Home Hiring Programmers: Screening Out Liars and Duds

Hiring Programmers: Screening Out Liars and Duds

Every entrepreneur will tell you that recruiting the right candidate is important. While startups are constantly trying to find programmers that mesh well with their culture, team and work-style, one article suggests that companies still struggle finding candidates that know how to program at all. Jeff Atwood published a post this morning entitled, The Non-Programming Programmer with a stunning look at how many interviewees misrepresent their abilities.

Says Atwood, “I am stunned, but not entirely surprised, to hear that ‘the vast majority’ of so-called programmers who apply for a programming job interview are unable to write the smallest of programs… It’s the equivalent of attempting to hire a truck driver and finding out that 90 percent of the job applicants can’t find the gas pedal or the gear shift.”

Atwood suggests putting candidates through a quick programming test before screening for culture-fit and personality. In a past post he presented us with some phone screening questions and something he calls the FizzBuzz test.

Today he points to Mike Lin’s See[Mike]Code as an excellent screening resource. Lin’s site allows you to watch candidates program in real-time. Those that complete the 10 line programming test are then considered for an in-person interview. These tests can potentially save a company alot of money as many in-person meetings require springing for airfare and a hotel room. Other good screening resources might be found in a candidate’s GitHub profile or in links to their contributions to open source projects.

Photo Credit: turtlemom4bacon under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.