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Why The New Guy Can't Keep Up to Speed (2910 hits)

From "Why The New Guy Canít Code" by John Evans as posted on TechCrunch and re-written to be more general.

Weíve all lived the nightmare. A new employee shows up at work, and you try to be welcoming, but they can't seem to get up to speed; the questions they ask reveal basic ignorance; and their work, when it finally emerges, is so inefficient that it ultimately must be redone from scratch by more competent people. And yet his interviewers - and/or the HR department, if your company has been infested by that bureaucratic parasite - swear that they only hire above-average/A-level/top-1% people.

Itís a big problem, especially now.

So what should a real interview consist of to help avoid hiring incompetent employees? Donít interview anyone who hasnít accomplished anything. Ever - unless you are hiring to train or hiring newbies. Certificates and degrees are not accomplishments; I mean real-world projects with real-world users.

The old system was based on limited information - all you knew about someone was their resume. But if you only interview people with accomplishments, then you have a much broader base to work from. If you are hiring a programmer, have the interviewee show and tell their exisiting code, and explain their design decisions and what they would do differently now. Have them implement a feature or two while you watch, so you can see how they actually work, and how they think while working. Thatís what you want from a technical interview at least, not a measure of its subjectís grasp of some antiquated algorithm or data structure. The world has moved on.
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper
Wednesday, May 11th 2011 at 12:42PM
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