One Language Resumes
Reviewing resumes as a manager, tech lead, or even just a developer is no one’s favorite activity. Resume’s are inefficient, misleading and so often boring. If you’re a prospective hire boring is bad.
A simple case is the standard corporate style J2EE developer resume. There are host of bullet points claiming skills I already expect them to have with 10+ years of development experience.
- Tomcat, JBoss, Weblogic, or WebSphere
- A smattering of design patterns from Singleton to Template Method
- Some selection of Java’s innumerable web frameworks.
- Oracle/SQL Server/MySQL
At this point they’ve done nothing to distinguish themselves from the pile of already screened and rejected resumes beside them. You’ve developed on the JVM for 10+ years and you’ve never looked into alternative JVM languages. No Groovy, Scala, or Clojure. Not even some adventure off the JVM into Ruby, Go, Elixir, Python.
Java is by design a simple if verbose language with a huge amount of libraries and IDE tooling. It has never been the best solution for almost anything. Luckily there’s been a “Get out of Jail” free card option for a long time now. You can pull out a JVM language that better fits the problem space solve the problem more elegantly. All that and still produce compatible byte code and interop easily with existing Java libraries. It’s a career limiting to ignore that opportunity.
For the brave there’s always the option of leaving the JVM entirely and trying something like Ruby, Python or Go. It may require adjusting to life outside a familiar IDE or dealing with a new set of libraries, but it’s not a very difficult step to make.
So fair or not let me explain the conclusions I make when I see a J2EE developer resume with many years of experience and no mention of a second or third language experience:
- Not very interested in learning in an engineering field that is constantly changing.
- Did the majority of their learning by working on an existing Java codebase, and aren’t interested in spending any time coming up to speed on anything that isn’t currently required for the job.
- Don’t enjoy development as a pursuit other than the fact that it’s fairly well compensated.
- Are OK with doing things the hard way because they have one hammer in the toolbox.
- Copy and Paste is their most common approach to gaining code refuse.
- Won’t be able to come up to speed quickly.
- Are going to bomb out in a phone screen, so no point in scheduling one.