First, we have Davetron5000′s Interview Rubric, a list of questions for prospective employers. It’s a good read for interviewers and ‘viewees alike.
One question I particularly like is, “Can I see the code I will be working with?” It’s not one I would have thought to ask and is a subtle but powerful indicator of the sea change brought about by the Web2.0 and OpenSource. I’m in that generation of programmers that takes for granted that a company’s code will be proprietary, and that you don’t get to see it until after you’ve signed all the necessary paperwork. But that is not always the case now. If a company is really on the ball, this question won’t even be necessary. Much of the code will be available in an opensource repository somewhere (think Rails and 37signals.com) – and you’ll be interviewing candidates already familiar with your code base. How cool is that!
From days of ‘yore (circa 2000), we have The Joel Test. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I hadn’t seen this before. Or, if I had, it’s been long enough I’d forgotten about it. In these days of web app development, some of the questions are a bit dated (e.g. “build process” is probably better phrased as “deployment process” for websites). You’d think that my company, zenbe.com, being helmed by four entrepreneurial geniuses, and populated with stellar, insightful programmers, would score pretty well. *Ahem* But, truth be told, we’re probably only getting 6-8 out of a possible 12.
How about you? How does your company do?