Job descriptions can be very puzzling. Are they looking for strictly a developer, or do they want someone that can develop but also maintain their systems? Sometimes it can be very tricky to separate the wheat from the chaff. Corporations have their marketing and human resource teams come up with, what they deem to be, snazzy ways to attract top talent. Such terms as “rock star” and “guru” are a few that are frequently used. For some rhyme or reason, it is their belief this is an effective recruiting strategy. And, it may be. I do not have all the analytics to know one way or the other.
Do you desire a role where you can contribute code to an open source project as part of your daily responsibilities? During work hours and not in your spare time? It goes without saying that a lot of developers dream of such a scenario. These opportunities exist more and more each day.
But, one must not assume they will be able to take part in such an activity based upon initial rhetoric. Instead, you must research a company to its core if you are presented with such a proposition.
Corporations love to provide “promises”. They even love it more when these “promises” are not in written form. It is easy for them to spew out grandiose plans on the ways in which they are going to utilize your talents. It is a natural way to recruit individuals, albeit, a borderline unethical one.
This is no different in the world of open source software. There have been numerous instances where I have seen a candidate that has been “promised” to be able to either continue to work on open source software work that he/she has been doing, or get involved with open source development that the company is doing. Unfortunately, that is not the way it has turned out for some individuals. Luckily, it is a strong minority, but it is still a sliver of the pie.
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