How to hire senior developers and technical leads.
Jay Abbott
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Great article, Jay. I’d say it one of the most exhaustive guides/visions on hiring process I’ve seen so far. Probably, the most important outcome of the material is that selecting a right candidate it’s an art. Another thing is that in the same way as you want to get the best developer, the scrutinized person wants to work for the best company. So, the interview process becomes a first impression you making on that person and it can be decisive too.

Regarding a hiring process, from my experience, I’d say there are two types of senior developers. Ones are bold firefighters, they are usually welcomed in projects that have existed for a long period of time and turned into an unmanageable something and customer wants to stabilize that something at any cost but not time. Others are more effectual in less turbulent conditions, let’s call them plastic surgeons, they are happy to turn a project into (or make from scratch) masterpiece but only after thorough planning and respecting all possible code standards, etc. As you mentioned, the plot of the interview should reflect the daily work that person will be facing after being hired.

Few words about tech-test. It’s probably the most efficient way of finding the best candidate (along with further face to face explanation) but the downside here is a time the person will have to spend solving it. And I have seen an example when potential candidate rejected such an approach because they think being 15+ years in the industry is a good enough proof of their skills. But anyway tech-test is a must have, as for me. How code is written explains a lot of aspects of the person, almost like handwriting can unveil some features of a character.

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