Hiring engineers is hard.
Most of us were never taught how to hire engineers. We've learned through a whole lot of trial and error, fumbling around, and hoping we're not screwing it up too badly.
There's a lot that goes into effective hiring and any engineering manager will tell you it's harder than it looks.
First, there's the problem of where to even find great ones.
Then you have to convince them to interview with your company.
Ugh, now you've got to figure out the best questions ask during the interview to really assess their skills. Should you ask algorithm questions? Do some whiteboard coding? Stick strictly to questions about their past work?
What about the high-level interview structure? Should you have two interviews? Six? Panel interviews? 1:1s? Whiteboard sessions? Takehome tests? Pair programming?
If you've been fortunate, you might have found the perfect candidate and made them an offer....
But the deal's not done yet. Not until they're sitting in your office, working on your app. Was your offer a good offer? Did it hit all the points the engineer cares about? How do you know?
All of this is, of course, on top of the rest of your work. Certainly, a daunting and expensive process when you have to hire only one person, but mind-bogglingly so when you have to hire a dozen.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
I used to suck at this. One day my CTO asked me to interview a candidate, and I had an hour to prep. Except... I had never interviewed someone before.
"What do I ask them?" I asked my CTO. "You're a senior engineer. You know how to tell someone good from someone bad," he unhelpfully told me.
Annnnd, cue me frantically searching google about how to interview an engineer. As I learned quite quickly that being a good engineer doesn't mean you're a good interviewer. And I was a really bad interviewer.
So I set out to learn how to do it well.
As it turns out, there's a ton of really great stuff out there! And a whole lot of crufty, vague, half-baked suggestions. Wading through it all was a job in itself.
I learned that there really are many well-tested processes, academic research, and great interview questions. There really is such a thing as an objectively bad interview question.
I've gone on to hire and/or interview a lot more people since then, allowing me to hone my approach, test my knowledge, and get pretty good at interviewing candidates. Along the way, I've also gotten to see how other companies have constructed and evolved their hiring processes--some good, some not-so-good, and plenty of companies in the middle wondering which end they're on.
And now I'm here to share everything I've learned with you, and hopefully learn a whole lot more from you as well.
Will you join me on this journey to improve your hiring?