Alley vs. Valley

Pro-Tip from Silicon Valley: Skip the Hipsters and ‘Hire More Fat Guys Who Know C++’

And you will know them by their neckbeards.
35kelu Pro Tip from Silicon Valley: Skip the Hipsters and Hire More Fat Guys Who Know C++


Look around your office. What do you see? A bunch of trim, friendly dudes in plaid shirts idling at standing desks, tweeting @coworkers, and interacting with other humans IRL? If so, that needs to be rectified. Immediately, advises Michael E. Driscoll, CEO and cofounder of Metamarkets and founder of Dataspora. On Mr. Driscoll’s blog recently, he extolled the benefits of staffing up from “The Secret Guild of Silicon Valley.”

Mr. Driscoll’s hiring theory was inspired by the wisdom of a friend, LinkedIn engineer Jay Kreps who tweeted, “Startup advice overheard: you have too many hipsters, you won’t scale like that. Hire some fat guys who know c++.”

“They aren’t interested in tweeting, blogging, or giving talks at conferences.  They care about building and shipping code.  They’re more likely to be found in IRC chat rooms, filing JIRAs for Apache projects, or spinning out Github repos in their spare time.”

And you will know them by their facial hair. These are “the guys with neckbeards, who keep Google’s servers running,” as an acquaintance of Mr. Driscoll’s put it. (Looks like the West Coast has a different strain of neckbeards than the Brooklyn variety.)

Here are some other key indicators to identify citizens of this privileged sect:

Their craft is creating software
Their tools of choice are C, C++, and Java — not Javascript or PHP
They wear ironic t-shirts, and that is the outer limit of their fashion sense
They’re not hipsters who live in the Mission or even in the city; they live near a CalTrain stop, somewhere on the Peninsula
They meet for Game Night on Thursdays to play Settlers of Catan
They are passive, logical, and Spock-like

If you’re a socially-adjusted code ninja that also happens to like Opening Ceremony and subscribe to the Alt Report, relax, Mr. Driscoll was meant to be taken in jest. Sort of.

Our only question is whether the Guild has any members in app-happy NYC?

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