Developer's Developer

Our team at work has too much to accomplish in too little time. Yes I know that’s always the case in software development. However the upper management has said that we must deliver on time to the customer. The response from development was that you either had to cut back on the scope of deliverables, or add massive resources to development. It seems somebody actually heard us. We have been given the green light to hire people.

Hiring good developers seems like a very difficult task. We get resumes of people who look ok on paper. But when we get them in for an interview, they seem as if they have never coded before. Maybe they were the developer who did the grunt tasks, but did not actually design or develop anything. This pattern seemed to repeat itself over many interviews. We were getting to the point where we thought we might have to accept some substandard candidates. Then we got a guy in here who seemed ideal.

The guy we interviewed had many years of experience. He seemed to work in commercial software development. Here is how he operated. He would speak to the actual users to find out what they wanted. Then he would go code those features, release quickly, and obtain feedback. This sounds like the latest agile software methodology. The guy was fluent in Windows development. Normally I ask candidates the easy questions and they fail. This guy passed with flying colors. He was even able to address some difficult questions we threw at him. I had one thing to tell my managers – hire this guy.

There was some initial reluctance as this candidate did not seem to have a track record of producing a lot of documentation. Unfortunately our customer requires that. He also did not seem to have a lot of structure in his methods. I did not sweat these details. This was a programmer’s programmer. We would love to have him on our team.

I knew the first week the new guy started that we had made the right decision. He read over the requirements that the customer had sent us. We were quickly debating the interpretation and some proposed designs for those requirements. This new guy was able to state and defend many opinions on how we should develop. He was very concerned with good Windows user interfaces for our changes. He also was adamant about the way we should design some of those user interfaces. I have a feeling we are going to benefit highly from this new hire.