I have just listened to an excellent podcast interview with Andy Singleton from Assembla in which the discussion ranges around his extreme views on how to run highly productive distributed software teams.
Top tips include “don’t interview when hiring”, “don’t estimate work”, “don’t do conference calls”, etc… Contentious, but very well explained and justified. This podcast is so packed with thoughtful stuff that I’m sure I’ll listen to it again.
Podcast on Managing Distributed Agile Projects
I know it’s a funny time to be writing about hiring with so many layoffs, but any company which can afford to hire needs to hire the right people more than ever. We have spent a lot of time and effort on the traditional CVC/resume and interview process, and still managed to reject the great majority of applicants. So I’m always looking for a better way to do things.
The “extreme interview” process described in this article is an interesting step along the way.
Hiring Software Developers: The Agile Aptitude Test
Harry Pynn de-constructs the common stupididty of recruiting developers through agencies and offers a re-written and powerful job advert.
If you think you meet Harry’s criteria, I suggest getting in touch with him soon
Harry Pynn: What Sanderson of Oundle can teach us about developer recrutiment
Darn, I should have made more effort to go to XP Day this year. Gojko Adzic reports about a presentation which is very topical for our team right now. All about how to get a better return for time and effort spent doing the recruitment process.
Gojko Adzic » Building a successful agile team
Setting up everything needed to get a new developer up to speed, or an old one going on a new workstation can be one of the most irritating aspects of working in software development. I currently use three separate PCs, two of which are now relatively old but largely stable, and one which is newer, faster, and has a slightly strange set of tools.
What I would dearly love is a low-impact (ideally just a single command) way of setting up a new machine to the latest set of agreed tools and configurations, with all repository connections, source code and dependencies in place ready to go. So far we do not have this, but we are working towards it.
Mark Needham also has some thoughts on the topic.
From time to time I get involved in a bout of recruiting, and part of that process is inevitable trying to sort the wheat from the chaff to decide which ones to bring in for a detailed interview. Naturally one of the first things I do when presented with details of a new candidate is to look them up on the web. Obvious things such as a google search for the candidate’s name, looking them up on LinkedIn, facebook etc.
What usually surprises me is how little use most candidates make of this. When applying for work, your name is your brand, and making sure that the best information is easily available to potential employers seems an obvious thing to do, yet so few candidates bother. Instead, the overwhelming impression for most candidates is either that they have practically no internet presence at all, or that their web footprint consists of holiday snaps and mildly embarrassing facebook/twitter chat.
My top tips if you are thinking of looking for a new job.
- Get a web site and put your real name and a brief summary of your skills and abilities on it
- Build your web site into an on-line portfolio with links, copies and examples of everything you are proud of
- Add a blog to your site and write regular articles based on things you know well
- Link to your web site from everywhere you can
- Mention your web site on your CV/resumé
Above all, remember that potential employers will be looking, so make sure you have a say in what they find
One in Five Employers Uses Social Network Sites When Hiring People
Hiring software developers is always on the agenda for many companies. The tricky bit is finding the good ones. I linked to an article on this subject back in April, but it’s nice to see that Mark Needham is also writing thoughtful stuff on the topic.
What makes a good developer? at Mark Needham
A nicely focussed blog post which draws on experience of striving for top grades at college and applies the thoughts to a career in software, touching on teamwork, and indirectly on recruiting in the process.
Kris Kemper » Blog Archive » What makes a grade A developer
As an aside, this is my 200th post in this blog. How time flies!
It’s generally considered as tough to recruit the best, most committed and most passionate people. One approach is to offer good pay in an attempt to tempt potential new hires. Another, radical, approach is instead to offer to pay people to quit. If this sounds unlikely, you need to read this article:
Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quitâ€”And You Should Too – Harvard Business Online’s Bill Taylor
Many successful companies working in the software industry always seem to need more good developers. Hiring technical people is not a trivial task, so I am always looking around for wisdom.