We recently hired a new developer for our team. I think we need at least one more senior guy. Yes I said guy. We have yet to have hardly any female candidates. Today I read an article on how best to hire a tester who will automate scripting. This seemed to apply to regular developers as well.
The first thing to do is to not choose the cheapest guy. A candidate who costs less will most likely produce less. You also have to make sure that a technical rep from your team is part of the interview. That way the candidate cannot fake his technical skills.
If you do happen to hire somebody who is cheap and does not have the best skills, then make sure you do not put them on the most important tasks. We did that a couple years ago for a new system we were writing. The result was that the plug got pulled and the code got put in the trash can (or on the shelf).
One would prefer a candidate that was adaptable and could learn new stuff quickly. We have technology that spans a decade or two in our system. There is also a lot about the business to learn. If you cannot keep up, you cannot produce for us. You need to also be able to handle complex stuff. At times our employees are called on to produce work arounds.
Like any job, there are politics to maneuver around. So you need to know how to communicate effectively without stepping on people's toes. Otherwise you may find yourself back in the unemployment line. So in summary, if you know a female that is a rock star programmer, send her our way. And if you yourself are looking for a job and have what it takes, drop me a line.
Edgy Rebranding - I just read that 37Signals is changing their name to Basecamp. That seemed odd initially. I know them by 37Signals. Why give up all that brand juice? Sure...