Are you a smart programmer?

…. If you are you might want to take a look at the following job advertisement from Ontology Works.

As a software developer I always become suspicious of any job that
advertises “programmer” positions and not “developer” positions (see blog post on Programmer vs
Thoughts of a desk behind the company coffee vending machine, a small
desktop, and a “how to program in C” manual spring to mind when
employers use the term “programmer”. As if this isn’t bad enough,
Ontology Works is looking for a “hacker”, now if this doesn’t send most
moderately talented developers running for the hills then I don’t know
what will.

Note: If you know the “right” thing when you see it, you’ll probably realize that this job isn’t it.

I am intrigued in what it would take to get one of those Ontology Works
mugs, given that even Ontology Works does not have them. I’m guessing
the person who ordered them was not too “smart”.

Ontology Works seeks a programmer to help push forward its cutting edge ontology-based information management products.

What you know is less important than how smart you are, but the following skills will help:

– Java (kind of a requirement, really. A smart hacker like you could
pick it up fast, but a smart hacker like you probably already knows

– C/C++/C#

– Prolog/Logic Programming

– Web Ontology Language/Semantic Web

– Relational databases

– Non-relational (OO, OR, etc) databases

– Database theory & implementation

– Distributed & parallel algorithms

– Linux

– GUI programming

– JSP/HTML/Tomcat

– The ability to decipher academic papers

– The ability to write academic papers

– The ability to write cogent documentation

– The ability to recognize the Right Thing when you see it.

– Even trickier: the ability to work with clients.

– Any of the usual round of acronyms (WSDL, J2EE, SOAP, XML, UDDI, EJB,
ERP, JMS). Bring in a new buzzword and get an Ontology Works mug. *

A clearance is _not_ required for this position, though it would be nice.

Email resumes and such to Feel free to include an anecdote from a bug hunt.

This position is open only to US citizens.

* Actually, we don’t have Ontology Works mugs yet.

2 thoughts on “Are you a smart programmer?

  1. http://

    I can tell from your comments that you are one of those guys that is only comfortable in a typical stagnant corporate environment where everyone uses politically correct terms for their sanitized conversations.
    <br>I agree that for you, and others like you, a job like the one in the ad you are using as your example is not the kind of place you would be happy – but trust me – the kinds of places you like to work would not be right for guys like me either. The thing that gets me going though is a fast-paced, seat-of-the-pants, getting-things-done environment. No doubt you are just of critical of &quot;hackers&quot; like myself as you are of this ad, but that’s where you would be wrong because its guys like me that get things done – behind the vending machine at three in the morning if necessary – but that’s the way it is – and always been baby, so remember us &quot;hackers&quot; are out there looking for jobs that need guys like us more than they need guys like you next time you feel like bitch blogging.

  2. Rob Garrett

    Erm, I guess you don’t know me at all. I am not opposed to hacking at all, it has it’s place like any other development approach.
    <br>Typically, in my experience hacking leads to badly engineered software (especially if you’re hacking enterprise systems), but on the other hand, I too have spent a few late nights behind a vending machine pushing out critical code modules that &quot;the management&quot; were over-engineering. Never have I seen a job advertisement for a &quot;hacker&quot; though, and I can only think that Ontology’s software is in such a mess that they need such a person to make it work.
    <br>I too get very frustrated with PC places of employment; in fact, I am not really liked in my current position because I tend to say things the way they are. Kind of why I run a blog that &quot;bitches&quot; from time to time.
    <br>If you truly felt that hacking at 3am behind the vending machine is good for the corporation in which you work, it should not surprise you that you’re probably the only one sitting in that seat at that time, whereas everyone else has an office and works a 9-5.
    <br>I am guessing that you’re under 25 (not that I am far short myself). As you mature in your career, you’ll soon find out that working a 12 hour shift occupying twilight hours does get the job done (if the job is brute coding), but pays you nothing in the long run. Wouldn’t you rather be out having a good time with friends, family etc knowing that your 8-10 hours counted, rather than hacking for 15 because some moron badly architected the system?

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