I met Jessie Wooten back in November through my CTO, Warren. He wanted to help build NewsCart.
As a musician and graphic designer, Jessie had limited experience building software. NewsCart would be his first major project. I struggled to see how he would add value as a developer. I thought perhaps he could help us with design.
Nonetheless, Jessie was eager to learn and contribute to dev. He also had a fantastic attitude, and we shared many of the same values. I wanted him to be part of the team, in one capacity or another.
First, we had him build our website. I was impressed with the final product.
Second, we tasked him with building a small feature in the first version of our application. Again, impressed.
From there, we gave him what I thought was a stretch assignment – build a proprietary CMS tool. He finished it in a week (I was blown away).
Since then, Jessie has been a key contributor to our dev sprints. In fact, I can’t imagine how we would’ve gotten through the past couple of months without him.
Jessie embodies what it means to have a growth mindset. He’s intellectually curious and asks the right questions when he gets stuck. And because of that, he’s become an invaluable asset to our team and culture.
Moral of the story: don’t rush to hire the guy or gal that exhibits the greatest talent at the moment. Hire for potential. Seek people that have a great attitude and thirst for learning. And always prioritize those that share your values.