There is a very nice post written by Scott West on the issue of Where Are All the Qualified Programmers. It is a post that I agree wholeheartedly.
The section What is a Qualified Programmer is my favourite. In this section he decries the policy of screening the candidates based on technologies or specific technical abilities. This is because
Knowledge of these things must be specifically learned and aren’t generally
applicable to other areas.
Instead, the intrinsic abilities, such as problem solving, communication and the ability to learn quickly are also very important.
The one constant in technology is that it is going to change. Hiring people with
a greater focus on their intrinsic abilities will create a stronger work force
that is better able to adapt to change. This will help your company avoid the
short-term programmer shortages created by these shifting technologies.
Well said, Scot West!