We all know that we can recognize when someone does and does not know something, or have a particular skill, once we get a chance to work with them. Some people leave us breathless with admiration, while others leave us astounded with disbelief.
"How did this person get through the screening?" we ask. "How could we have let someone who so clearly does not have the skills we need get this far?"
I suspect that all of us have had this experience at one time or another. Someone has a great resume, writes a great cover letter, interviews beautifully, and answers every challenging question well. In the software developer realm, we may have asked them to do a code kata, and they wrote clean, elegant code and explained it well.
Then, we get them on the job, and discover that they're just not that good. Is it the process? Are we so easily hoodwinked?
One of the visions I have for Mastery Quest is that this kind of thing doesn't happen any more, because of a combination of experience points, reputation points, and peer recognition. Those three are all interrelated, of course.
It's not enough to have the time spent doing something, although that counts.
It's not enough to have a knack for it, a talent for it, although that counts.
There are a number of important factors that will help both employers and professionals. One way to identify whether someone really has both the experience and the skill is through peer recognition. If I say I've done 10,000 hours of skill X, you have to take my word for it. On the other hand, if my colleagues are willing to put their names to my experience, then it has more credibility.
That means that when a manager wants someone who knows skill X, rather than testing the candidates or questioning the candidates, I want to see a system that makes it clear as to whether that individual has skill X or not.
What about those of us who have been around for a long time? We'll need some method of grandfathering us in. I don't know what that looks like yet. I don't pretend to know how to get all of this done. That's why I've invited others to do this with me, and am delighted with the latest post from Shawn Thomas.
Coming up soon: gaming the system.