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When I needed a developer recently I set up a time with the candidate to answer questions on StackOverflow. I then posted three questions - telling him the names so he could find them - and awaited his answers. This not only gave me a sense of his programming ability, it allowed me to compare his answers with others and to get a feel for his speed. This was a *great* way to do the evaluation and I highly recommend it for others! Years ago at a larger corporation where we were aggressively hiring, I gained a reputation as a somewhat "difficult" interviewer. Why? Simply because I asked questions that forced people to reveal their state of knowledge. In one case, I uncovered an individual that clearly had no knowledge whatsoever of programming or our problem domain. I strongly recommended against hiring him but the management felt that we 'needed people with experience' (which his resume indicated but it was clearly a lie) so they hired the guy anyway. A debacle ensued in which the fellow "worked" for nearly a year without producing a single line of code. When they began termination proceedings, the guy claimed a disability and threatened to sue. He was still there when I left.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Mar 8, 2010