We've all seen it: a job you're more than capable of handling in a competent manner: an opening for a developer position that highlights a tech stack that is your bread and butter.
You know it inside and out. Forwards and backwards. MERN. LAMP. Whichever it is. You know all the latest and most relevant features of your language. ES6? You're fluent in ES2022 - on top of all the newest tricks and shortcuts - Hooks, Async, Typescript, what have you.
The problem? Not one of these techniques existed five years ago.
So in what broken and out-of-touch hiring system is it important that you were writing React apps five years ago?
Class Components. Functional Components. Hooks. Redux. Going all the way back to when react was a library you included in a
<script> tag. Obviously, this sort of scenario applies across technologies.
Why should it matter, at all, if you were writing React in a style and manner that was en vogue six years ago -- but which is completely useless now?
The obvious answer is that IT DOESN'T.
So why do HR departments and hiring managers continuously look at this metric?
The easy answer is because technology is a dense, and hard-to-evaluate skillset for people who are not themselves educated in it. The HR department doesn't know how to distinguish one resume from another for the simple reason that they don't know a promise from a hash table: they don't speak the language.
And so, they resort to familiar, albeit broken, metrics of competency: years of experience.
Which in an industry where the standard of operation changes every few months; reflects absolutely nothing regarding the skill level of a candidate.
Now there is some obvious benefit to having done something for a longer amount of time; but this creates a bar to jump over which in many cases, does nothing to actually differentiate candidates, and instead only favors those who have momentum in their career; instead of being a fair reflection of who is competent in the job.
Of course, some companies have sought to solve this by requiring coding interviews that resemble leetcode questions.
This is better; but it still has little to do with a Front-End or Mobile developer's day-to-day job responsibilities.
Other companies have gotten a bit closer with sending 'take home assignments' -- which mock actual real-world development; but the problem here is that the time requirements often make applicants feel rushed and prone to submit a project with overlooked bugs or a lack of polish.
Perhaps together, we can steer the industry into a bright new day where hiring managers have someone qualified actually review the github linked on your resume.