The programmers you'll be able to hire to work on a Java project won't be as smart as the ones you could get to work on a project written in Python.
I suspect that there is a difference between self-absorbed and smart.
This further bit is suprising:
Writing a compiler is interesting because it teaches you what a compiler is. But writing an interface to a buggy piece of software doesn't teach you anything, because the bugs are random.
It's suprising because bugs are not random. Even in a buggy piece of software some other company built, there is a pattern and something to learn. Good hackers see the patterns right away and know what they are in for - that's why they don't like those projects.
Here's a great alternate view on programmers, developers and hackers.