Hiring Software Developers

Posted on February 21, 2007  Comments (5)

Interviewing and Hiring by Tom Van Vleck

“Let’s take a break from talking to people. Why don’t you have a seat in this empty office, and write a small program. Use any language you want to. The program can do anything you’d like. I’ll be back in about 30 minutes, and ask you to explain the program to me.”

It seemed reasonable, if the job was programming, to ask people how they felt about actually doing some. And sure, it caused interview stress. We allowed for that in our evaluation; but the job was going to be stressful at times too, and we needed people who could enjoy it. The important thing was not what the candidate wrote, but the account he or she gave of it.

And you’d be surprised how many people couldn’t do it. Couldn’t write a simple program and talk sensibly about it. They’d huff, and bluster, and make excuses, and change the subject, rather than actually write some code. “Oh, I think of myself as more an architect than a coder.”

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5 Responses to “Hiring Software Developers”

  1. CuriousCat: Programming Ruby
    November 24th, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    “American Rubyists frequently take up all the points of Ruby’s power, expressiveness, and efficiency, but they don’t seem to register the point that Ruby was designed to make you feel good…”

  2. Curious Cat » DNA Seen Through the Eyes of a Coder
    February 26th, 2008 @ 11:54 am

    Furthermore, 97% of your DNA is commented out. DNA is linear and read from start to end. The parts that should not be decoded are marked very clearly, much like C comments. The 3% that is used directly form the so called ‘exons’. The comments, that come ‘inbetween’ are called ‘introns’…”

  3. CuriousCat: Ruby on Rails Job Opportunity
    July 16th, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

    “The ideal candidate will love Ruby on Rails. For those of you who are not programmers loving your job might seem odd. But a large number of those that develop using Ruby on Rails do…”

  4. Curious Cat: A Career in Computer Programming
    November 15th, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

    “If you find that you’ve chosen the wrong field, change it. It’s just a job. Find something you actually enjoy, even if it means a massive career change. It’s better to be poorly-paid and happy than highly-paid and miserable…”

  5. Yukle
    December 14th, 2008 @ 7:08 pm

    American Rubyists frequently take up all the points of Ruby’s power, expressiveness, and efficiency, but they don’t seem to register the point that Ruby was designed to make you feel good…

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