How to Tell the Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance

In an episode of Master Chef, Gordon Ramsay said during the usual berating of a contestant:

“When you’re good at something, it creates confidence. When you’re insecure about something it creates an arrogance.”

And there lays the gist, summed up by a yelling chef. He went on: “Arrogant chefs are like blondes in Hollywood.” It seems the world of technology folks are strikingly similar to the world of chefs. Talent claimed far outweighs the talent that exists.

In my independent days of consulting, many of my contracts were simply helping company’s interview technology candidates, I even wrote a couple guides on what to ask particular types of candidates. Here’s a rule I still stick to today: If you are hiring a developer on any platform, they must provide an example of their work. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised at the excuses candidates give for why they don’t have, or can’t show examples. (I understand your previous employer owns the work… you can still show it to me.) It should be one of the easiest ways to qualify a potential employee, yet so often is isn’t done. It’s more difficult in hiring for soft skills like leadership and friendliness, but for development… no show, no go.

The proof is in the pudding. Talent claimed is only as good as talent demonstrated.