On Hiring Developers

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Laurie Voss, CTO at npm posted an interesting article on why many companies aren’t able to hire good developers in spite of elaborate hiring and interviewing processes.

It’s a rather lengthy post but very much worth the read. The gist is this: Don’t hire someone for what they know already, hire someone for potential and eagerness to grow. Hire people capable of both solving complex problems and communicating clearly. Last not least: Don’t hire assholes.

The author’s own TL;DR is this:

  1. Many interview techniques test skills that are at best irrelevant to real working life;
  2. you want somebody who knows enough to do the job right now;
  3. or somebody smart and motivated enough that they can learn the job quickly;
  4. you want somebody who keeps getting better at what they do;
  5. your interview should be a collaborative conversations, not a combative interrogation;
  6. you also want somebody who you will enjoy working with;
  7. it’s important to separate “enjoy working with” from “enjoy hanging out with;”
  8. don’t hire assholes, no matter how good they are;
  9. if your team isn’t diverse, your team is worse than it needed to be;
  10. accept that hiring takes a really long time and is really, really hard.

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