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Bit of a ridiculous post here, Jeff. Arguing that someone shouldn't learn 'X' because 'X' is hard and there are already plenty of people doing 'X' professionally is a complete dead-end for me. It smacks of arrogance and elitism. Any kind of education enriches the human experience. The more humans become enriched, the more our culture is enriched. It really doesn't matter how people use the knowledge they acquire - how else are we supposed to work out what we like doing and what we don't? If someone has a desire to learn to code then they should be encouraged to do so, if only so that they understand just what is involved in being a full-time developer, and so they stop wondering why they can't get their business app developed in only a couple of weeks! I'm certainly not concerned about the world becoming suddenly full of crap code, because, hey, it already is, in case you hadn't noticed!
Toggle Commented May 18, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
Hiring for cultural fit is very important - but you can't really determine cultural fit unless you meet someone face-to-face first. Phone screening is a good way of ensuring that the person you want to interview isn't a total monkey, but we've found that it doesn't save much time in the end, as we still have to interview the candidates that pass phone screening anyway, so we might as well just interview anyone who we feel qualifies based on their CV and agent recommendation, as we can kill several more birds that way. We've done a lot of dev recruiting recently, and have streamlined our process to the following, as an example: - Candidate is evaluated based on CV and agent recommendation. We try not to be too picky at this stage, depending on how many CVs we get. - Candidate has initial face-to-face interview with 2 senior developers (to ask technical questions) and dev manager (to establish initial cultural fit). Any interviewer can veto the candidate at this stage and cut the interview short. - If initial interview is successful, a standardised audition project is given. This enables us to compare developers against each other, if need be, whilst still establishing the candidate's core competency and coding style. The project is tailored to the technical and business environment of the company. - If the audition project passes, then we invite the candidate for a final interview, where they will meet a wider range of staff in a more informal setting, including the directors of the company. At this stage the technical evaluation is complete, but staff members can still veto the hire if they find the cultural fit or personality of the candidate to be a real issue. It happens quite frequently, actually - I've had several candidates that I felt were technically strong and a good cultural fit get booted out at the last second due to poor performance in the final interview. For our company, this process has resulted in the least involvement from both parties, as we establish the majority of what we need from the initial review. The audition project is very useful, but I do believe it needs to be standardised, otherwise you can't see how different developers stack up on the same tasks and sometimes that's the only way to choose between them! The final interview is really just a sanity check. Your optimal process will be different of course, but it should be streamlined and consistent, and not waste anyone's time, if at all possible.
Toggle Commented Mar 21, 2012 on How to Hire a Programmer at Coding Horror
When most people step on the accelerator to go faster than everyone else, they get a speeding ticket, or end up distributed across the freeway in bite-size pieces. Going faster can be a definite win, no argument there, but make sure you're driving a frikkin' Ferrari F1 on a closed circuit, with damn good brakes, back-up engineers and no 3-year olds playing Cops and Robbers in the pits! I can't even begin to describe the number of software projects I've been on that have hit a 3-metre thick reinforced concrete wall at 250kmh.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2010 on Go That Way, Really Fast at Coding Horror
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Sep 12, 2010