The CTO Tip of the Day: The (Still?) Unconventional Art of Hiring Software Engineers – Show Me Your Code! 🧐

For almost two decades I’ve been hiring software engineers with a “unique” approach that still raises eyebrows.

When it comes to recruiting software engineers, I firmly believe in reviewing their previous work, specifically their code. It’s like hiring an architect without seeing their buildings or drawings – it just doesn’t make sense! Yet, I still encounter candidates who seem baffled by this request.

So why some companies are still not reviewing software engineers’ code before hiring? Why is it still not a common practice and a requirement in job descriptions?

My recruitment process heavily relies on reviewing candidates’ previous works and I strongly believe that experienced software engineers will always have something to show from their professional career. This allows me to assess potential candidates’ architectural abilities and how they translate business requirements into the abstract world of software.

The most common responses I get are along the lines of “I can’t because my company doesn’t allow sharing source code” or “I have signed an NDA, I can’t.” To which I usually say, “Nice try, but I don’t buy it.

Here’s my go-to reply: “This is our recruitment requirement. I don’t need a full project code base, just samples of selected files, things that you’re really proud of. We will not reuse any of that code anyways. It will be deleted after the review. We’d be very happy to review your OpenSource contributions first if any exist online. You can simply provide me with your GitHub account or send some code samples via email in a ZIP file“.

Really experienced programmers will have some GitHub code pushed to OpenSource projects anyways. Usually, these are the people I’m targeting first for review as well.

I hope you liked this edition of “The CTO Tip of the Day” – please leave a comment if you agree/disagree. Or maybe you have some kind of “non-standard” hiring technique on your own?

CTOTipOfTheDay #Hiring #SoftwareEngineers #CodeReview #Recruitment #Careera

PS. Hiring the best talent and building highly skilled tech & product teams is my professional passion. That has morphed last year into joining forces with Erik Ingvoldstad, and that’s how Careera – NextGen hiring platform was born 🙂

Please visit https://careera.io/ to join our recently launched BETA.

Photo: generated via https://nightcafe.studio/

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