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How To Hire Great Open Source Developers? 246

Posted by simoniker
from the low-uid-always-attractive dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This is the first article I've ever read specifically about hiring open source developers, and how to judge their ability not just to code but to work with others. It's reprinted over at ITMJ [part of OSDN, as this site is] from a book by Martin Fink, the General Manager for HP's Linux Systems Division. Brings up a lot of good points, including how you need to make sure your open source people are developing things (on company time) that do the company some good, not just scratching their own itches. Fun quote: 'Discover what pseudonyms your candidate uses online. Look at the archives at SlashDot and other online locales. Does your candidate hide behind secret pseudonyms to trash other individuals? Is there passion without condemnation?'"
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How To Hire Great Open Source Developers?

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  • Easy..... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Entice them with prostitutes!
  • Hmm, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by samcentral2000 (753077) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:37AM (#8461842)
    "Discover what pseudonyms your candidate uses online. Look at the archives at SlashDot and other online locales. Does your candidate hide behind secret pseudonyms to trash other individuals? Is there passion without condemnation?" Hmm, I dunno. Sounds like someone might get disqualified just the project-manager doesn't like their opinions. /. writes about more than just OSS you know.
    • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moranar (632206) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:54AM (#8461925) Homepage Journal

      I shouldn't have to say this, but "ideally" (in planet Nice, with the pink fluffy rabbits) a project manager would take note about wether you hide behind a nickname to flame and troll, wether you were quick to anger, etc. (the qualities that make you less fit for a job involving human relationships) and not your opinions.

      The downside: some OSS / FS grand masters would probably _never_ be hired based on what they say on /. . Of course, this shouldn't be the only criterion, but still...

      Of course, this isn't planet Nice, and your opinions will become known sooner or later. One is what one is, after all. Holding strong opinions or beliefs was never meant to be easy. But if you don't want to be judged by what you say, (hint hint) don't say it on the net.

      • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Alomex (148003) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:27AM (#8462033) Homepage
        I shouldn't have to say this, but "ideally" (in planet Nice, with the pink fluffy rabbits) a project manager would take note about wether you hide behind a nickname to flame and troll, wether you were quick to anger, etc. (the qualities that make you less fit for a job involving human relationships) and not your opinions.

        I don't know if the comparison is relevant. It is a bit like trying to predict how you will behave in a business meeting judging from a tape of the football game you attended with your buddies last weekend. Not much can be inferred, if you ask me. /. is an informal forum of peers. Work is a professional setting with colleagues. Sure, extremely aggressive behaviour in /. is unlikely to be curtailed when at work, but if we are to extend this to general pettiness, I think this pretty much would disqualify anybody who ever posted or moderated here in /.

        • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by killmenow (184444)
          Checking post history on /. is, imho, a bit like following you to a local "watering hole" and listening to the conversations that ensue.

          /., as with most Internet sites I actually post, is a place to hang out and blow off steam. That is its purpose for a lot of people.

          I'm certain if you looked over my posts, you might see an overall cynical trend. You'd probably get, just from my nick alone that I'm fed up with things. I don't come here looking for solutions to what ails me. I come here to commiserat
        • When I see one of those letters starting with "Dear sir" on a free software development mailing list, I know it is someone outside the cumminity writing (or someone being ironic). People working professionaly on free software tend to learn that an informal attitude goes better with the community.

          So an informal forum like /. is a fine place to learn how potential employees for free software projects work in such a setting. And no, this does not mean you should look for people who act with this weird "wor
      • One is what one is, after all

        Sounds like Popeye finally grew up.
        Oh dear - after a comment like that, I'll never find work again.
    • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:01AM (#8461952) Homepage
      Sounds like someone might get disqualified just the project-manager doesn't like their opinions.

      A project manager who would disqualify a potential candidate based on the candidate's personal opinions is not the kind of project manager worth working for.

      Just because someone is [insert favorite offensive/questionable attribute] that doesn't mean thet the person can't be a great developer.

      Then again, sometimes, personal opinion matters.
      • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:53AM (#8462215) Homepage
        Personal opinions on unrelated matters may if you are trying to build a company culture. And you probably don't want to hire a blatant racist to a mixed race workplace. But more important than the opnions themselves, are how they chose to express their opinions. And how they reacts to people with different opinions.
        • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Jodiamonds (226053)
          You've got to be kidding me.

          You probably don't want to hire a blatant racist. *Period*

          And may future employers see my stance on that!
      • If the potential candidate didn't RTFA and got flamed for it, it's a possible indicator that the candidate will forge forward (with their own preconceived notions) without doing research on the job and maybe finding a better solution...

        But then again WTFDIK, I didn't RTFA....
        -B
    • This is why I've always used a pseudonym on slashdot and usenet. Hey, I might want to run for office one day, who knows? And who knows where the tide of public opinion will go in 25 years.
    • I found this pretty disturbing someone even thought about doing that.

      Has anyone ever had someone inquire what their online pseudonyms were for potential work?

      If not asked then anyone trying to "discover" this doesn't deserve to have anyone working for them.
    • Actually recommending that people be screened based on online personas that are not only dissociated from the company the person is working for but also the person's real-world identity is rather chilling. You might as well bug your employee's houses to determine if they are privately thrashing on their co-workers at home. That's a perfectly healthy human thing to do that I doubt you could find many psychologists to contradict.

      The forum for anonymous venting that places like /. provide probably makes peopl
      • So happening to know someone's Slashdot nick, or following up on what they post to mailing lists is more chilling than making someone go through a qualified psychologist providng an educated analysis and profile?

        • Re:Hmm, I dunno. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by C10H14N2 (640033)
          Preferably, people wouldn't be snooping around examining every conceivable utterance to begin with. However, if they are trying to build a profile, it is far less threatening to know that the profile is being based on reasonably sound science and not some random piece of tripe off some relatively anonymous blog. If you have to start censoring every word that comes out of your mouth as if you are running for President in order to be a mundance cubicle dweller, yes, that is very chilling.

          A relatively objecti
    • Also they might get disqualified because someone else using the same pseudonym has offensive opinions.
  • by SinaSa (709393) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:41AM (#8461857) Homepage
    It's articles like these that make me want to hop onto Seek [seek.com.au] and put up a job offer for OSS developers everywhere!

    And then I remember I don't run a business :(.
  • by tankdilla (652987) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:41AM (#8461861) Homepage Journal
    How to not get hired for an open source project:

    Boss: What's your Slashdot screen name?
    Employee: Anonymous Coward.

    • by The Famous Brett Wat (12688) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:41AM (#8462117) Homepage Journal
      How to not get hired for an open source project:

      Boss: What's your Slashdot screen name?
      Employee: The correct Slashdot term is "nickname", you ignorant AOLer!

    • Re:What not to do (Score:2, Insightful)

      by infochuck (468115)
      Do I lose Karma for STILL not knowing how to start a new thread on /.?

      Ah well. Here's what you do, guy: actually invite the person in for a sit-down interview. Yeah, I know, it's crazy, but there is no better way to gauge someone's social skills than to watch them interact with others up-close and personal. If, when talking to you, their eyes never leave their feet, or they mumble (especially about 'taplers'), or they didn't even bother to comb/brush/wash their hair, or it's only 8:30 in the AM and the
  • by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:42AM (#8461873) Homepage Journal
    This seems like it was written during the dot-com bubble. Quote from the article: However, that person may also have very clear expectations that the only projects they will ever work on are open source projects. This is simply not true. Being an open source developer is not a religion. It just means that you believe in the idea. There's absolutely no problem for an open source developer to make closed source for a living. And, more importantly, open source developers (and the comunity) has no beef with that.
    Remember - we need to eat as well. While open source gives us satisfaction, closed source gives us our daily bread.
  • by CharonX (522492) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:43AM (#8461874) Journal
    Bram Cohen (famous maker of Bittorrent) managed had his carrer boosted only because his open source project - Bittorrent.
    His current employers saw his work and hired him on the spot...

    • His current employers saw his work and hired him on the spot...

      Uh, am I the only one that found this statement funny?

      [Reminds me of the old joke, boss commenting to another boss, "Yes, Bob's retired. The only problem is he forgot to tell us about it."]

  • Doomed!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:43AM (#8461875)
    "Discover what pseudonyms your candidate uses online. Look at the archives at SlashDot and other online locales. Does your candidate hide behind secret pseudonyms to trash other individuals? Is there passion without condemnation?"

    Oh bugger that's me screwed then, he knows I always post anonymously on Slashdot!!!

    • Re:Doomed!! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jotaigna (749859)
      so anonymous coward is not a made up pseudonym?


      OSS should be looked as if it was a portfolio not a personality definition, since many developers start doing software because they need it for themselves(like a driver or a new phone book, whatever) so basically is mostly real ppl with real intrests, so an interview is what really should happen, not weasely speculation or minding caffeinated beverage taste.
  • by beware1000 (678753) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:43AM (#8461877)
    Culturally, your engineers will struggle between their loyalty to the community and their loyalty to the company.

    haha! they make them sounds like confused pets or something.

    "Don't be too quick to introduce your Engineer to it's new environment, Engineers are not well known for adapting quickly to change!"
  • you need to make sure your open source people are developing things (on company time) that do the company some good, not just scratching their own itches.

    And after I've paid so much money for DVDs of women primarily scratching ...,uh, now that I think about it, that's in a slightly different context. Never mind.

  • Personal Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mccalli (323026) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:44AM (#8461887) Homepage
    From the article: "You need to clearly define when and how your engineers can participate in open source projects on their personal time, and define the disclosure rules for your employees. Local employment laws may limit restrictions on your employees."

    Damn right law might limit restrictions. My time is mine. Not a company's, mine. That's the very definition of personal time. I am not employee #3877643 away from the office, I am a human being who does work for a company during certain prescribed times and under certain prescribed circumstances.

    They might well have legitimate rights over what I can contribute, but certainly not when if 'when' is part of my personal time.

    Cheers,
    Ian


    • I've decided that employment agreements that define intellectual property rights and disclosure really don't amount to much. Every employment agreement that I've read always has language about disclosing "work related" inventions and the company's right to those inventions.

      Developers that I've worked with tend to construe those paragraphs very broadly and sometimes get themselves really worked up over the possibality of their employer stealing their million dollar invention. The thing about that is that i
    • I am not employee #3877643 away from the office...

      Right on! Away from the office you are Slashdot user #323026, and post comments like #8461887. Or... hang on... are you posting from work? Now I'm confused.

      • Right on! Away from the office you are Slashdot user #323026, and post comments like #8461887. Or... hang on... are you posting from work? Now I'm confused.

        Want to be more confused? I'm posting from home. Via an SSH connection from work... :-)

        Cheers,
        Ian

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Those who still haven't their stupid little IT jobs outsourced will get fired because of their /. Karma"

    Damn, and I thought IT was cool... maybe I just have a great hobby and should stay away from IT...
  • by akinsgre (758695) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:46AM (#8461900)
    I can't remember where I read it; maybe JoelOnSoftware? Do a google search for any employee, not just open source developers. -greg
  • by DeadSea (69598) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:49AM (#8461908) Homepage Journal
    After I started my job, I found out that they had been using my open source GPL Java utilities [ostermiller.org] for about 2 years before I started. (legally, since they depend on them for web servers, but do not distribute their code).

    My boss copied them into the source tree, but claims that he never made the connection between using my code and then later hiring me.

  • Lame points? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beforewisdom (729725) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:52AM (#8461920)
    Many of us work in proprietary software setting and have met plenty of prima donna programmers ( some whose skills are not commensurate with their attitude ) programmers.

    We have also met other IT people who just don't get that they are being paid to do something for the company rather then what they want to do.

    In these respects proprietary programers are no different then open source programmers.

    In case the author of the article hasn't heard it is an employer's market right now for programmers.

    There is no reason for an employer to even go to the fraction of the trouble the article suggests.

    Steve

    • Re:Lame points? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cookie_cutter (533841)
      In case the author of the article hasn't heard it is an employer's market right now for programmers.

      Not all programming positions, nor programmers, are alike. Likewise, it is only an employer's market for certain types of positions(as it is with any field), and an employee's market for others. Some programmers can still make demands, cuz they're just so f'ing good/they have a very unique skillset.

    • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @10:15AM (#8462452) Homepage
      No, programmers are programmers, whether they program proprietary or free software. However, when they code free software, you can actually see both their code, and how they intercat with other programmers on a project. This way, you can avoid the primadonas.

      Getting programmers with both good coding and people skills are what this article is about. And given how widely different the skills of programmers are, it is hard to see how any trouble in the hiring process to get the best is too much.

      You seem to miss the point of the article. The point was not to "bribe" programmers to work for the company by offering them to work on free software. The idea was that if the company wanted to contribute to some free software projects fpr strategic reasons, like HP does with various Linux related technologies, how to get the people who can ensure that the contributions are accepted. These people you find in the free software communities.
  • Slashdot (Score:3, Funny)

    by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @08:56AM (#8461930)
    Does your candidate hide behind secret pseudonyms to trash other individuals?

    Only when I get mod points, duh. ;-)

  • ego-less programming (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jobbegea (748685)
    Maybe check if they have read The Psychology of Computer Programming [amazon.com]. It has a great section on 'ego-less' programming.
  • What more do you need to know?
  • Personal experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oujirou (726570) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:13AM (#8461993)
    While this might be slightly overkill in the general case, it has helped me once to dig for info on a guy who was trying to get a position in my company. If I didn't do that, I would have hired a skilled programmer and a scientologist at the same time, a person who was totally responsible for at least one major legal conflict.

    Just don't let the tin foil obstruct your line of vision. It doesn't really matter what does your applicant blog or do in his spare time as long as he is a fine fellow and a nice specialist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:22AM (#8462022)
    When you watch somebody write code, here are some techniques that may be helpful:

    Always reassure them that you understand that it's hard to write code without an editor, and you will forgive them if their paper gets really messy. Also you understand that it's hard to write bug-free code without a compiler, and you will take that into account.

    Some signs of a good programmer: good programmers have a habit of writing their { and then skipping down to the bottom of the page and writing their }s right away, then filling in the blank later.

    They also tend to have some kind of a variable naming convention, primitive though it may be...

    Good programmers tend to use really short variable names for loop indices. If they name their loop index CurrentPagePositionLoopCounter it is sure sign that they have not written a lot of code in their life. Occasionally, you will see a C programmer write something like if (0==strlen(x)), putting the constant on the left hand side of the == . This is a really good sign. It means that they were stung once too many times by confusing = and == and have forced themselves to learn a new habit to avoid that trap.

    Good programmers plan before they write code, especially when there are pointers involved. For example, if you ask them to reverse a linked list, good candidates will always make a little drawing on the side and draw all the pointers and where they go. They have to. It is humanly impossible to write code to reverse a linked list without drawing little boxes with arrows between them. Bad programmers will start writing code right away.

    The Guerrilla Guide to Interviewing

    By Joel Spolsky

    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog000000 00 73.html
    • by fgb (62123) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:54AM (#8462219)
      I would add to that: good programmers like to know their tools and would know that it is not necessary to write ass-backward and unreadable code like if (0==strlen(s)).

      Any good compiler released in the last twenty years has the ability to catch these kind of errors.

      • How is a compiler going to determine programmer's intent?

        if (iIntVar = 0) { do.Something; }
        and
        if (iIntVar == 0) { do.Something; }

        are both valid and both do different things (one initializes the variable to zero and if that succeeds it does something, the other checks if it is zero and if so does something.) I have done both, and spooging it is a fat finger away. Particularly when I am tired and undercaffeinated.

        No, any good compiler released in the last 20 years doesn't have the ability to catch logica
        • If the correct compiler switches are used:

          if (var = CONSTANT) will trigger a warning or error

          the standard way to express this is:

          if ((var = CONSTANT)) however some compilers don't implement this correctly

          personally, I prefer:

          if ((var = CONSTANT) != 0)

          which makes the assignment and test explicit.

          The reason I said twenty years is because I distinctly remember Turbo C/C++ 1.0 did this by default. Visual C++ can do this kind of checking too. The warning generated is C4706, but it is off by default. The f
        • His point is that unless you do:

          if((iIntVar=0)){do something}

          the compiler should return a warning. IO agree putting the constant first is a good way to avoid them, but I find it looks so annoying I prefer to just compile and check the warnings.
    • Good programmers plan before they write code, especially when there are pointers involved. For example, if you ask them to reverse a linked list, good candidates will always make a little drawing on the side and draw all the pointers and where they go. They have to. It is humanly impossible to write code to reverse a linked list without drawing little boxes with arrows between them. Bad programmers will start writing code right away.

      2 words: Recursive function

      It's stupidly simple and takes 2 pointers as
      • Great. The list is now 1 million nodes long. You just blew the stack.

        Thats why people avoid recursive functions in favor of iterative ones in the real world. In addition, the iterative has MUCH less overhead. Function calls are slow. Loops turn into a compare followed by a jump, pretty fast.
      • People with different ways of thinking might come up with solutions that are so orthogonal to the way you solve problems that it's almost impossible for you to evaluate those solutions

        Yeah, but 1) if you're hiring technical you should talk technical and, more importantly, 2) if they aren't capable of communicating their orthogonal solution to you then they're going to be no good working in a team anyway.
    • How about the ability to solve problems?

      Frankly, syntax is the least of my worries. Languages can be learned. Coding conventions can be followed. Even Coco the monkey knows how to mash the keys!

      How clean is his psuedocode? How well does the coder think? Can the programmer think in a step-by-step fashion? Do they know how to solve problems? I'd hire a logician or a physicist over a pure syntax monkey just because I have faith that they can solve problems.

      Frankly, you can't win with interviewers. T
    • Occasionally, you will see a C programmer write something like if (0==strlen(x)), putting the constant on the left hand side of the == . This is a really good sign. It means that they were stung once too many times by confusing = and == and have forced themselves to learn a new habit to avoid that trap.
      WTF? What kind of compiler would let you assign 0 to strlen(x) which is not a storage location?

  • I love this one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:30AM (#8462050) Homepage
    > Can he/she give examples of contributions that were
    > better than his/her own implementations?

    Good way to sort out the "programming god in their own minds" geeks.
  • Canadian Privacy Act (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cookie_cutter (533841) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:31AM (#8462054)
    I wonder whether the asking for such pseudonym information is legal with respect to Canada's new privacy legislation.

    I don't know much about the act's details, but one thing it states is that a business can't require information which isn't required in order to complete a transaction.

    Not exactly the same thing as this, but maybe there is something in the act which does more directly refer to this type of situation.

  • by flacco (324089)
    i'll just search slashdot for the user with the highest "insightful" points and assume his identity.

    what's that? how can you PROVE i'm not I_M_God2U ?

  • The author seem to have most experience with Linux, and generalize a bit too much from that. Most larger open source projects do not have single all powerful maintainer, but are oriented around a central CVS repository where multiple people have write access.

    Also, the "count the hops to the manager" does not make sense for many projects aside from Linux. Usually there is at most a single hop to someone with CVS write permission. If the person is a regular contributor, he will most likely have CVS write
  • by sielwolf (246764) * on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:51AM (#8462192) Homepage Journal
    (or whatever that Watchmen quote is)

    'Discover what pseudonyms your candidate uses online....'

    BS, I say. There are many reasons why people take nom de plumes and pseudonyms, but all come back to the fact that "-and I just wanted a certain level of anonymity". Not fullblown anonymity, just enough to make your online personal dealings disjoint from any sort of RL responsibilities you have.

    There's a reason why you're not supposed to talk about religion, politics, and all that stuff on first dates or job interviews: because it's inappropriate (unless the job is, obviously, at a church, for a political party, etc.). Employees are expected to leave their personal lives at the door when at the job. But employers should feel peachy about betraying that same confidence?

    When writing some free COM app or TPS report coversheet, what does an employee's view on gay marriage, Palestine, or the RIAA have to do with anything? And even if the employer was doing something as inoccuous as suggested in the article and just "seeing if they are passionate without compromise"... who here doesn't think they could find something they'd hold against you?

    Candidates are looking for jobs, not friends. Neither should employers.
  • My experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m00nun1t (588082) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:54AM (#8462225) Homepage
    I once did this. I was interviewing a candidate for a job. He made the short list, so I googled him. Found out his pseudonym which he happened to use on /.. Some postings were consistent with some points on his CV, confirming it was him.

    He also made a few posts about the technology we were chiefly hiring him to work with. The comments were rather negative (and against the broader view of the group he would be working in). I want people who can be passionate about what they do. No, I'm not just looking for "yes people" to maintain the status quo, but there is a certain base. Who is going to work harder and enjoy themselves more - someone who enjoys the technology or someone who doesn't?

    While his /. profile definitely wasn't the only thing that had him eliminated from the shortlist (he probably would have been cut anyway), it was a factor.
  • by Maljin Jolt (746064) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @09:55AM (#8462231) Journal
    Became a landlord of flathouse. Then your tenants will keep you living while you work on open source. At least, it works for me. Actually, I spent more time on playing games than on coding for past eight years, in-between fixing kitchen sinks and replacing light bulbs. The best effect is I got free 512k internet connection throught one of my tenant, just by allowing them to place a microwave antenna on the roof "for free".
    And how to become a landlord? Get an excellent karma in real world first.
  • "Does your candidate hide behind secret pseudonyms to trash other individuals? Is there passion without condemnation?'""

    .... I've never worked with a programmer named Anonymousw Coward.

  • Research me! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jerf (17166) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @10:49AM (#8462872) Journal
    I want employers to research me. Please! This will be especially true after I've got my next project off the ground, which barring catastrophe should be before I'm job hunting again.

    So many of you are padding your resumes (yes, you... knock it off!) that it makes it hard for me to get into the "interview" stack. I don't believe in padding the resume (and besides, if I padded it it would become downright unbelievable... yes, I actually do know those ten languages fairly well, even if I am just a recent college grad, am I supposed to claim 20? As it is there are already some skills I'm deliberately not adding because they're not really good enough to justify it), and I need some way to let you know that I really have the skills I mention.

    For instance, I claim the ability to write coherently. Anybody can write coherently for the length of one resume, all that takes is the help of a friend. Get to my website and you'll see that I really can write even large, book-length essays reasonably well. You can find my code and download it.

    If anyone's not going to hire me because of my opinions, which are mostly "ethics are good" and a general technolibertarian slant, then I don't want to work for them. (In my case, this is unlikely to be an issue, since my strongest opinions are "YRO"-type issues and all that really eliminates from consideration are surveillance technologies I couldn't work on anyhow. YMMV due to differing opinions.)

    How else am I going to rise above all your padded resumes?

    (I've heard that in my current job I was the third of three candidates after the final screening. Our resumes were virtually identical, but I was fresh out of college with a Masters degree (actually I had significant work experience, easily three year's worth of a full-time job, but it's hard to get over the "fresh out of college" stigma), while the other two had many years of industry experience. Fortunately, when they were interviewed, they bombed, because the resumes were padded, and mine wasn't. Padded resumes may get you interviews, but you should almost hope they don't get you a job; you'll be in over your head in no time if you're hired on the basis of one.)

    (And a note: I can write, but that doesn't mean I give my best stuff to Slashdot or spend forever proof-reading my posts; why bother? I'm sure you can find errors in here. Save your sarcastic jokes; I'm claiming I can write, not write perfect rough drafts into a Mozilla text box.)
    • From your web page:

      "I want to shoot whoever designed them."
      Prone to violence.

      "He (and I highly doubt it's a "she") seems to be under the impression that the job of a phone ring is to force you to pay attention to the phone."

      Sexist!

      "Just now as I write, I looked and the phone doesn't even have a "Do Not Disturb" button that would force the call into voice mail"

      Anti-social.

      Also a Python programmer.

      Recommendation: No hire. :-))
      • And I don't want to work for you. You jump to conclusions based on fragments and obvious hyperbole. You assume "sexism", even for statements that empirically most likely true. You don't understand that programmers need to have quiet time to get to "the flow" and work effectively [c2.com].

        Recommendation: Please, don't hire me.

        To be fair, I think you're trying to score a few quick "+1, Funny" moderations, and I understand this. Turnabout's fair play.

        (Meta-point: People are human. I defy you to find one person over
  • I've always considered that sentence a little ambigious... How did you define the ability to work with others ?

    Is that the ability to understand and use API devellopped by others ?
    Or, the wisdom to not rewrite all the code you consider bad ?
    Or, the social skill to entertains good relations with coworkers ?
    Or, the intelligence to query others when you're stuck on a problem?

    The truth is, for sure, all at once... and i think i got all these quality to "work with others" but, in my job, i work alone 90%
    • The issue here is that tech guys often are terrible communicators, or worse, actually difficult to work with.

      This is why so many tech guys complain constantly about how management is clueless as to their contribution, or does not give them adequate support, etc. It's caused in large part by the tech community being very territorial and often antagonistic. It makes it much easier for the business managers to sit in an isolated room and make decisions about the tech staff without actually discussing it with
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One must always be willing to take pride in their work - not to do so is practically a crime in any line of work. But if you attach your ego to your work, you will never be able to handle someone else taking your code and, well, basically, take it apart & rewrite it if necessary - for whatever the reason happens to be - whether it's because the spec has changed, performance indicates that block of code, etc. If your ego gets in the way, your feelings will likely hurt you in the arena.
  • by Theovon (109752) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:18AM (#8463249)
    I tried to mention this recently in response to the article about open-source coding devaluing software development, but none of the moderators saw it.

    Anyhow, as any law student knows, volunteering in the community is an absolute necessity. Many employers won't even consider you if you haven't done significant volunteer work during law school, and you're expected to do so during your career.

    The computer industry should be no different. Pro bono work should be considered the NORM.
  • by UpLateDrinkingCoffee (605179) on Thursday March 04, 2004 @11:23AM (#8463299)
    What ever happened to checking references and the good old probationary period? It takes a very unique individual to realize that someone's opinion can be intelligent while disagreeing with it. In fact, sometimes I will even play devil's advocate to spark an interesting discussion... will the background checker have the insight to look past all that?

    Let me prove myself on the job I'm hired to do and please leave my slashdot account, my credit score, my medical history, and my weekly garbage to myself thank you.

  • I'm sorry, but I have to do a shameless plug. Though I'm entry level, I think I have a fair ammount of innate talent in addition to my degree. If anyone knows of anyone looking for an entry level developer, you could get $500 from me [ashdreams.net]
  • Being that the document is written by someone at HP, I expect the first steps go something like this:

    1. Build an office building in India.
    2. Hire an Indian.

    (Yes, I'm bitter. I need a good hit to my karma once in a while... [No pun intended.])

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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