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How To Find Bad Programmers

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the how-little-work-can-you-do-in-a-day dept.

Programming 359

AmberShah writes "The job post is your potential programmer's first impression of your company, so make it count with these offputting features. There are plenty of articles about recruiting great developers, but what if you are only interested in the crappy ones?" I think much of the industry is already following these guidelines.

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looking for C/C+/C++ programmers (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790680)

anyone?

I'd rather avoid the bad ones myself. (0)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791046)

Most of the unemployed and many of the employed "programmers" are bad.

Finding bad programmers is easy, it's finding even the merely competent ones that is hard.

Re:looking for C/C+/C++ programmers (4, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791826)

Well, you'll certainly get bad programmers if you choose the ones with 'C+' on their resume.

Call Bill (-1, Troll)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790694)

Visit the Microsoft campus

Agism rears its ugly head again (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790832)

Young programmers always say things like "proficiency with the technology is more important than years of experience" and "Old programmers probably can't make use of new technologies" and "I don't have much working experience but I guarantee I am a better choice that someone who does, just because I am that smart!"

Once they work for a while, get bitten a few times by their own crappy code, learn a few things, and realize just how worthless they actually were right after they graduated...they change their tune. It never fails.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (2, Insightful)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791328)

Agism: Discrimination based on age.

Opening line on the post referencing agism: "Young programmers always say things like..."

More: "Once they work for a while, get bitten a few times by their own crappy code, learn a few things, and realize just how worthless they actually were right after they graduated...they change their tune. It never fails."

Hypocrite much? You sound just as bad as the young programmers you are condemning.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791388)

Only he's right :) Doesn't matter what he sounds like.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791774)

Discrimination is not a bad word - hiring indiscriminately tends to end badly. Agism is inappropriate discrimination based on age, and it's very rare that young programmers are affected by it. Young == cheap, and managers seem to love that.

For many positions, years of experience is a very helpful indicator of the ability to get things done in engineering. If you have that many years of experience, you'll almost never be rejected for being unusually young (as long as you're at least 18, otherwise the local laws can be a real pain), but you will often be rejected for being unusually old, or for haing too much experience for the position, despite being willing to work for the offered wage.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (1)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791830)

I see you play FF8, you must be a yungin'.

But seriously, you both have a point.

Youthful inexperience can be just as bad as old age in causing arrogance and close-mindedness.

That said, to call every fresh graduate worthless and that they always are claiming proficiency is better... that is off too. I'm quite the humble 21-year old, and I'm willing to learn from the old coots as much as I can.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791380)

So what about those of us who DON'T say such nonsense and already respect the Wisdom of Our Elders?

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (4, Funny)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791760)

Not cocky enough to be Good.

Re:Agism rears its ugly head again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791508)

Sounds like an old wrinkly out of work COBOL programmer working at McDonald's.

Re:Call Bill (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791008)

Microsoft full of bad programmers?

Linus Torvalds wouldn't say that.
Theo de Raadt wouldn't say that.
Larry Wall wouldn't say that.
RMS wouldn't say that.
Anybody on a major OSS project wouldn't say that.

The reason we will never win is because the OSS movement consists more of ignorant fanboys than competent programmers dedicated to the cause.

Re:Call Bill (2, Funny)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791310)

Bill? Is that you?

Re:Call Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791356)

Theo might.

Re:Call Bill (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791404)

You only ever hear the fanboys. The real supporters are too busy doing things that matter.

Re:Call Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791520)

Not full certainly, but they have their share. Have you ever tried to work with the DirectShow API?

Just ask my boss (1)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791032)

I can spend weeks posting, reviewing, interviewing, checking up on google, and my boss can still manage to pick the lamest of the group.

It all comes down to being cheap and expecting somebody to brown-nose for a job.

Makes me wonder why I work here

Re:Just ask my boss (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791300)

What are you checking up on google? And would making a decision based on any of that information make you liable to a lawsuit?

Perhaps there's a reason you're not the boss...

Re:Just ask my boss (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791652)

There's all sorts of relevant, pertinent information about people that can be found on Google. And, as long as you don't use anything from one of the legally protected classes of information to base your hiring on (such as race, religion, gender, etc), you'd be a fool not to use it.

I once had a candidate tell me they were the primary developer of a certain open source application. By looking them and the project up on Google, I was able to determine they were lying out of their ass. So, I was able to weed them out.

Re:Just ask my boss (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791418)

Makes me wonder why I work here

Oh, you already know that. You don't want to be on the other side of the glass. Can't say I blame you.

Crappy programmers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790704)

Go to India?

Re:Crappy programmers (4, Interesting)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790844)

You got modded down for this, but it's true. You get what you pay for. Just low-ball the salary or billing rate. The people who are worth anything will be kept by the employers who know better. And you'll just end up bottom-feeding. There's a reason Indian programmers are cheap. I've worked with many. Some were awesome programmers. But by far, most were just cheap. And this is true regardless of whether they're Indian or not. Cheap people are cheap for a reason.

Re:Crappy programmers - anecdote (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790994)

A close acquaintance of mine hired an Indian web developer to build his site. Granted, it was a very simple site I could've done in a day, but the Indian guy did it way cheaper for the whole package - including domain name and hosting. A year later, the site spreads malware (blocked by FF) and the Indian guy is nowhere to be found. My acquaintance can't even get his password to login to the site and disable the malware.

You get what you paid for.

Re:Crappy programmers (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791134)

nope, the people who are worth anything are thrown out the door first prior to or right after merger/acquisition, the cheap rate tards are left behind.

Re:Crappy programmers (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791908)

I've never had a problem with Indian programmers. I've often had problems with programmers working in India. Partly it's the time zone difference that makes every little thing a pain in the ass, but there is also a tendency for companies to bring the best to America. While this is finally starting to change, it's still quite rare for a senior guy still working from India to be better than average.

So, yeah, the market does tend to sort out the whole price v quality thing in the long haul, but race doesn't really enter into it.

Easy... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790710)

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=12379123974638009864&q=1+Microsoft+Way+Redmond+WA&hl=en&cd=1&cad=src:pplink&ei=RlO_S_eTNeHMjAeymo2LDw

Start a MU* (4, Funny)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790714)

You want bad programmers? Start a MUD/MUX/MUSH and advertise for coders, you'll get the damned scum of the earth, a Mos Eisley cantina of crap coders

Re:Start a MU* (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791956)

One of the programmers on the Chrome team used to be a coder for a small-time MMORPG, so there's some evidence that it's possible that the occasional Jedi will wander in. But, yeah, that would have to be one heck of a filtering process.

Step 1 (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790728)

Step 1: Create an Ask Slashdot looking for (ironically) *good* programmers
Step 2: Identify all self-identified good programmers

Done!

Re:Step 1 (5, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791398)

There's definitely some truth in that. It seems like 80% of Slashdotters think that 80% of programmers suck but they're not part of that 80%.

Re:Step 1 (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791940)

There's definitely some truth in that. It seems like 80% of Slashdotters think that 80% of programmers suck but they're not part of that 80%.

It is called the Slashdot Paradox.

Re:Step 1 (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31792002)

Which just shows that Slashdotters are better at self-reflection than most. 90% of people think they're in the top 10% of drivers.

Re:Step 1 (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31792038)

That could work, I guess, if only 20% or so if coders read slashdot.

More likely, I think you are saying, is that some of those who think their code-don't-stink are fooling themselves.

I see lousy coders.... everywhere (0)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790776)

On the net at least. Usually on rentacoder or such. I've tried to work with some of these guys and Oy! There are exceptions, thank goodness, but the majority of them are um, questionable at best.

You get what you pay for. You want a good coder? Look at their code. Make them take some written tests and an oral exam. Have them write you something small for free. Make sure they have a decent overall education (important!) and can communicate. Where I work, our coders tend to be excellent, but we put them through the wringer to work here.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (5, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790870)

You want a good coder? ... Have them write you something small for free.

Most of the good coders I know would walk right on out the door if the first thing you asked them to do was write something for free.

Thanks (1)

bjk002 (757977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791306)

You saved me the trouble of posting this response. Throw some mods at this fella folks!

Re:Thanks (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791594)

Add me to it.

Simple test: Ask me what 3 questions *I* would ask if I were looking to hire someone, and what my answers would be. Then see how many of them *you* would have gotten right. And wonder why not *one* of those 3 questions had anything directly to do with writing code ...

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791450)

So make sure it's pointless, and they know it's pointless. It's an exercise, not a product.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (3, Interesting)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791618)

It is VERY rare, but I did run into one company that posted a sort of puzzle. It was a screen scrapping test with several layers. They did things like inserted hints in custom headers and if you didn't notice those, you would go on following the trail who knows how long to get to the end, which was a the email address to send your resume. So it only took about 30 min to do if you knew your stuff, it could take all day and more if not. It was FUN! btw I got the email address in about 2 hours, I did go down the wrong path for a bit and then went back and started looking at headers and cookies and found the clues.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791732)

Most of the good coders I know would walk right on out the door if the first thing you asked them to do was write something for free.

If it's something that is likely to have commercial value, then I'm with you on that. But if it's obviously some demo code with the express purpose of showing whether or not you have a clue what you're doing, then it's not a problem.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31792020)

You want a good coder? ... Have them write you something small for free.

Most of the good coders I know would walk right on out the door if the first thing you asked them to do was write something for free.

Even if what they are asked to write is a function that calculates the GCD of two numbers, or a pseudocode showing one understands a classic algorithm or data structure (which btw are very legit coding questions for an interview)?

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (2, Funny)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790942)

You get what you pay for. You want a good coder? Look at their code. Make them take some written tests and an oral exam. Have them write you something small for free.

Hell yeah. That's why, when deciding whether a job is worth taking, I always ask the prospective employers to give me a month of salary without working for it.

There does seem to be an awful lot of shitty jobs out there, though.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (3, Insightful)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791136)

Have them write you something small for free.

I have seen exactly one instance of this happening. I walked right out. Four months later the company as charged with unethical buisness practices. They even got sued by a Church of all things.

Asking to look at existing samples (a portfolio) or testing is one thing. Asking for free work is bound to get only inferior employees, lawsuits and criminal charges.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791234)

Asking for free work is bound to get only inferior employees, lawsuits and criminal charges.

Free useful work, sure. But write a short class? Esp during the interview process?

Of course, make sure it's totally outside the realm of being used.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (4, Insightful)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791354)

There's a difference between example or interview code ("Write a function to reverse a string"), and asking them to do part of the work, up front, for free. Anyone worth their salt will correctly balk when asked to do the latter.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791934)

Just post your string here:

http://www.string-functions.com/reverse.aspx

Now gimme that job!

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31792050)

But write a short class? Esp during the interview process?

I completely agree that this is both useful and acceptable. Actually this is probably what the OP meant but it didn't sound that way.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791466)

haha. I won't take a test any more. I'll happily have a conversation about the technology, but I no longer take tests.
I certainly don't write code for free. It's insulting.

Fortunately I have an excellent reputation, so even in crappy times I will get the occasional out of the blue job offer. Yes, offer.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (4, Interesting)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791624)

You want a good coder? Look at their code. Make them take some written tests and an oral exam. Have them write you something small for free.

Maybe that is specific to rent-a-coder. I do a lot of interviewing for technical positions, and I don't give code challenges. Anything beyond CS101 fodder is too time-consuming, and asking CS101 questions doesn't really tell me anything.

I'm a big fan of "what's the difference?" questions. I'll take two similar technologies from their resume and ask what's the difference between them. It tests both the candidate's level of experience, as well as the candidate's ability to think and articulate an answer.

I have to say, I've gotten some pretty (ahem) creative responses, too. And for all you job hunters out there, if you put "C/C++" on your resume, I guarantee my first technical question is going to be, "What's the difference between C and C++?" All the while knowing that there is a >50% chance I'm about to get a "creative" answer.

Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31792048)

Maybe that is specific to rent-a-coder. I do a lot of interviewing for technical positions, and I don't give code challenges. Anything beyond CS101 fodder is too time-consuming, and asking CS101 questions doesn't really tell me anything.

I'm a big fan of "what's the difference?" questions. I'll take two similar technologies from their resume and ask what's the difference between them. It tests both the candidate's level of experience, as well as the candidate's ability to think and articulate an answer.

I have to say, I've gotten some pretty (ahem) creative responses, too. And for all you job hunters out there, if you put "C/C++" on your resume, I guarantee my first technical question is going to be, "What's the difference between C and C++?" All the while knowing that there is a >50% chance I'm about to get a "creative" answer.

With C... you have enough power to shoot yourself in the foot.

With C++... you can make mistakes that take off your entire leg.

Recruitment Agencies (4, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790780)

Use a recruitment agency.

Most of them just do buzzword matching on CVs rather than actual filtering by skill, so you'll get some really rubbish dregs turn up with inflated CVs.

Also, try to get one going through a relationship break-up (especially an expensive divorce), or one with criminal/drug addict children / wife. These will increase their productivity as they will want to stay in work.

Re:Recruitment Agencies (2, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790932)

Recruiters are a great source of entertainment.

Week 1: "Technology XYZ is really hot right now. If you can put some of that on your resume I can get you all kinds of interviews."

Week 12: "Technology ABC is really hot right now. If you can put some of that on your resume I can get you all kinds of interviews."

Week 24: "Say, do you know anything about technology QRS? I was just talking to the program director at one of my biggest clients and ..."

How to Find Bad Programmers (1)

johie (231582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790782)

What'ya gona do with them?

Re:How to Find Bad Programmers (2, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790992)

That's what the roll of carpet and shovel is for...

Re:How to Find Bad Programmers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791062)

The author is clueless and the article is insulting. Like your self, I'm wondering the same thing. Actually what the fuck does is this shit doing on Slashdot?

Re:How to Find Bad Programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791686)

It's satire. Anyone who's been looking through postings on job sites is quite familiar with the tips in this article.

Resumes in Word not hard for Java/Unix people... (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790786)

Just use Poi [apache.org] .

Re:Resumes in Word not hard for Java/Unix people.. (4, Insightful)

oatworm (969674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791432)

The problem isn't about whether it's hard or not for those that don't wish to use proprietary software to open Word docs. The problem is that Word docs are not platform neutral - the font that you used on your resume' might not line up with the fonts that I have installed on my system and vice-versa. Plus, the version you're using might not be the same as the version I'm using and might get rendered differently if you use any sort of fancy-ish formatting (tables, columns, sections, etc.). This would be an issue whether the person on the other end wanted a Word doc, an ODF file, or any other non-trivial word processing document. Realistically, if you want to submit your resume' and have it look as good as possible, you want to know that the person on the other end will be able to see the same thing that you see when you created it; if they're making that functionally impossible by requiring it in a non-print safe non-vendor neutral format, it shows they don't understand such issues, which hints strongly at how well they pay attention to such issues with the rest of their work.

Put another way, imagine working for an employer whose corporate culture can be summed up as "Works for me", then imagine how much fun it would be to fix the consequences of such an ethos when a major customer or the CEO finds something is broken.

Fuud (1)

indre1 (1422435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790796)

We offer free coffee for your 20-hour shift for a few days before the release.

BUT nobody mentions that you still get paid for the regular 8-hours.

Never ask technical questions during the interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790810)

Happened to me many times!

Hire fired public school teachers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790818)

If you can find one that was actually fired.

Here's A Way (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790820)

Paste a want-aD for lINUX programmer. These are very very bad programmer.

for proper badness certification trumps all else (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31790882)

To find a bad programmer (or bad anything actually) hire anyone whose resume/CV features "certified" or "certification" by a corporation that sells the product covered by the certificate (e.g.: "microsoft certified"). The circular nature of such training guarantees a worker who's view is designed to be narrow.

Re:for proper badness certification trumps all els (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791080)

Are you saying that all certs are useless and those that have them are failures at what they do?
I will partly agree, a cert just proves you could pass a test, but I would not make the bold statement saying that everyone who puts them on their resume is an imbecile.

Re:for proper badness certification trumps all els (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791224)

Read closer. He means anything that is "$COMPANY certified" e.g. MCSE, CNA, etc.

Re:for proper badness certification trumps all els (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791452)

Read closer. He means anything that is "$COMPANY certified" e.g. MCSE, CNA, etc.

It's still an utterly idiotic statement. Many companies require those certs for certain pay grades and/or positions.

The certs don't indicate level of proficiency in the tech they cover (or the level of intelligence or competency of those that list them on their resume) one way or another. If they reflect a narrow point of view, it's only that of the companies that require them.

Re:for proper badness certification trumps all els (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791260)

While having certifications doesn't guarantee expertise in a technology, it sure as hell doesn't preclude it or hamper a broad range of knowledge in and of itself.

The only true indication of quality (or lack thereof) is actual work experience, thought processes, and inter-personal skills. The only reason to mention certifications is for clearing HR checklists and a potential bump in salary.

Re:for proper badness certification trumps all els (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791526)

"The circular nature of such training guarantees a worker who's view is designed to be narrow."

Sure, because it's a well-known fact that once you pass a certification test you're not allowed to learn anything else.

Seriously, if you are looking for someone to be a Admin for your RedHat installations, you would prefer the candidate that doesn't have a RedHat certification?

"Visual Basic Developer wanted...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790944)

With this subject line, you are sure to get a bad developer. I have never seen a good VB developer.

Re:"Visual Basic Developer wanted...." (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791556)

Well, I don't know if he's a good VB developer (whatever that means), but I know a guy who has made a lot of money for himself and his company through his VB work, if that counts for anything.

Obvious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31790970)

If I want to find a bad programmer I'll look at the credits for Slashcode.

TPS REPORTS and OTHER PHB stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791054)

put in the job add stuff like lots of paper work

80 Hour work weeks

Must be able to work remotely with our over seas team.

Ask Bret Hart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791084)

;-)

for a real class act (4, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791094)

The really classy HR and Recruiter turds put down requirements for years of experience greater than the time the technology has been in existence. For developers, 16 years J2EE required! 10 years .NET a must! 8+ years Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployment!

Bonus points for confounding distribution release numbers and internal software version numbers, or assuming only RedHat distributes GNU/Linux.

Ask me about my 500 mile commute (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791540)

A SURE sign is when you get calls from recruiters about jobs that are 500-plus miles away:

1) The job is so shitty that we have asked every recruiter on the planet to try to fill it.

2) Or else there are 50 openings on a project that is so utterly f-ed up that no competent person would want to work on it, and it will take 50 incompetents to just keep it from imploding under its own mass.

3) Or recruiter is geographically clueless. My resume clearly states that I will not accept any jobs outside of bicycle commuting distance, yet recruiters have still called me and asked me if Los Angeles or West Virginia were within daily commuting distance of the SF Bay Area. (Glad the job wasn't in EAST Virginia!)

Re:for a real class act (5, Funny)

kgo (1741558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791546)

I'm hunting right now. The best case of this by far is:

Visual Studio .NET 2008 - 5 years experience

(1) DO THE MATH! (At least when people were asking for ten years of web development experience in 1995, the web wasn't called WWW-90)

(2) WHAT THE HELL IS VISUAL STUDIO EXPERIENCE?

Re:for a real class act (2, Funny)

Godai (104143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791764)

Sometimes you get the reverse as well. A buddy of mine was one of the people behind Qualcomm's Brew and they put him in charge of co-op hiring. He was very entertained when -- 3 months after Brew was released -- he got a resumé submitted to him that indicated the student had "2 years experience with Brew". I remember he was very excited to meet that fellow, and was looking forward to quizzing him on his 'deep Brew experience'.

And, of course, sometimes there are other mistakes in the requirements. I got a co-op job once because I was only person interviewed who asked about one of the job requirements. "I'm quite familiar with the WIN32 API," I said, "But what is the WIN31 API? Do you mean Windows 3.1?" (Back then, this was actually relevant).

Re:for a real class act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791916)

The really classy HR and Recruiter turds put down requirements for years of experience greater than the time the technology has been in existence....

I have actually seen this regarding AS/400 developers.
I wondered if they were trying to recruit from IBM's R&D department.

They wanted 5+ years experience on a platform that was public for only 2.

Just demand pretty much everything in your job ad: (2, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791118)

Knowledge of 6+ OSes and at least 15 programming languages, developer experience in everything from industrial controls to web apps, etc. Hire the applicant who looks like he's fresh out of college. There's your bad programmer.

Careful! (3, Funny)

gillbates (106458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791630)

Some people here could fill that job!

  1. DOS
  2. Windows
  3. Linux
  4. MVS
  5. HP-UX
  6. Solaris

And....

  1. Java
  2. JavaScript
  3. HTML
  4. XML
  5. C++
  6. C
  7. Tcl
  8. Natural
  9. Cobol (Gah, my eyes!)
  10. JCL
  11. Perl
  12. Lisp
  13. Visual Basic
  14. x86 Assembly
  15. ARM Assembly
  16. VHDL

Okay, I have to write this to get past the lameness filter. But listing too many languages is likely to get you a very experienced engineer, not a bad programmer.

Resume in Word (2, Insightful)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791128)

Personally I love it when they ask for this. Nothing pleases me more than writing a resume whose formatting seems to change based on what version of Office you're using...

Re:Resume in Word (1, Informative)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791394)

Personally I love it when they ask for this. Nothing pleases me more than writing a resume whose formatting seems to change based on what version of Office you're using...

I think you should probably change your default printer. Word files should not change formatting due to what versions. HOWEVER, the minimum margins are determined based on your default printer. If you are like me and have a wide range of printing devices, (or did) then you need to be careful that you have wider margins before you start typing.

Example:
1) I have the drivers for a Phaser 7500 printer which can print up to 12.6 by 47.25 inches. I can set my margins to 0" in Word. I create my document but don't change the margin settings.
2) I email the finished document to Joe HR. He has a HP Deskjet D1660 connected to his computer and has that driver as default (listed as 17.01 by 7.8 inches). As soon as he opens the document Word realizes that the document cannot fit and will adjust it to fit the new minimum margins (plus any padding settings added). This results in a smooshed resume.

If you just ensure you have a super crappy printer set as default before you start formatting your documents, you will avoid 9 out of 10 problems.

Word is also far from the only program that gets such information from your default printer. Pretty much any printing, design or layout software does too.

Rename .txt to .doc (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791582)

If your recruiter asks for a Word doc and you are actually interested, just rename a *.txt file to *.doc.

I actually just have a hard link on my web site, my resume.txt is the same file as my resume.doc.

Is this joke from the 20th century? (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791206)

Requiring resumes to be in the proprietary and platform-specific Word .doc format, instead of .pdf, .html, or .txt formats, is a nifty little test early on in the hiring process.

I can't remember when I last worried about .doc compatibility. It has been about five years since I had a real problem with converting basic .doc documents in OpenOffice, and when making them myself I can't recall a serious problem in even longer. I have never seen "must be in .docx format" (which can be a problem) and 99% of HR drones wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. HTML and (potentially) PDF* are just security risks.

This guy is either using a very dated joke or is a massive zealot.

* Not to mention you need a non-Adobe client to get a good experience with PDF.

Re:Is this joke from the 20th century? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791610)

Well, I'm not a programmer per se, but am a statistician, and write a fair amount of code. I've applied and worked at places that required a .doc CV/resume. I do almost everything in LaTeX, and if you require the .doc CV, I've found that Word has permeated the very fabric of the place, and I won't be happy at all working there. I will never work in a place like that again. It is a fairly decent litmus test regarding the software culture of the place. The question remains as to whether I'm a 'good' worker and companies who require .doc CVs are missing out on people like me.

Re:Is this joke from the 20th century? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791706)

And .doc isn't a security risk?

You want bad programmers? (5, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791216)

You have definitely come to the right place!

Re:You want bad programmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791488)

Are you insinuating that most slash dot readers are bad programmers, personally I find programmer to be some what demeaning programming is spaghetti code, software developer or software engineer if you have an engineering degree, is is proper design, code reuse and proper architectural implementation. I agree interviews especially HR are half BS bunch of key words, barely understand that if some one is a good OO developer they will be able to pic up on another language, with the current economic mess I consider my self a decent developer and in financial mess. There are quite talented developers with out work right now, very few but they are out there just because you went of on your own developed projects that failed due to lack of funding does not make you a bad developer and now your out in the cold and people can assume your bad because either you do not have certs, or you are in such need of work. A few great developers that I know also have a problem selling them selves, they may be more efficient, produce bug free code, get paid less but because they can not market them selves like Gods, they end up with less pay and remedial jobs.

Simple (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791248)

Interviewer: "Do you code exclusively in PHP?"

Answer: "Yup! Been using it ever since I gave up VB6."

Interviewer: "You're hired!"

Subtly different from how to scare aware good ones (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791250)

Similar to the acronyms, but not scaring away mediocre developers, is playing conceptual buzzword bingo. By this I mean buzzwords relating to ideas that can actually serve useful purpose in our work, but are more often warning flags of people with a fairly trendy and superficial understanding of software design. For instance, if I see a job listing that heavy in its enthusiasm for design patterns and extreme programming, that's a major warning flag to me. They may well be top-flight, but too often are essentially hipsters who haven't done their homework -- i.e., all the latest terms, but little of the math and algorithms the underpins everything we do.

Another red flag is rote memorization questions. If you're going to ask me what the signature is for a particular method in a particular API, I'm going to be looking at every other question you ask with a lot of scrutiny because odds are that you're terrible at hiring and have put together a crap team. One of my friends told me how he, a solid engineer and project manager, had to sit through an interview being asked the difference between String and StringBuffer. If you don't understand how degrading this is for an engineer with a grad school education and 20 years experience, please realize that you're embarrassing yourself in your current profession and humiliating the candidates you're meeting. You should have the capability of determining whether a candidate knows this kind of stuff without actually making them redo quizzes from first semester CS 101.
 
The best team I've worked on in any type of job was put together by a guy who asked me no direct questions about APIs, rote from the Gang of Four, or what a linked list was, but just a few things about projects I'd done. Of course, it takes talent and skill to be able to do that.

Re:Subtly different from how to scare aware good o (2, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791640)

If your friend has 20 years of experience they were probably just looking for a way to eliminate him. Hiring practices have never been objective, it's just that today the song-and-dance has better production values.

Wanted! (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791324)

Immediate need for programmer with 10 years experience developing Objective C 2.0 for the iPad. Experience with developing for Intel i9 based Mac Pros is a major plus!

Re:Wanted! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31791506)

You nailed it. I've seen this a lot. Just impossible odds those are, and that's what many are asking. What a load of crap.

In my experience, a coder that started out on the C64 and evolved from there always delivers. They do their job for fun. That's who I'd want to hire, not some idiot programming because it seemed like a good career choice at the time.

Re:Wanted! (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791810)

Pre-iphone, putting words such as "Cocoa" and "Objective-C" on your resume caused HR to expedite it to a trash can. "Your last work experience was this 'Cocoa' thing? Where did you work, Starbucks?" It was really hard to be a career Objective-C developer.

I know your post was meant to be funny, but that HR departments acknowledge the existence of Objective-C is a sign of progress.

Ask Slashdot? (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791330)

Ummm... post a programming question in the Ask Slashdot section?
(Ducks)

They are easy to find. (1)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791500)

Put out a government tender for software development.

HERE IR; (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791598)

Pirate's Sub (A.pee.Aye).hWin pi$\`.$\`S
Pirate's Const FARTWIND \`(hit.fuc), 99 .my.sac.dam2 = -2 + "True" '

dim my.shit.fuck.dame();
set pis(my.shit.fuck.damn"BlacTerrorFLAGS=1) ` lol funny
Else
2 = True

GoSub PresidentWinningElection
GoSub PresidentHackingElection
GoSub PresidentSwearingIn
End
End
wEND
End
End

Hey (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791668)

Why are you looking at me?

Easy... (4, Insightful)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31791928)

Let HR write the job requirements, conduct the interviews and hire, all without the input of ANYONE that knows how to do more with a computer, than just turn it on.

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