There has been a lot of press lately over the comments that have come out of Interop 2009, Las Vegas. Some data center managers have stated that they are looking to hire candidates that are energetic and passionate, have a broad set of skills and an eagerness to learn, versus candidates with hard technical skills and experience.I totally disagree with this way of thinking. Many hiring managers feel that IT skills can be taught, but softer skills are brought by employees. This has some truth to it. However, we need competent people that can draw on their experience to get the job done. When systems start failing, backups are not done, and monitoring is overlooked, these IT managers will quickly change their way of thinking.I look for candidates with the technical skills first. If I wanted to hire a Unix/Linux administrator then I would look for that skill set on their resume. If I didn't see it, then their resume would make the round file and they would never get a chance to show off their soft skills.I do believe that there is a place for entry-level people -- I was one once myself. A good team is made up of entry level, mid-level and senior people. Mid-level people get to share their experience with entry-level people since they started with the organization and know what has to be done to move to the next level in the organization. Senior-level people get to mentor mid-level and entry-level people and hopefully this will help them to grow both professionally and personally.In closing, I just wanted to say to those managers at Interop that made the comments that I think that in an economy where there are many laid-off IT workers and so few jobs, that these remarks were very insensitive, and about as smart as the comment made by Al Gore when he said that he invented the Internet.