At the second RailsConf, David Heinemeier Hansson told the audience about a recruiter trying to hire with “5 years of experience with Ruby on Rails.” DHH told him “Sorry; I’ve only got 4 years.” We all laughed (I don’t think there’s anyone in the technical world who hasn’t dealt with a clueless recruiter), but little did we know this was the shape of things to come.Mr. Hansson is the author of Ruby on Rails, so short of time travelers showing up to apply, this employer was going to be waiting a while.
I remember in the late 1970s, when the IBM Series 1 minicomputer came out. Within a year of its debut, there were job ads requiring ten years experience programming the Series 1.
The article goes on to explain that many employers have become very focused on hiring people with the exact experience that they want, rather than looking to hire people who can learn a new language, application domain, or operating system. (Yes, there is still something besides Windows.)