Hiring Developers. Tips From a Developer

I have already come across several articles about hiring developers and read them with some interest, because I am a developer myself, and I was curious to know how we are evaluated at interviews.

My impressions? I’m sad… Almost all of the articles, in my opinion, remind me of “bad advice”.

Just a warning, the whole article is a purely personal opinion, but supported by developer friends and colleagues.

And so…

The first meeting, a job interview without a technical expert

HRs don’t kid yourself. You will never understand how good a developer is…

Unless, you can stick electrodes in their ear and start end-to-end testing… But since there is no such technology, all you can assess is the adequacy and, at least in part, the motivation of the person sitting in front of You.

And believe me, that’s enough.

After all, your task is to find a person who can join the team, work productively in it and have his work rewarded in the way that he expects, and that your company can provide (money, recognition, exciting projects, etc.).

All attempts to ask some technical nuances will look inappropriate and helpless. Personally, I am very much annoyed when I am asked about something that they do not understand themselves. I just want to get up and leave.

What else can you ask at the first stage? It depends on the specifics of the job.

If you need an experienced person — ask about the experience, find out what problems they solved, what difficulties they overcame.

If you need a person, who can be trained, give them a couple of logical tasks, check the performance of their brain. The information collected in the first stage will be enough to screen out 80% – 90% of candidates.

Part two. Interview with a technical specialist

DO NOT ASK THEORY outside the context of the practical experience of a particular developer!

Personally, I know several people who studied with me as developers. They had all the theoretical stuff bouncing off their teeth, but when it came to real programming, they couldn’t do anything useful.

What, in my opinion, should I ask the candidate?

Ask for technical nuances from their previous experience, especially those that overlap with future work.

By the way the person talks about it, it will be clear:

  • Whether they really understands the issue or just came up with things to increase their price
  • How much of their experience and knowledge is suitable for the current job
  • Will they be able to cope with future work
  • Will they be able to learn if they don’t have the required experience

And I think that’s enough to make the final choice.

You can only learn more about the person during the trial period.

I hope this material will be useful to someone, thank you for your attention.

Written by Константин, translated from here