Communication is key in software development
As the CTO of the fastest growing Brazilian wealth management fin-tech startup. I must hire the best engineers, but best is relative.
Let’s say you interview a genius tech guy, he can solve anything. But he cannot communicate his thoughts clearly to the team, he isolates himself and bring a code ready for production. While that may sound good for a lot of people, I don’t think it is all that good. I would rather prefere someone that communicates well with the team, receives feedback and creates something with collaboration of others.
This communication can be done loudly during the daily meetings , a summary of what’s going on. You must be good to summarise a complex system into one sentence. If it is something more complex and needs profound explanations it can be done via written text, that serves as a good documentation. Diagrams and draws are welcome as well.
We normally underestimate the value of documentation for small companies, but as soon as it starts to grow it can leverage the ramp-up of new team members. I am not talking about hundreds of pages with boring stuff that nobody will ever read. Good documentation don’t take too much time to read and understand, and consequently it is faster to update.
During my last hiring processes I’ve empirically identified that people that don’t write well, write crap code. It made me prioritize the writing test over the coding test. If the written text is not clear, there is no need to ask for code. The code itself is text translated into specific syntax and structure. If I can’t understand what you wrote in plain english I won’t understand your code the first time I read it.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
In the long-term of a company, I do believe that this kind of collaboration can play a big role in success.
During the hiring process, focus on this skill. Communication is key.