Craftsman Experience Required; Hammering Nails, Cutting Wood, Not So Much

I was reviewing this job posting, and its skills required list touched lightly upon one of my pet peeves:


Quality Center
Clear Quest

I hate job postings where they require detailed knowledge of a particular brand or flavor of QA software.  Instead of focusing on the underlying skills that the tester will need, organizations focus on the superficial.  It’s akin to a job as a home remodeler being predicated on whether someone has experience with Craftsman tools versus Kobalt or  Black and Decker.

I know why that junk is in there: so HR interns can winnow some people out of the crowd.  However, it also winnows out skilled people who worked at places with smaller budgets and elevates lesser applicants who worked for comparably-budgeted QA departments, particularly when any of the big packages are named as required.

3 Responses to “Craftsman Experience Required; Hammering Nails, Cutting Wood, Not So Much”

  1. strazzerj Says:

    I would agree with you if they were trying to hire someone permanently. But here, it seems like they are looking for a cheap, short-term contractor.

    It’s not surprising that they would not want to pay someone to learn the tools that they will be required to use.

    I don’t think your analogy applies.

    It would be more like hiring someone to come in and work in your Helpdesk for a while, when you are a Windows shop. Sure, if the candidate knows only Linux, they may be able to learn Windows – but why would you bother to train them if you can find plenty of already-knowledgeable Windows folks?

  2. angelweave Says:

    As you know, it happens in all areas of tech. The other really annoying feature of some job postings is wanting several years of experience of several different pieces of technology (some very specific) and then calling it a Programmer/Analyst 1 and paying 30k.

    But then again, who’d want to work there if they’re that clueless.

    Aptitude always means more than experience when weighed side by side. You can hand the same spec to two programmers, and one will just dutifully code it. The other will look at it, ask a bunch of questions, resolve them, and then code. I’ll take that second guy any day.

  3. The Director Says:

    I realize that in Utopia, everyone gets a week’s training on everything. I’ve even worked places with mad training budgets. I’ve taken several day seminars on how to use Microsoft Word and several day courses in how to use the company’s niche software products.

    However, please note that the tools they’re talking about are a defect tracker and, probably, a test case manager tool. You should be able to pick up the minimum level of functionality you’ll need to use for a short term project in a couple of minutes. Search, new defect, save. How hard is that?

    It’s not just temp or short term jobs that make use of these winnowing arbitrary requirements, either. This is just the one that leaped out at me and set me off.

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