Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Years of Experience Myth

Coding Horror has an article on how to find good programmers, and how not to: The Years of Experience Myth

A selection of programming language textbooks on a shelf. Levels and colors adjusted in the GIMP.Image via WikipediaActually, when I went through my latest job hunting exercise (which ended quite happily), I had a recruiter who started out with counting the 'years of experience' per programming language that I had. Since I have been collecting them all (not really, but I like to diversify), I had at most 2 to 3 years max in each of them. This would make me slightly above junior level in any of those languages at most.

After a few discussions, I managed to convince him of two things: First, your missing the bigger picture of my capabilities this way, and second, programmers do not like to be recruited this way. It tells much more about the (lack of) capabilities of the recruiter than of the candidate.

Lucky for me (and him I suppose), the recruiter came around quickly, and found a great job for me. I forwarded the above article to him afterwards, since it so aptly confirms the point I was trying to make at the time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How not to design space shuttles. Or software.

Gustavo Duarte provides us with Richard Feynman, the Challenger Disaster, and Software Engineering, showing parallels between Space Shuttle engineering and software engineering. Very lucid, as to be expected of Mr. Feynman.

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