This post is the first of several to migrate answers away from Quora. I’ve long since abandoned the platform but the content I created there I think is still pretty valuable. The response has been reworded slightly from the original such that it makes sense in isolation. Original

I’ve seen plenty of examples of both hiring purely on experience and hiring with a stronger emphasis on culture fit. Which is better? My take away from it has been that, like most things, it depends.

The most creative and talented developers can learn just about any language, and many times they bring skills and design ideas with them from previous languages and frameworks that perhaps veterans of the language would not. What you want is someone who is capable of thinking in terms of secure and efficient application design, but who can also come up with new and innovative ways of solving problems and are aware of the external forces driving and funding their development.

Conversely, it can be extremely costly and time consuming to have to train a new employee. It would be much easier to find someone who can hit the ground running and immediately start adding value to your business process.

The ideal use case would of course be to find someone that fits the first description, but also is competent in the language in question. Depending on your technology stack this may be difficult to find, so my advice would be this: keep an open mind. Start looking for that perfect match, but if the finances allow it and you find matches that could be perfect once they learn your system, don’t rule them out. In the long-term it would be much better to hire a rock-star developer that may take a while to learn your systems than a mediocre one simply because they have experience in the language being called for.

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About The Author

Bryce Hamrick

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Bryce Hamrick is an entrepreneur, business & marketing strategist, and product consultant with nearly two decades of experience in industry. Bryce has been a software engineer, product manager, and director of product management for startups as well as large enterprises. He has led teams to bring dozens of products to market and has executed numerous six-figure product launches. Today Bryce and his team focus on leveraging his product execution strategy to help businesses with growth and scale.