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CHAPTER 8 October 1, 2008

Filed under: Getting Real — hikaru011 @ 8:40 am
Tags: ,

Hire Less and Hire Later

Small and even big companies don’t need that much people as they think. Let say you have the 100 best employees in the world, still you can’t say that your company would not encounter any problems. The training part and even how all these people can achieve harmony to work perfectly. When you fired someone or someone resigned for his job, don’t immediately search someone for replacement. Look at your people; if they can do the job well less one person, then you definitely do not need another one.

Kick the Tires

Ever heard of the term “test drive”? They say when you want to know the capacity of a person, take him out to the real world. When you see a potential team, give them the chance to work in the real world. Surely, you need to guide them, but thru this test drive you will know each of their capacity.

Actions, not Words

When hiring or promoting someone to be in a technical position, companies often look at resumes and references. But these are said to be silly in a lot of ways.

Open source is said to be the most efficient way when you want to hire technical people. With these, you can track someone’s work and contributions. You can judge them based on their works or their actions rather than what they say or their words.

Here are some important factors you need to look in when you want to hire the right people for a technical position:

  • Quality of work
    Many programmers can talk the talk but trip when it comes time to walk the walk. With open source, you get the nitty gritty specifics of a person’s programming skills and practices.
  • Cultural perspective
    Programing is all about decisions. Lots and lots of them. Decisions are guided by your cultural vantage point, values, and ideals. Look at the specific decisions made by a candidate in coding, testing, and community arguments to see whether you’ve got a cultural match. If there’s no fit here, each decision will be a struggle.
  • Level of passion
    By definition, involvement in open source requires at least some passion. Otherwise why would this person spend free time sitting in front of a screen? The amount of open source involvement often shows how much a candidate truly cares about programming.
  • Completion percentage
    All the smarts, proper cultural leanings, and passion don’t amount to valuable software if a person can’t get stuff done. Unfortunately, lots of programmers can’t. So look for that zeal to ship. Hire someone who needs to get it out the door and is willing to make the pragmatic trade-offs this may require.
  • Social match
    Working with someone over a long period of time, during both stress/relaxation and highs/lows, will show you their real personality. If someone’s lacking in manners or social skills, filter them out.

Get well rounded individuals

Small teams can’t afford to have many employees. Any company doesn’t need to have workers who only specialized to one thing and doesn’t have any ideas one other things. Companies need to have someone who can do multi tasking. Well of course it can save them a lot of salary expenses but at the same time it can make their employees well rounded.

You can’t fake enthusiasm

It is better to hire an average happy individual rather than unhappy expert. Find someone who shows enthusiasm at work and eagerness to learn new ideas. Try to find someone who can definitely fit your team.


Hire good writers. Well it does not really matter if he is a programmer, analyst or developer. A good writer is also said to be a good communicator. Surely he can write what he thinks and feels and with these, he can definitely explain it verbally. A good writing leads to effective, concise code, email, etc.


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