Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Brooks's Law

This is a principle in software development which says that "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks%27s_law). I couldn't have said it better. Just about anyone that's been in the industry of software development has experienced this first-hand.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Imagine Cup

I had never heard of this before today...it's a great idea and appears to have gained a lot of momentum recently both in the US and abroad. I'm all for research into technologies that enable a sustainable environment...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Smart and Get Things Done

I just finished reading this book written by Joel Spolksy. It's a quick read and one that I think every hiring technical manager should have in his library. I'm not necessarily a die-hard Spolsky fan, but he does have some good nuggets of information in his writings. In this latest book I summed up some of the items I got from it (in my own words) when it comes to finding and hiring good technical talent.

Help with Resume Sorting

  •  Look for individuals that have passion about what they do (their field of specialty).
  • Are they wanting to work for you and your company or do they just want a job?
  • Is their resume full of grammatical and spelling errors? If so, toss it out.
  • Look for smart people….they should have honors / accomplishments under their belt.
  • Have they been through a highly selective process before (i.e. school, programs, elite military, etc.)?
  • Look for those that are hard-core at what they do. These people usually push the envelope.
  • Look for someone that will add some diversity to the group (i.e. background, culture, skillset, etc.).
Phone Interviews
  • Ask them to talk about their history and tell you about themselves. The point here is to uncover who this person is and what they're about. Explore their technical aptitude, how they think, and how they get things done.
  • Go into a technical deep dive. Ask hard questions and dig into the details of their answers. This step is where you'll uncover if they're good at what they do and if they're smart.
  • Let the candidate interview you. Focus in on the type of questions they're asking. Hopefully they've taken the time and already know something about your company.
In-Person Interviews
  • Always have at least 5-6 people interview the candidate.
  •  Make sure your interview room is quiet, comfortable, and has a white board.
  •  Each person interviewing should spend at least an hour with the candidate.
  •  If the candidate is not good enough for your team, why would they be good for some other team?
  •  Keep it simple: Hire or No Hire (nothing in between).
  •  Keep in mind that it's all about hiring people that are "smart and get stuff done".
  •  Avoid going in with preconceived notions…you won't get over them.
  •  Never listen to recruiters…they're simply there to make a match and a sale.
  •  Do not talk with other interviewers about a candidate until you've each made an independent decision.
  •  Look for expressed passion from the individual -- find it, foster it, challenge it.
  •  Make sure the candidate can express themselves clearly and can make others understand what they're talking about.