I know all job advertisements say they're looking for people who are passionate, excited, growth-oriented, etc. A lot of the time I feel like my company hires people who are good at their jobs without prioritizing any of that, though. My coworkers are very good programmers, but for the most part aren't passionate about software development, they're just doing it because they're good at it and it pays well, and the company is flexible with working parents, which constitute a majority of our team.

Are those job wish-list items just filler, then or do most companies actually care about them, and to what extent?

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    Believe me or not, I have seen people copy pasting the job posting descriptions which include "should be passionate, hard-working blah blah". So, yes its a filler. But, you can't take it for granted while approaching for that job. Once you are in, you are in. You need to decide whether you want to follow the passion or just work for money. – BSC Oct 22 '15 at 8:44
  • "My coworkers are very good programmers, but for the most part aren't passionate about software development". Can you clarify what you mean by "passionate"? – Brandin Oct 22 '15 at 9:27
  • If you are happy with your job, stay. If you are unhappy, find a new job. I don't know what you're asking. – scaaahu Oct 22 '15 at 9:27
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    I would vote to reopen but as it currently stands it is a duplicate of workplace.stackexchange.com/q/43/16 – IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 22 '15 at 19:06
  • Skill trumps passion without skill every time. Skill with passion trumps just skill or just passion. But no one needs passion to work effectively. It is a nice to have. Skill is a requirement. – HLGEM Oct 22 '15 at 19:29

People have a passion for many things.

  • Some are are motivated to do the task: write software.
  • Some are motivated to sell the product/service: by writing software.
  • Some are motivated to make money: by writing software.

Keep in mind that when this particular project comes to an end, you may have to rethink your motivation:

  • They may ask you to switch technologies: Java and JavaScript are both languages.
  • They may ask you to write software for a different product.
  • They could even let you go, thus cutting off your income.

So depending on where people were before, and where they see themselves going in the future they will have different sources of motivation. None is better than the others. They all have their strengths and all have their weaknesses.

Also the phrase "passionate, excited, growth-oriented, etc" is impossible to quantify during the interview process. It can even be faked.

You can be passionate about technology, excited by the product and interested in seeing your bank account grow.

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