Elitism in Software Recruitment

I read an article recently on TechCrunch by a guy Danny Crichton which put into words something I noticed about the field of software development — it can be, at times, incredibly elitist, self-congratulatory, pathologically suspicious of the credentials of its practitioners and demographically homogeneous.

I’m lucky enough to work for a company that doesn’t use these practices but you only have to look at the recruitment practices of some other software companies; multiple interviews conducted remotely and in person spanning several weeks, the inquisition of whiteboard architecting, an obsession with technical minutiae and obscure algorithm pop questions to get the feeling that you are seen as guilty of being a spoofer, a fraud, a chancer, until proven innocent.

Forget what your CV says, or what you say your experience is, every potential hire is also a potential liar, and should be set traps that they must avoid to be proven worthy. While interviewers would no doubt disagree, this is a hazing culture. There is no better way to describe it.

What is most remarkable about this is that these are technology companies whose work by its very nature is (hopefully) precise, detailed and methodical. How surprising then that they rely on such unscientific and demeaning techniques for finding potential new hires.

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