards body utilizing INITIALS and some NUMBERS Willingness to work at a completely sucky job where every you do is painful.

  12. Ability to work independently as well as in a team setting Management is not our strong suit.

  13. Enthusiasm Willingness to work in a depressing place working on miserable software managed by terrible people. Ability to score extra anti-depressants.

  14. Excellent interpersonal skills The last person we hired stank to high heaven, lived on energy drinks and enjoyed torturing people with rambling stories about how good they were at D&D.

  15. Working closely with Senior Architects and Engineering Management to ensure a thorough understanding of software requirements They don't have clue, we're hoping you do.

  16. May manage other programmers All of our coding is done by outsourcing firms; we just want someone to take the blame when they fail.

  17. Recommends new emerging technologies; follows company standards Two things together meaning you are free to look at new technologies but we won't change anything.

  18. Fast paced environment Work long hours for no extra pay under enormous pressure.

  19. Occasional 24/7 support Sorry, we meant always.

  20. Performs other duties as assigned Sometimes the janitor doesn't come in. Actually we mean you come to work and do stuff we tell you. Really I have no idea why people put this in descriptions.

  21. Deadline-oriented environment Willingness to die getting something done that ultimately means nothing.

  22. Experience in MacIntosh, Java Script and WebShere Our recruiters have no idea what we do or how to spell anything. We're sure the candidates they bring in will SuperFantastic.

  23. [A long list of acronyms] If you know what all these are please come work for us. Oh, you do need 10 years experience in each one.

  24. Strong Anything that requires you have strong experience means we only want to hire the person who wrote the technology.

  25. Fun loving attitude You won't have fun working for us; we hope you have a lot of fun away from work (if you ever have time).

  26. No description of work or company It's not a real job, we just want your resume. Then again, it might be we don't have enough imagination to invent a fake company and job.

  27. Interview in 24 hours or Immediate closure Willingness to take a joke or deal with lies required.

  28. Ability to multi-task We never hire enough people to do all the stuff we want to do and our priorities change every day so be prepared to way too many things in impossible timelines.

  29. [Any description of the recruiting firm or consulting company] We are the greatest company in the world, everyone else sucks. We also hope you don't realize how terrible this job is so we are trying to cover it up with how great we are.

  30. Minimum of X years experience Any more and you will want too much money.

  31. Take ownership and accountability for the deliverables in all phases of the development You will be blamed for anything that goes wrong no matter whose fault it was; also other people will get rewards for anything you do well.

  32. Source code repository experience Ever worked as a programmer?

  33. Senior XXXX programmer [but the salary is way too low] We want senior experienced programmers but can't afford anything but interns.

  34. Experience in Gap Analysis Our software is terrible and our clients pissed.

  35. Experience with Agile, Scrum, Lean and XP We don't do any of these but maybe you can tell us what they are.

  36. Produce proper documentation We use some really great drugs!

  37. Able to produce high-quality code We don't have any here, maybe you can be first?

  38. Hands on person Show up for work.

  39. Adapt to shifting priorities We hope you don't mind getting laid off right away if we decide your job really wasn't necessary.

  40. Utilize an in house developed enterprise framework If you work here be prepared to lose your soul and your mind.

I could go on and on, reading job descriptions should be a professional sport. But I'd rather work as a programmer writing iOS or OSX apps than read a description for one.