Community engagement a surprisingly strong factor.
By Tim Colwill on January 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm
Valve co-founder and beard-lord Gabe Newell has used a new interview with the Washington Post to discuss what the company looks for in potential hires, saying that ‘traditional credentials’ and grades have very little impact on their decisions.
“The traditional credentialing really doesn’t have a lot of predictive value to whether people will be successful,” said Newell in response to an observation that Valve seems only to hire modders. “One of the things you have to do to be successful in our business is to be responsive to reactions that people have. You can give ten people the same set of forum posts and only one of them will actually take it in a productive direction.”
“So the fact that somebody has been able to build something and ship it and not get sort of bogged down and give up and then deal with the gush of responses you get, filter through that in a useful and productive way and iterate is really the core of product design and development in our world. When you see somebody who has already done that, especially if nobody was teaching or leading them to do that it’s a really good sign that they’re going to be successful.”
Newell claimed that “Somebody having a PhD from an Ivy League school tells you nothing about whether they’re going to be successful in our space.”
“Grades don’t tell you anything,” he said. “Most people who end up being successful have good grades, but it’s orthogonal — there’s no extra information than if they put together a website and have bunch of fans who love coming and seeing what they’re doing. That’s true if they’re writers like Erik or Chet, or programmers like Steve Bond, or artists like Johnny Guthrie. They all have shown that ability to engage and entertain and respond to an audience which is the critical characteristic for people here.”
Source: Washington Post (thanks Patrick)