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Would Joel hire you?

After reading Joel's piece on interviewing, I asked myself, "Would Joel hire me?".  Then one of my other personalities quickly replied, "No you idiot, get back to work."

Ingoring my answer, what would yours be?

Just curious...

Guy Incognito
Thursday, November 29, 2001

"Smart" and "Get Things Done"

That's all it takes. :-)

Michael Pryor
Thursday, November 29, 2001

I think that it is safe to assume that this site is read by a good number of people that Joel *would* hire. 

I think that it is also safe to assume that many of those people are working at companies with similar hiring philosophies.

The place that I work used to be one of those places, and I would be interested to know how many others are still out there.

So, if you're at one of those companies, I'd love to hear about it, and how you keep it that way.

Friday, November 30, 2001

With those two criteria, yes he would.

Now if he would just open a Tampa office, I'd be all set.


Bob Crosley
Friday, November 30, 2001

With all due respect, I think many of the readers here are people who *think* Joel would hire them, but who are sorely mistaken. Current writer perhaps included.

But unless you really want to go live in the hellhole that is New York City, it's a moot point at the moment anyhow.

Mike Gunderloy
Friday, November 30, 2001

I think I am not the only one who sees great irony when Michael Pryor says, "Smart and Gets things done -- That's all it takes."

Having those attributes is a double-coincidence, is generally difficult for people to observe in themselves, and "Gets things done" is often more a curse than anything else if your goals aren't about working for some company for years.

Sometimes it is fun to work with well-intentioned companies that will inevitably decline unless you step in.  It tests who you are as a person.

forgotten gentleman
Friday, November 30, 2001

Forgotten Gentleman,
I disagree with your comments about "Getting things done" being a curse.

If I recall correctly, Joel was referring to someone's ability to get a project done and out the door.  I think we've all known people who are extremely smart and talented people, but couldn't get a product out the door to save their lives.  They are the ones who design architectural masterpieces that can fulfill any need a customer could ever have, but will never ship it in time to be useful to anyone.

Bob Crosley
Friday, November 30, 2001

Some might say that living on a farm in the middle of nowhere is actually like living in a hellhole ;-)

Farmer Bob
Friday, November 30, 2001

In a year, YES!

Prakash S
Friday, November 30, 2001

Probably not.  For one thing, he'd have little use for my particular skill set, and even if I could adapt it would be less cost-effective than if he'd hired someone with a more appropriate skill set to start with.  For another, it seems very likely that he'd find fault with some aspect of how I do things...which is only fair, because I see some problems with the way he does things too.  I wouldn't hire him either.

Jeff Darcy
Friday, November 30, 2001

I think the statement "Smart and Gets Things Done" hides a lot of complexity.  For example, someone who Gets Things Done is a good contributor to a company based on implementing products quickly.  With Smart, those products are good and stable, with polish.

However, when all your employees are like this, you don't innovate much.  You instead implement things which have minimal unpredictability.  (That is intelligent.  Let others bear the cost of innovation and standards which reduce your risk.)  That way, per unit of time you create more revenue.

You can see that bias within this forum.  For example, most people here are more willing to leave things up to code-time than design, because we've minimized surprises.  We talk about programming languages and IDEs, but not algorithms or anything specific.  And that is a perfectly sensible and happy bias.

Anyway, that is my rant.  Really, I just mentioned that Getting Things Done can be a curse because I was reflecting on how it's sometimes not considered a gift by those who possess it.  After all, it's not always the most romantic thing.  And it takes friends who know how to support them in an enjoyable way.

forgotten gentleman
Friday, November 30, 2001

BTW, I just meant innovation in the technical sense.  I would say Joel's innovations are more in synthesizing usability and technical issues.

Now I will STOP being off-topic and rambling. ;-)

forgotten gentleman
Friday, November 30, 2001

<< "Smart" and "Get Things Done"

That's all it takes. :-) >>

Damn. I'm more like a "Dumb" and "Takes forever" kind of guy. There goes my Fog Greek career :(


Jan Derk
Friday, November 30, 2001

I can't Get Things Done; I'm too busy being Smart enough to answer all the questions on Michael Pryor's techinterview page.  :-)

(Actually, I haven't seen anything there in ages, so nowadays I'm gettin' plenty done.)

Paul Brinkley
Friday, November 30, 2001

Would Joel hire Joel?

Guan Yang
Sunday, December 09, 2001

Maybe not.  I hate those stupid "impossible questions" during interviews.

"Smart" people recognize the problems as impossible and have better things to do than think up bad answers.  How many gas stations are there in Los Angeles?  How would I solve that?  Simple, I'd go to a library.  Joel doesn't want that answer, though.  He'd rather see me squirm.

Don't get me wrong, I really love the site.  I just hate those stupid interview questions.

Michael Sullivan
Monday, December 10, 2001

Actually, I think there's a lot of utility in those "how many gas stations are in Los Angeles?", "what's the mass of the earth?" type questions -- it demonstrates the ability to do those back-of-the-envelope calculations essential for making day-to-day engineering decisions.  The last thing I want is to ask a coworker, "so, how many server hits per second can that design handle?" and get a flat "uhhhhhh" as my only answer.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Fact is, almost everyone thinks they are fantastic at their job ( there is even a study of it at ). So in all likelihood we probably all think we are good enough to work with Joel...

Matthew Wills
Wednesday, December 12, 2001

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