Saturday, January 12, 2008

How to recognise a good programmer?

Daniel has written a really great article about how to recognize good programmers. Here is a summary of the traits (I have marked the ones that I truly relate with, and added my comments):

Positive indicators:

  • Passionate about technology
  • Programs as a hobby
  • Will talk your ear off on a technical subject if encouraged [Mukul: This is an absolute necessity to identify a "hacker". They are so passionate about what they do that they will talk about it for more time than you want them to. I love this feature.]
  • Significant (and often numerous) personal side-projects over the years
  • Learns new technologies on his/her own
  • Opinionated about which technologies are better for various usages [Mukul: I have seen some of the technical guys getting upset when you tell them do use a certain technology or tell them to do things in a certain way - this is good. They should be opinionated.]
  • Very uncomfortable about the idea of working with a technology he doesn’t believe to be “right”
  • Clearly smart, can have great conversations on a variety of topics
  • Started programming long before university/work
  • Has some hidden “icebergs”, large personal projects under the CV radar
  • Knowledge of a large variety of unrelated technologies (may not be on CV)

Negative indicators:

  • Programming is a day job
  • Don’t really want to “talk shop”, even when encouraged to
  • Learns new technologies in company-sponsored courses
  • Happy to work with whatever technology you’ve picked, “all technologies are good”
  • Doesn’t seem too smart
  • Started programming at university
  • All programming experience is on the CV
  • Focused mainly on one or two technology stacks (e.g. everything to do with developing a java application), with no experience outside of it
Read the full article here.

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Blogger Anup Tapadia said...

Good one!
Just a little add on -
Maybe just giving a small challenging programming assignment in his favorite language will also do the trick :)

12:03 AM  

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