Web Development Rockstar Unicorn with Ninja coding skills who moonlights as a Wizard of Data

Are you a developer?  Maybe you are a recruiter? Hiring manager?  If you are then you probably know what I'm about to write.

IT and development job descriptions can have pretty demanding skill requirements.  In order to take short cuts or make things sound 'cooler', hiring managers create job descriptions looking for Ninjas, Rock Stars, Wizards, Unicorns and other things other than programmer.

  • Ninja - a developer who codes quietly in the dark and kills any task required by his master.
  • Rock Star - a developer who stands out in a crowd and loudly codes better than everyone around them
  • Wizard - a developer who magically creates software that everyone loves without any guidance and utilizing less hardware or maybe no hardware at all
  • Unicorn - a developer who is an expert at all forms of programming.  A Unicorn (Full-stack Developer) can code the UI, API, database, virtual reality, business intelligence and everything else and do so all by themselves as equally well as any other more specialized developer
Of course, if you are actually in need of a real Ninja or Rock Star than perhaps you hate that these job descriptions.  They are in the search results of your best Ninja/Rock Star/Wizard candidates.  I'm sure the hiring managers and recruiters would apologize to you.  My guess is that the majority of the Ninja ads are for developers available to moonlight at night for little money or no credit.

Are you a developer?  The cool thing is that you can filter out these ads for Ninjas and find real work. 

The hiring managers looking for real Ninjas will appreciate you not applying accidentally.  You might be very good with a sword and can quietly assassinate heads of state, and that's nice and all.  If you want to stop killing people and just code, filters will help. 

Are you a hiring manager?

There are better words to use rather than all these listed here. "Experienced", "professional", "adaptable" are 3 better words for sure.  Tell us about the company not about something you want from us that we can not give.

Are you flexible?  Care about results instead of time cards? Do you want us to keep learning and attend conferences?  Do you want us to be professional and not get into trouble and speak technically and organize our thoughts?

We can work weird hours from anywhere with an internet connection.  We love creating working software that's ships.  We love learning.  We love preparing for demos and being ready to get in front of clients instead of embarrassing ourselves with cheap jargon.


I really dislike the uses of Ninja, Rock star, Wizard and Unicorn in the tech industry.  It is just a bunch of crap and not very technical.  You are speaking to a bunch of the most technical people in the world.


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