Thursday, October 12, 2006

The myth of the "perfect past project"

[This was originally posted at]

In today's world, developers switch projects a lot. Whether it's a consultant at the same company who keeps jumping between 3 month projects, or a developer who switches jobs every two years, most people can refer to some "previous" job. I notice an interesting trend, that some people insist that they've had that perfect project in the past - the one (unlike their current job) where everything was done properly. It almost comes across as their development life was great before (i.e. their last job did it "right"), but their current employer is a bozo. Many people can refer to a good previous project because some other star (not them) made it good. For example, a past project may have had awesome process or tools - but someone else set it up. It seems like a bluff (or the grass is always greener on the other side thinking), but because you don't know about their previous project, and have to just take their word for it. But, you can always ask what they did to make that last project so great, and what they can do on the current team (besides just reminiscing about the "Good old days") to make the current project better.

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