Free Electron Got’chas:
» There are two classes of Free Electrons. Sr. Electrons and Jr. Electrons. Both have similarly productivity yields, but the Senior versions have become politically aware. In technology savvy organizations, most CTOs fall into this category. Think Bill Joy. The Junior versions have all the ability, they just don’t have the experience of dealing with people because they spent a lot of the youth writing their own operating system as a intellectual exercise. These Junior electrons represent the single best hire you can make as a hiring manager. If you get two in twenty years, you’re doing something right.
» Misdirected Free Electron intensity can yield odd results. On one project, I assigned a couple of slippery memory corruption bugs to a Free Electron who nodded quietly and promptly vanished for a week. When he returned, the bugs were fixed and the entire database layer had been rewritten. A piece of code that’d taken two engineers roughly six months to design had been totally redone in seven days. Sound like a great idea until you realize we were working on a small update and did not have the resources or time to test a brand spankin’ new database layer. Oops.