My own history is a good example (not that I was a genius, but...). I was going to college in 1975 when USF introduced their first course about microprocessors. Though it was a graduate course in the Electrical Engineering school and I was either undecided or a Communications major, I convinced the prof to let me in the course.
I was fascinated by the course. I memorized the instruction set, side effects, and bus timing of all the 6800 instructions. I aced the course, coming out above even the grad students.
The prof who was teaching the course had worked out a co-op situation with the local Honeywell branch. Since I needed a job, I was offered a position as one of four programmers on a team that was embedding a microprocessor system into a military teletype device.
What no one seemed to realize was that I'd never actually written anything larger than toy (university) programs, and had no idea how to structure a large program, or how to work with other programmers, or how to plan my time and effort.
I failed miserably, leaving them to find someone else to make sense of my scribblings and code snippets.
When hiring programmers, I have always taken both experience and intelligence/aptitude into account. Successful managers don't let themselves be dazzled by the brilliance of an untested new hire to the point where they risk the future of a critical project.
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