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Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky's Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent 1st ed. Edition
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A "good" programmer can outproduce five, ten, and sometimes more run-of-the-mill programmers. The secret to success for any software company then is to hire the good programmers. But how to do that? In Joel on Hiring, Joel Spolsky draws from his experience both at Microsoft and running his own successful software company based in New York City. He writes humorously, but seriously about his methods for sorting resumes, for finding great candidates, and for interviewing, in person and by phone. Joel’s methods are not complex, but they do get to the heart of the matter: how to recognize a great developer when you see one.
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From the reviews:
"Programming-employment decisions are a critical managerial process. … Spolsky asserts that ‘the real trick to management is to make people identify with the goals you’re trying to achieve.’ … Spolsky concludes with the self-designed ‘Joel Test,’ which rates the quality of a software team. … Managers, recruiters, and programmers will enjoy this easy read." (Brad Reid, ACM Computing Reviews, September, 2008)
About the Author
- ASIN : 1590598385
- Publisher : Apress; 1st ed. edition (June 1, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 182 pages
- ISBN-10 : 8184894678
- ISBN-13 : 978-8184894677
- Item Weight : 7.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.43 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #243,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #235 in Job Hunting (Books)
- #304 in Software Development (Books)
- #657 in Job Hunting & Career Guides
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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If you've never read Joel on Software, you should. And after you read this book, you'll want to, because Joel is fun to read (even if you're not in the business of software, you'll be entertained by his style).
The book is well organized, and presented in a logical fashion. Some key points you'll learn to address are:
* How to advertise your open positions to attract the most qualified candidates, while not attracting the least qualified candidates
* How to read a resume to identify the most likely candidates for your position, without relying on buzzwords
* How to do a phone screening
* How to conduct the in-person interviews
* How to treat candidates like royalty to make them WANT to work for you
* How to transform an existing team which may be floundering
* And a bit of a "bonus" section on management styles and techniques, especially as it relates to motivating and retaining good talent
Knowing that he was concentrating on rock stars, I bought the book anyway, looking for tips that I translate to my world where my customers are late adopters of technology and development is usually mixed in with O&M.
I did find some tips. Some just confirmed what I already believed to be true. The most useful chapters for me were Chapter 4 - Sorting Resumes (3 of my 6 dog-eared pages are in this chapter), and Chapter 7 - Fixing Suboptimal Teams.
If you are in software development and have never heard of Stack Overflow or Joel, then you need to make more of an investment in your craft. Joel is entertaining, thought provoking and has useful advice. The challenge in hiring smart people is that they may have poor social skills, lack personal hygiene and think everyone is stupid. They get bored with work that is not challenging. So they either over complicate simple requirements, so no one else can understand what they did, or get distracted and annoy the other inmates. Hence the deceptively simple title ladened with meaning and experience.
The author does a great job of sitting down with the reader and going over in detail many of the things that can actually hurt a business instead of help.
He also gives you a chance to see the other side of the coin and just how much better some decisions can actually help a company if they took the time to consider and implement things.
I agree with many of the things he brings up because i think the author is looking at the big picture of things and definitely working towards having a better company for owners, employees and clients.
If more businesses took his advice i think they would be more happy and profitable at the outcome of their business decisions then they have been lately.
Top reviews from other countries
Full of common sense, good ideas and insights on how to recruit and keep the best technical people (and why you want to).
Buy two copies, and give one to your manager.
It helps you pick the stars out from the also ran's, and gives you some good guidelines for how to interview, test, and figure out who is the best candidate.
In today's incredibly hot market, some of the ideas are a little hard to pull off unless you are among the top 5% of companies that people want to work for, but even those "out there" ideas have nuggets you can use for yourself.