Dries Buytaert is the community leader of Drupal, and is running a tech startup with an enormous endowment of $118 million. He wrote a piece that to me is 100 percent pure ageist dog whistle. He says attitude beats experience.
Now I have more experience than he does, but I think I would have said this even when I was relatively green. I guess I have a bad attitude.
Dries, it all depends on what you're trying to do.
If you want to make a consulting business with lots of corporate customers, when how people look and behave is most important, then I understand where you're coming from. You want people who make other people comfortable.
But if your goals are different, if you want to create something incredible that's new and different, and at the same time simple and usable, you're going to need people who, even though this isn't their goal, piss other people off.
Because compromise in development and design is the path to mediocrity. To APIs that take up bookshelves. To software with bad error messages that waste users time (like iTunes, for example). Most tech today is developed by people with good attitude and not much experience. Which is why you get such small steps forward, that are mostly derivative of what came before. If you want something great, simple, different, inspiring, you must choose different qualities in the people you work with. And worry less about fitting in and more about reaching for the stars.