On hiring software developers


Software developerThis post is inspired by the recent job posting I came across of from Kikin.COM. InsideStartups sends me emails every weekend, and obviously some of those get opened, with some of the links clicked.

It is indeed true, that many of the software developers come from the crowd of complete nerds who are deeply submerged into their own culture. While hiring process involves measuring their qualifications, it does not account for anything beyond that. And by beyond, I mean creativity and ability “to look outside of the box”. I have met situations like this a few times and while developers were shining their diplomas, some of them were just good at writing the code, but nothing else.

Developers rarely care about UI, or innovations in content delivery – it is usually the project manager who tries to look into every aspect of it. But in the startups, there is no project manager – everything is lean and therefore developers do almost everything.

Here are some points I think that should be accounted for when hiring a developer.

When talking to a potential candidate ask about:

his/her “dream project” – something a person would build, if given unlimited amount of money and freedom to develop almost any software. By listening to an answer to this question you will get the picture of how good is your candidate’s imagination is.

hacks, no mater small or large, legal or illegal – we all like to hack things. By listening to this one, you will get the idea of how well versed your candidate is in terms of writing a hack-proof code. It is logical, if person has tried to hack things, he/she most likely pay attention to their own code/work to be sure to minimize the risk.

how many times, if at all person spends in the gym/does any physical activities. With sit-down job like developer’s it is important for the person to move enough, in order to support blood circulation. Plus, while working in the gym, you get time to yourself which I, at least, like to spend thinking about code problems or other related things.

Code writing and deploying new projects gets easier every day, thanks to modern technologies and languages.

While called engineers  software developers are basically kids playing with LEGO.

They have certain tools and by putting them together build new things. And sooner or later software developer’s job will be on the level of your basic accountant, or electrician, or something along those lines.

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