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How To Find Bad Programmers 359

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-little-work-can-you-do-in-a-day dept.
AmberShah writes "The job post is your potential programmer's first impression of your company, so make it count with these offputting features. There are plenty of articles about recruiting great developers, but what if you are only interested in the crappy ones?" I think much of the industry is already following these guidelines.

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How To Find Bad Programmers

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  • by oldspewey (1303305) on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:30PM (#31790870)

    You want a good coder? ... Have them write you something small for free.

    Most of the good coders I know would walk right on out the door if the first thing you asked them to do was write something for free.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2010 @12:38PM (#31790994)

    A close acquaintance of mine hired an Indian web developer to build his site. Granted, it was a very simple site I could've done in a day, but the Indian guy did it way cheaper for the whole package - including domain name and hosting. A year later, the site spreads malware (blocked by FF) and the Indian guy is nowhere to be found. My acquaintance can't even get his password to login to the site and disable the malware.

    You get what you paid for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:04PM (#31791388)

    Only he's right :) Doesn't matter what he sounds like.

  • Re:Resume in Word (Score:2, Informative)

    by GasparGMSwordsman (753396) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:04PM (#31791394)

    Personally I love it when they ask for this. Nothing pleases me more than writing a resume whose formatting seems to change based on what version of Office you're using...

    I think you should probably change your default printer. Word files should not change formatting due to what versions. HOWEVER, the minimum margins are determined based on your default printer. If you are like me and have a wide range of printing devices, (or did) then you need to be careful that you have wider margins before you start typing.

    Example:
    1) I have the drivers for a Phaser 7500 printer which can print up to 12.6 by 47.25 inches. I can set my margins to 0" in Word. I create my document but don't change the margin settings.
    2) I email the finished document to Joe HR. He has a HP Deskjet D1660 connected to his computer and has that driver as default (listed as 17.01 by 7.8 inches). As soon as he opens the document Word realizes that the document cannot fit and will adjust it to fit the new minimum margins (plus any padding settings added). This results in a smooshed resume.

    If you just ensure you have a super crappy printer set as default before you start formatting your documents, you will avoid 9 out of 10 problems.

    Word is also far from the only program that gets such information from your default printer. Pretty much any printing, design or layout software does too.

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Friday April 09, 2010 @01:20PM (#31791640)

    If your friend has 20 years of experience they were probably just looking for a way to eliminate him. Hiring practices have never been objective, it's just that today the song-and-dance has better production values.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday April 09, 2010 @02:19PM (#31792626) Journal

    I know how to find one bad programmer at least. Hire the guy who wrote that article.

    Yes he does have a point, but he goes overboard and on several point shows a complete lack of being able to work within the system. No job environment is perfect.

    1. List a String of Acronyms for Technologies

    This is indeed bad, but you also need to be clear about what you want and the clearest way to list what technologies are needed for the job is to make a list. The list ain't bad, a long unfocused list is bad. If a job doesn't have a short list of what is required then I know they don't have a fucking clue what they are looking for. Only apply if you wish to hold their hand on every decision making process, which will turn out to have a lot of similarity with a random number generator.

    2. Put an Arbitrary Number Next to Each Skill

    Yup can be pretty bad but how else do you attempt to make it clear you need someone with experience with HTML, not just someone who has seen the acronym once? Personally I would use the experience level you must have for the job rather then years. Because years don't mean anything. I have used databases for 20 years now, but am not a DBA'er (I once talked to a girl after all).

    3. Say Nothing Positive About the Position

    Yeah, I do notice that. The old "what we offer" seems to have gone missing in action. But on the other hand, am I the only one who hates the boiler-plate "fresh and young company with an informal attitude"? Only put things here if they are relevant and true.

    4. Use Euphemisms for the Negative Aspects of the Job

    Oh boy. Don't forget the "flexible" one. Means: We are going to screw you every which way but whine like a girl if you ask for a single thing back. Basically, jobs are like girls. Nobody who doesn't have a multiple personality could ever hope to succeed.

    5. Require Resume to be in Word doc Format

    I like this one, good way to avoid MS shops. ALWAYS look for the desktops being used. All MS? Then run. Fast.

    I am actually working on a little site myself that will advise people on how to buy a website. How do you handle the process? How do you determine your true requirements so you don't get hussled? What can you do to avoid becoming the dreaded "scope creep" client and the huge costs that come with it?

    What the article/site will mostly focus on is trying to educate customers about the product they are buying and a LOT of companies hiring programmers don't have a clue about programmers or the job they are supposed to do. And this is odd, because if you are going to buy a car, you bring that friend who knows everything about cars. But anything to do with IT and those Luddites from HR can surely handle it. Would you let the guy who doesn't drive handle purchasing the company cars?

    So, here is my own list of how to find a GOOD programmer.

    1. Determine what it is you need. This is NOT a case of just listing every tech that ever been used in the company. If you need a web-developer it MIGHT sound reasonable to list everything from the server to image manipulation but really, what human can truly be an expert on all of them? Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Yes, it can be handy for your frontend guru to handle his own images, but should he also know how to handle obscure database crashes? If the job requirement becomes to wide, then you either need to split up the job, use external expert services or maybe accept that what you need is a couple of juniors who are still looking what area to go for rather then a specialist in a certain area.
    2. Determine what kind of company you really are. Not every company is young and dynamic. Sure, you are advertising your company but that doesn't mean you have to sell it like Axe. Be realistic unless you want to attract the kind of person who falls for commercials. If you are a MS shop were everything is MS, don't try to sell yourself as an anything goes company, because your new hiree will run when he has to file a request in triplicate to h
  • by rainmayun (842754) on Friday April 09, 2010 @03:07PM (#31793264)
    Wish I had mod points today to mod this one up. Proficiency with a coding language or even frameworks or libraries only matters to a limited extent. Proficiency in triage and identification of issues, skills in enterprise scale design, preemptive anticipation of issues both technical and bureaucratic, understanding how costs affect your project... this is stuff that the vast majority of employees can only gain via experience. Coding at home with a stack of books or bookmarked Internet tutorials simply won't get you there.
  • Re:Step 1 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Curl E (226133) on Friday April 09, 2010 @08:07PM (#31796706)

    Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.

    -- Brian W. Kernighan

  • by pugugly (152978) on Monday April 12, 2010 @03:34PM (#31821118)

    My Mom drove a truck for about ten years (Various Companies)

    You've been misinformed. They track you via GPS, prices everywhere *you* can stop are marked up, Dispatchers give you illegally short times to go distances, believe truckers are a dime a dozen, and happily lie to Highway inspectors when you're caught, and all this in exchange for a job where you get the joy of having your entire truck stolen at gun point.

    Ah, the joy of crushing hopes and dreams - {G}..

    Pug

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