Re: Experience VS Ability

Subject: Re: Experience VS Ability
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- LTS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 10:42:51 -0700

Steven Jong wrote:
> You're interviewing a candidate for a position revising user information for
> your flagship product on a tight schedule. The material was created using
> Tool X.
> The candidate lists Tool Y but seems promising.
> You ask: "Are you familiar with Tool X?"
> The candidate says brightly, "Tool X or Tool Y, they're all the same.
> Once you learn one tool you can learn another in a couple of days."
> My question is: Are you willing to entrust the project to someone who says
> she can learn a tool in two days?

Depends on what else is on her resume and what you find out in an
interview, and how complicated you know Tool X to be.

For example, years ago I was hired for a contract that required me to
use Framemaker, which I didn't know. I did know several other word
processors, and a lot about the particular application area, so they
figured I could learn Frame on the fly. I learned enough of Frame in
two days to be producing drafts by the end of the second day. (Of
course, I also had to learn the company's and department's file
structures and the application as well, so not all of my time was spent
learning Frame.) I've since seen the same learning pattern in others,
so I know it can happen. Yet Frame has a well-deserved reputation for
being hard to learn.

What you're trying to ascertain is the credibility of this person's
statement about her learning ability. What else has she done - that you
can verify - that required her to learn a tool quickly? Is there a tool
you use where you can compare her learning style with yours (these days
a good test is an HTML editor).

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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