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re su me

I may be wrong but making all candidates to have "a perfect command" of English will cut off lot of smart programmers and after all fog creek writes programs ...

Instead i would look for persons that showed they can do something extraordinary (and I agree coursework is not enough ...)

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Sounds great - let us know when you're hiring!

Jimmy Jo-jo
Saturday, January 31, 2004

These days, <note space after comma>a decent command of the English language *is* extraordinary.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Here in Canada there has been a bit of an unroar because many highly skilled immigrants are lured to the country with the promise of great opportunities, but when they get here they find either that their credentials don't carry over, or that they find it extremely difficult to get a job in their given field (and often end up cab drivers, etc). While this seems like a horrible injustice, and it really is, there is a free market lesson to be learned from it: One of the most important professional skills, in many professions, is the ability to clearly communicate with others. Being the best code slinger in the world, or medical doctor, or mathematician, is offset by the confusion and inability others might have communicating with a prospective employee, possibly negating other advantages. This free market factor can be seen by the incredible number of job ads nowadays that add the bold disclaimer "Must have an excellent English skills".

How can this be solved? My personal opinion is that it needs to be made clear that English (verbal and written), or French in Canada, is incredibly important to your professional success.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

One has to question how much of the importance is for getting a job and promotions, and how much actually relates to ability to perform the job well.

Very few jobs are won purely on merit, and I think you'd find that although communication skills are important in doing the job, there's probably a disproportionate emphasis placed on them in the job market.

After all, I'm sure everyone's heard the horror stories about people who have been hired for senior positions without having even the most basic knowledge of their field.

Sum Dum Gai
Sunday, February 1, 2004

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