Ryan Fischer

Your first hire doesn’t need to be a rockstar

Dec 5 2017

Rockstar - let’s add that to the list of buzz words that I’m not a fan of. So many people I speak to always look for their first hire to be extraordinary and impactful. And I’m not going to say that is wrong. But I have a different opinion on what makes extraordinary and impactful.

For a startup and pretty much 90% of the development jobs, to have an impact that person should

be able to deliver

Delivery and execution are some of the most important factors for being successful. You’ll find the majority of what you need done may not be that complex - it requires time and thought but it is not a perplexing puzzle.. The project just needs to continue to move forward.

be pragmatic

This is critical for launching projects and features in a timely fashion. Sometimes the “right” answer is not actually the right answer. The absolute correct solution may take 32-60 hours, but the pretty darn close enough answer will take 30 minutes - no joke. Convert time to money, and you have $5,000 or $50 and also launching faster. And of course, the future tech debt still needs to be evaluated.

have experience

Computer Science degrees and/or having a big named company on your resume does not dictate experience. I’ll take the person who has played a role in launching projects for teams for a few years over a fancy resume.

be solution-oriented

You won’t ever find someone who has the answers. You want a person who approaches a problem by looking for a solution. A key sign of that is taking a problem and breaking that problem into smaller ones that are more manageable.

At the end of the day, most development does not require some crazy smart algorithmic rocket science person. The field that needs that is… rocket science. Find a pragmatic problem-solving developer who can show with experience that they deliver and you’ll be shipping in no time.