"Make Better Software: Recruiting"

Uploaded by FogCreekSoftware on 01.02.2010

Think about what a programmer is doing. Every single line of code
that a programmer writes involves several decisions.
You have to decide what line of code to write and then you have to decide,
you know, if you're calling a function, what are gonna be the arguments
to all those parameters. If it's an "if" statement, that's a decision.
And every single one of these decisions is sometimes a judgment call, and the smarter
you are, the better the judgment call is gonna be
and the more likely that code is to work. [opera singing]
There's an aria in Mozart's, "The Magic Flute" called "The Queen of the Night"
and it's sung by a soprano who has to, I think, twice hit this high note called a
F6. [opera singing]
The average soprano cannot sing this song, cannot do the "The Queen of the Night" at
all, ever. And I think the same thing happens in software.
You want to hire programmers that can reach the high notes,
that can do the really excellent achievements and that come up with sort of great ideas
that come up with great designs that maybe the average programmers
would never come up with in a million years. Okay. So, we're about to start
our campus recruiting season for the fall with the goal of hiring another six interns
for next summer. And another couple of co-ops, at least.
We could probably have as many as four for, when's the co-op term, June?
January. January, right? male voice: January to the end of April.
You want to have as aggressive an internship program as you possibly can.
One of the things that we noticed very early on
is that when you're recruiting for internships, for summer internships,
the audience you're recruiting from is all college juniors majoring in computer
science, and they're all applying for summer internships.
Whereas when you are recruiting for a fulltime job,
the audience you're recruiting from are people who hate their job,
and people who got fired from their job. So the college, when we look at the resumes
from college juniors applying for internships, honestly, they're much, much higher quality
than the average resume from somebody fulltime applying for a job.
There are a couple of reasons for this. But the bottom line is
that the really, really smart candidates don't apply for a lot of jobs in their life.
I mean, some of the best programmers that I know
have applied for, you know, maybe seven jobs in their entire life,
including the ones they took and the ones they didn't take.
When you get a resume, the easiest thing to do
is take a piece of scrap paper, write P-B-E-C-S-J, as it's column headings, and then go through
the resume