I read this Coding Horror post with interest and couldn’t help smiling. Whilst most people I interview can write simple programs, I consider that to be a pretty low bar for the kind of people we are looking for, although the FizzBuzz questions are kind of fun. Taking the example provided, I offer the following timings:
- Starting visual studio: 1 minute (didn’t have a pen and paper handy so I had to write it).
- Writing first version of the program: 25 seconds.
- Writing the second version that deals with the corner cases: 15 seconds.
Interestingly – I wonder how many people implement the corner cases and whether they ask for clarification on the requirements 🙂
Personally, I think what a lot of it boils down to is passion. Someone who is passionate will seek to do the things that they want to do, no matter what it is, so chances are that if you spot a passionate programmer they probably have what it takes to be good at their job.
Note: There is a big difference between being passionate in the job interview, and being passionate 24/7 – you typically have to spot 24/7 passion in the wild.
User groups and other such community gatherings are a great way to find passionate developers in the wild. The trick is netting them 🙂