Points to Keep in Mind when hiring a programmer

Every now and then articles are posted how to interview a programmer.  We even had this very discussion at my shop last week.

The last round of interviews in which I was involved, our guidelines were to follow a program of:

  1. Ask some pre-interview company specific questions
  2. Follow a pre-canned program with specific questions (program name withheld)

The program name would be excellent for hiring basically non-technical positions: Customer Service reps, call center agents, etc.  They give you a well rounded idea of this individuals character.

The company specific questions helped us deep-dive (as much as you can in a 3-part interview process) into the individuals professional history, asking basic questions of best and worst experiences. 

  •  NOTE: anyone saying they did not have a quickly expressing they didn’t have a “worst” experience is a red-flag.  This is an imperfect world, with imperfect people, and imperfect systems. Something on a year-over-year basis usually deploys/executes less than nominal.

My personal practice: use the Pre-Interview questions to get a background feel, then use one a couple of the canned questions (sought by the head-hunters) to get thought process/patterns, and spend the majority of time asking technical questions to demonstrate competency in our area.

This is the main point (straight out of the opening paragraph):

Evaluating a programmer’s level of expertise is one of the hardest things in the hiring process. We are talking about actual programming experience, not theory. We are not taking a theoretical approach here because one can read the theory on any topic and master it. 

@DZone: Points To Be Kept in mind while hiring a programmer

A chuckle for myself, I had to lookup this point:

But the point is made, and is a good one.

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