Monday, June 2, 2008

How Google Values Open Source Work

A couple of interesting pieces of information, as it results to recruiting, came out of Stephen Shankland's interview with Chris DiBona from Google. They are as follows:

SS: Is it easier to get hired at Google if you have experience maintaining your own open-source product or patch?
CB: If you have made a name for yourself in open source, clearly it helps. If you have a healthy project in open-source, I believe it helps. One thing I see on hiring committees is when somebody has an open-source history, it's really great. You can just look at that history. Interviews are great, but they're not very deep. They're only 45 minutes long. So how can you really get a feel for if a person is good at programming, at computer science?

SS: Or at social relations, for that matter.
CB: Open source really reveals that incredibly quickly. You can look at their code, at their activity on mailing lists, how they deal with bugs from real people, and real user problems. That's an incredible resource.

Just as has been discussed many times in the past, open source project work has the ability to assist you greatly in your next job search. Your next potential employer will be able to get a look at your programming skills, but just as Chris mentions, they also view your community interaction closely. I have seen a lack of professionalism hurt developers in the past. So, always remember, somebody is watching you!

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