21 things to check before you submit your technical test

As a programmer and a recruiter, I tend to read my candidates’ take-home technical tests before submitting them. I’m pretty sure it’d be completely wrong to give anyone feedback on their completed tests before submitting them to my clients, so I’ve instead built-up non-specific pre-test advice over the years, which seems fair to send to … Continue reading 21 things to check before you submit your technical test

Programmers: Just how relevant was your education?

Short answer today in response to a reader’s question: How should I talk about my education on my resume? Some job descriptions will make an explicit demand about your education: BA/BS degree in a STEM field such as Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics Don’t let that put you off applying if you don’t have it … Continue reading Programmers: Just how relevant was your education?

How to write up open-source experience when you don’t have any

Around here we like to prove rather than just say that we have skills. One really easy was to do this is by showing off your open-source contributions. If I want to prove to someone I really am a Perl programmer, I have a CPAN repository that demonstrates a whole bunch of different areas I’ve … Continue reading How to write up open-source experience when you don’t have any

Developer employee cheatsheet: WTF is Salary Benchmarking?

It’s time to do my team’s annual salary review. I have been given a chunk of money I can distribute through the team and it’s up to me how much each person actually gets. I’ve got a spreadsheet to fill out. Against everybody I have the basics you’d expect: Name Job title Current salary If … Continue reading Developer employee cheatsheet: WTF is Salary Benchmarking?

Different types of technical interview, and how to handle them

There’s a limit to how much a company can actually find out about a job seeker in an interview, and in my opinion that’s pretty much limited to: Can the job seeker appear kind of normal for a few hours? Are they able to provide some evidence about the skills they claim to have? While … Continue reading Different types of technical interview, and how to handle them

Get a programming interview with three bullet points

To get a job, you’re going to need an interview. To get an interview, and then a job, you need to get past the three interview gatekeepers. Developers are generally in high demand, and recruiters want to move quickly, so your resume is going to get read very quickly. In my opinion it’s entirely possible … Continue reading Get a programming interview with three bullet points

Knowledge is power: Why are they hiring a new developer?

One of the core concepts on this site is the idea that the more you understand a process, the better equipped you’ll be to work with it. The more you understand the recruitment process, the more you’ll have a good idea of what questions to ask a potential employer and what to do with that … Continue reading Knowledge is power: Why are they hiring a new developer?

Developers: When being a one-trick pony is of the utmost value

There are some organizations that are interested in generalist programmers or tech people. There are roles where your technical skills are less interesting than your ability to solve business problems by using some programming magic. But most programming jobs aren’t like that. Most programming jobs are looking for developers already experienced with the employer’s technology … Continue reading Developers: When being a one-trick pony is of the utmost value

Technical Interviews: Interesting is normally more important than right

We’ve already covered that technical interviews are often primarily about not being too weird and that you should really try and show your working when solving programming questions in interviews. But you should also try to make answers about technical subjects interesting. When you’re being asked technical questions, the point is not seeing whether or … Continue reading Technical Interviews: Interesting is normally more important than right