Hiring Right

The more of his "Business of Software" articles I read, the clearer it is that Eric Sink just "gets it". I've read the BoS series on MSDN from the start, as well as his various weblog posts, and it's clear that he's spent a lot of time pondering what makes development really work. I also like that his advice obviously
comes from someone who's been "in the trenches", understands real-world commercial development, and lives it each day. The series on the "22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" is a great example of his ability to break down software-business issues for the pocket-protector crowd.

This latest MSDN article is a good summary of things to look for when hiring developers into your team. What I really like is how he refers to "shrinkwrap qualities" -- those qualities that differentiate a good programmer from a good commercial-product developer.

My own experience is that there are lots of developers who pay lip service to OO design, architectural consistency, reuse, current documentation of all kinds, and so on -- but not all developers maintain that discipline day-in and day-out. And an even smaller percentage of those have the "shrinkwrap qualities" -- the ever-present understanding that what they're writing will eventually be in the hands of a paying customer. And while a well-designed, elegantly implemented software product is important (especially for the on-going maintenance and evolution of the product/product line), the end-user just wants an application that helps them get their job done and make their life easier.

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