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Abstract

Exceptional application software developers are a scarce resource. It is therefore important for employers to identify, retain, and cultivate individuals who exhibit this capacity. This study compared the personality characteristics of exceptional, experienced application software developers with the personality characteristics of junior and senior level IS and CS students (who can be seen as entry-level, or pre-entry level, IT developers). We used the Adjective Checklist to measure personality characteristics for all subjects, then mapped the resultant scales to the Five Factor Model of Personality. The results of this study suggest that exceptional application software developers exhibit significantly higher levels of Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Exceptional students (as determined by GPA), however, were actually found to be introverted. Thus, when GPA is used to pre-screen or filter for entry-level positions, recruiters may actually be excluding some of those candidates who are most likely to become exceptional application software developers. These results have implications for understanding and managing the recruiting of IT personnel and their progression from entry level (novice) to more experienced positions.

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