I have been a part of the interview process at a few different companies now, and there is one thing that I have seen correlate completely with how useless a developer hire is. If the hiring manager ever brings me a resume that mentions how many conferences a candidate attends or gives talks at, I will immediately rule that candidate out for the purposes of the development position I am interviewing for.
Whenever I am looking for a developer to join my team, I am looking for an individual that has actual software development accomplishments to list on their resume. If I am hiring someone to represent my company at conferences, I will consider slightly those that have one of their positive attributes that they attend or speak at conferences, but most likely will still move on to the next candidate almost immediately.
While this may sound harsh to those of you that enjoy attending and presenting at conferences, I am not saying that anyone that attends or presents at a conference is not someone that I would hire. Instead, if your biggest accomplishments include attending or speaking at a development conference, you are probably not the developer I am looking for. Developers that I look to hire are those that can contribute to the team by developing or designing software and UX for our users.
It could have just been that these two ‘developers’ were bad examples of those that proudly list on their resume as accomplishments that they attend or speak at conferences often, but they have definitely made an impression. Both seemed to be avid fans of Agile Development using SCRUM, but their daily standup meetings were seemingly only ploys to schedule other meetings. The other amazing thing about one of them is that they have managed to keep their job for a long period of time without having to ever write any software that makes its way to production.