January/February 2018 issue of acmqueue

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Originally published in Queue vol. 9, no. 6
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Marty Leisner | Mon, 27 Jun 2011 22:25:29 UTC

Ask to see some of the portfolio of work.

Many programmers cannot tell good from bad -- they can only tell "not mine". You can't know for sure the candidate wrote it, but if it looks good, they at least have some ability to tell good from bad.

Larry | Fri, 24 Jun 2011 22:15:35 UTC


robbotron | Fri, 24 Jun 2011 15:58:25 UTC

Here's an interview tip that works very well for us: ask the candidate how they first became interested in programming...how old were they, how did it come about, etc. Almost without fail, the ones who say "I started in about 5th grade, reading books and teaching myself BASIC" do well on the rest of the interview, and the ones who say "I decided to try programming after college, when I couldn't find a job in Economics" end up rejected. If nothing else, it's fun to see how well that litmus test holds true. So far I don't think I've come across an exception.

Haitham A. el-Ghareeb | Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:13:59 UTC

Interesting, I couldn't quit reading. Impressive, however we shall go on with the legal notes of course. Thanks for sharing.

umlcat | Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:50:29 UTC

Hello KV. As a Software Developer, who has been in the military (not U.S.), and was going to study H.R. or Psychology, and has some knowledge about those careers, I found "boot-camp hiring", not useful. Not because your company can be sued, as the company's legal dept. says.

But, because you can get what you want. You want a Developer who is has the technical skills, and also some human skills as team-wok, disposition. People has several characteristics, but, those aspects of human nature, sometimes, can interfere with other.

If you want a highly skilled "rockstar" developer, he / she may know so well their job, that he may want to do things his won way, that won't follow its boss orders. If you hire a very follower-attitude "grunt", he / she may not know very much about its jobs, and it will nedd someone to tell him what to do all the time. And sometimes H.R. tests search for a single characteristic, degrading others.

Other comments. I have been a software developer since programs use line numbers. And sometimes at interviews, recruiters would tell me I don't have the skills, but don't want to make exams on computers or whiteboards.

Good Luck, "Head Hunting"

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