Interview with FogCreek About Hiring for Technical Fit

Several weeks ago, the nice folks at FogCreek interviewed me. It’s here: Technical Hiring and Cultural Fit – Interview with Johanna Rothman. The interview ranged over many topics: Cultural fit Diversity What to do when you look for a job Much more I hope you enjoy it. If you want to read more about how to hire, check out Hiring Geeks That Fit. To read more about how to find a job, see Manage Your Job...

Hiring for Cultural Fit Slides Posted

I’ve given webinars and talks about hiring for cultural fit for years. A couple of weeks ago, I was in Waterloo/Kitchener, Ontario. When I spoke for Communitech, I updated my talk, Hiring for Cultural Fit. It’s easy to get cultural fit wrong. It’s more difficult to get it right. I hope you enjoy the slides. BTW, if you want the details on how to hire for cultural fit, read Hiring Geeks That...

Do You Need a Degree to be Hired to Develop Software?

I retweeted a link to Here’s a Thing: There’s No Correlation Between a College Degree and Coding Ability. I was a bit surprised by some of the reactions to that link. One colleague said, “I question whether people who wait until a college assignment to learn to code have the same obsessive interest in the topic.” I was quite surprised. Back when I went to college, people didn’t have access to computers except in school. And, what about those of us who only discovered programming by accident, say our sophomore year in school (me), or a few years later (another colleague)? Would a hiring manager penalize us for not knowing about programming when we were 12? Do developers need an “obsessive” interest in programming? I don’t think so. When I hired developers, I looked for a number of preferences, qualities, and non-technical skills: Ability to learn our system fast Ability to get along with the rest of the team Ability to take feedback and provide feedback Problem-solving abilities in several domains: ways to look at both technical and non-technical tradeoffs More things depending on the role and environment Of course, I looked for technical skills also: Ability to explain their code to me and others We always did a technical audition, so we could see somebody’s technical skills at work Ability to explain how their code fit into the whole of the system they were working on at the time More things depending on the role and environment In all the time I hired developers (about 10 years), I never made a college degree a requirement. Nor did I make obsessive...

Social-Hire Interview Posted

The nice folks at Social-Hire interviewed me. That interview is here: Expert Interview with Johanna Rothman About Hiring Technical People. I hope you enjoy it! If you want to learn how to hire—fast, and without fear—read Hiring Geeks That...

Hire for Cultural Fit: It’s Time to Add Other People, Pt 2

In Hire for Cultural Fit: It’s Time to Add Women, Pt 1, I wrote about the need to add women to your team, and what you could do. But just hiring women isn’t enough. You need race and age diversity, along with personality diversity to get the best products out of your teams. Back when I was a hiring manager inside organizations in the ’80s and ’90s, I hired developers and testers. I took a hard look at my teams. I saw lots of younger white people. I thought that was strange. I socialized with people of all races and ages. Why did I only have younger white people in my teams? It was time to change that. At the time, I used external recruiters. When I asked about diversity, I kept hearing, “We only have young white people to offer you.” I thought that was bogus. How could that be true, when I knew all these people who were not young or white? (Yes, some of them were technical, and some of them were a fit. And, yes, I had an okay employee referral program.) But, how could I find more people? If I can’t get them to respond to my ads and get the resumes in the door, I can’t phone screen them. Surely, in the Boston area, there must be non-white, young and older people looking for jobs. There were. In fact, there were, maybe not plenty, but enough that I could start to hire a diverse set of people. Here is what I did: I told everyone I knew that I was looking to increase the diversity...