My criteria when employing a developer

I had interview today, so reading Scott's set of .Net questions was rather topical.

I was thinking, if I was recruiting a developer, what weight would I give to the number of questions they could answer from the list compared to their knowledge or experience in other areas ? In other words what weight would I give to their in depth technical knowledge with one specifc technology and what weight would I give to a broader set of skills.

I think if I was recruiting a consultant/contractor for a short term contract and a defined work package then the number of questions they could answer correctly would be important. In that case I am looking for a worker bee and I want to be certain they have skills for the job from day 1.

However, for a permanent employee I would place a much lower weighting on the number of answers given. The reason is that I am much interested in a person who knows where to look for the answers, knows their limitations outside their specialist area but knows to ask the right people and has experience to determine what is the appropriate solution for a problem. It is much more important to me they way go about solving a problem than knowing everything in detail.

When you work in IT it is very simple to believe technology is the holy grail and can solve all problems and forget that sometimes the pen and paper will provide a better soluton for the customer.

Also, I would prefer to employ someone with wider range of experience, so that they would be more objective. For example, some one with  Java experience or Oracle experience can bring an objective viewpoint to a project. Naturally, it is important that they don't have blinkered view of life. Also there knowledge of the industry where the company sell products and the business processes used in that industry are vital as well.


1 Comment

  • Martin,

    I agree with you on your comparison from a short term hire vs. a long term hire. For longer term I think questions that provide information on a persons ability to learn and williness to learn are important too (besides what they aready know). There is also a bigger need to determine if they will "fit" on the team well for long term hires, where short term hires it is more important that they can produce quality coming out of the gates.

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