I’ve heard a few times over the last month that the technology business ought to be a meritocracy, where people are hired, promoted, and fired based on their skills and talents. It’s usually accompanied by a mandate that everyone should “hire the best person for the job.”
Information Technology may be the closest we get to a meritocracy, but it certainly isn’t one. Your skills matter, your talent matters, but it’s still a who you know and who-you-get-along-with that overrides everything else. More often than not, skills alone will not carry you far. You need to have a bond with the people that hire you.
If we were a meritocracy, we could just give everyone a test that applied for a job and hire the person with the highest score. Or just use a lottery to pick everyone that achieved a certain score. That doesn’t sound like the kind of place that I’d like to work since I place a lot of value on the interpersonal relationships with other people.
It seems that most people really want their employees, or co-workers, to meet some minimum level of competency, continue to improve their skills, and do their share of the work. That’s reasonable and I can appreciate those qualities in people, but the thing that’s most important to me is that we get along.
I can work with you to improve your technical skills, but I can’t usually do anything about your personality.