Martin Koníček


Recruiters claim that there's an excess of IT professionals - don't let them fool you!

Showcase image

"You're looking for five testers and you receive one hundred and fifty resumes, then close the position after two days - that's today's IT world, isn't it? The big question is always whether you're looking for quality or quantity, and believe me, even nowadays, there are few truly high-quality people.

Average people can ruin even the simplest thing.

Recently, I went to change to winter tires. I drove to a tire service, and there were two guys changing tires, 16 cars a day, 64 tires a day. It's a very simple task, one you'd think even a trained monkey could handle.

Yet, they inflated my tires to the wrong pressure, even though the correct pressure is written on a pillar by the car. And by the way, even my girlfriend, who is certainly not a professional driver, knows that.

Maybe it was negligence, but how can a person who needs to be constantly checked and corrected be of any help in life?

And that's for something as simple as inflating tires, imagine that in IT.

The companies I work for go through hell.

The companies I work for often go through literal hell. For example, I worked for a company that had an entire IT department, and no one ever noticed that their RAID disks were failing, let alone monitored it. Without me, it was only a matter of time before the company lost its data.

If recruiters think that quality IT people grow on trees, they're mistaken. That's not happening, not even nowadays. During the boom times, companies hired a large number of not-so-quality people, who were let go during downturns and are now freely available on the market.

When I do meet quality people, it's a big exception, practically a miracle. A quality IT person is genuinely interested in the field. If it's a DevOps person, they own some servers or build their infrastructure at home. If it's a programmer, they have their projects outside of work.

These people educate themselves in their free time, read documentation, and it really shows. While you have a colleague who spends their free time on Facebook at work, you have another who reads French literature on the way to work (learning French), German on the way back, and goes through Linux manual pages at work. Believe me, such people don't grow on trees.

My experience with real estate agents.

In the Czech Republic, it's said that there's a hundred real estate agents per square kilometer, and in a way, it's true. However, the last time I sold a property, it was literally a battle. I met with several agents, and it was a disaster; they were nowhere near good at their job.

One lady told me she takes property photos with her phone, and when I remarked that she couldn't be serious, she replied, 'But I have an iPhone.' For 10.000€ , I'd expect a bit more.

Then came a real estate agent who lied so blatantly that he contradicted in the third sentence what he said in the first. He lied so much that our politicians look weak in comparison.

Really, believe me, it was a problem to find someone, even though you'd think anyone could be a real estate agent.

My experience with car mechanics.

Don't even get me started on mechanics. On AliExpress, they sell car diagnostics for 10€, which you can connect to your phone. Believe me, half of the mechanics don't even have that. It's really unfortunate dealing with mechanics; it's hard to find someone honest and reliable. What surprised me is that the best ones usually work for brand-name service centers with clear procedures, or they used to work there, not the garage ones.

Quality people with interest are rare everywhere.

It shocks me, I admit, I don't understand a mechanic who has been in the field for 30 years and doesn't even have a basic car diagnostic tool from Ali, or a banker who's been in the field for 30 years and doesn't know what ETF funds are. It's no exception; people who've been in their field for decades without a speck of interest in it.

It's different if you hire someone like me, who has been interested in Linux and operations since 16, educates myself every day, reads documentation, pays for courses, studies mathematics, has my own Kubernetes cluster at home, and programs in my free time, compared to hiring someone who isn't really interested. And that's true for every field; there are about 5% of quality people interested in their profession across fields.

What I sell to companies is unique, a laser focus on improving the most important things that really matter, and also selling internally in the company, explaining why to invest in them and how to pull it off. It's years of experience with an interest in the field, and from many projects and companies, where I clearly saw why often ambitious projects fail – poor internal sales, little support for them, not finishing them, and starting a million unimportant things.

And if a hundred people come for an interview, I guess I can live with that. I know that even among those hundred IT people, there will be one very capable technician with interest, but maybe they can't or don't want to sell their ideas internally in companies, which is where their projects practically fail – others will kill them.

Finding an expert is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Back to the experts. If there's one field everyone claims to be an expert in, it's dieting. Everyone seems to be a diet expert, and I have five diet advisors on each finger. Perhaps my biggest awakening was meeting a nutrition advisor who appeared in the TV series "The Obese" and weighed 140 kg.

Now back to the topic, you'll encounter most of these charlatans in their 'pseudo' nonsense, recommending what I call 'space foods' (extremely expensive and hard-to-find foods available in big specialty stores) and incredible recipes. They'll sell you cookbooks like 'Paleo 101' or '7 Wonders of the Keto Diet.' All of these (and I'll dare say on my blog) are crap.

Whereas, you don't really need to be a diet expert to give diet advice. My friend solves his diet simply; he doesn't like cooking, ordered a meal delivery diet, and lost weight. No work, just some money needed. The bigger downside is the delivery of these boxes (you have to plan and wait for them).

People with little time and money prepare these boxes themselves. There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to cook them.

But the main thing, which half of these diet charlatans won't tell you, is that it's not about space foods, crazy plans, or whatever, but simply about having regular access to quality food, whether you prepare it yourself or buy it somewhere. That's the main problem, and if you have little time and want to cook, you have to simplify it somehow (for example, rotate the same meals and learn to make them quickly). That's the main principle, not the keto diet, but few will tell you that.

The result of cheap people in infrastructure.

"The result of having cheap people on infrastructure, just like in that diet, will be that they don't understand the main principles. They will solve problems as they arise, but never really get to the root of the real issues. Then there's a group of professionals who can handle more complex technical problems but fail to see the bigger picture – for instance, the organization fails to recognize their importance and contributions, and management effectively 'kills' their initiatives. Also, a common problem with 'good' people is the excessive complexity of their technical solutions, which ultimately remain only in their heads.

The issue with technicians, as with diet consultants, is often that they are passionate about their field. Diet and fitness advisors enjoy writing recipes and meal plans – even though that's not really what it's all about, just as technicians enjoy creating technical solutions, even though that's not always what it's about either.

Personally, the more I consider the problems of managers and organizations in my solutions, the more I see that not every problem has a technical solution, and not every problem is simple. Likewise, if you seek diet advice from someone, they should consider that you travel all day and really don't have time to cook 'space foods' at home, and solve your problem (which isn't a new keto diet recipe). Similarly, an expert you seek help from for infrastructure should perhaps give you a good answer on how to integrate everything into your organization, even considering that the average tenure of your employees is 2-3 years and the market isn't full of experts interested in the field, but rather of average people. And that's more than just a technical aspect.

Maybe I'm silly according to recruiters, but I just don't see such a surplus of such experts in the market and across organizations."

cs | en