Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Helpful Hints In Avoiding the Ax

Given the state of the labor market, the one thing you want to try to limit is your chances of getting fired. Of course, there are plenty of instances (workforce reduction, etc.) that are out of your control. However, it is imperative that you take care of behavior that is in your control.

In this Datamation article, Eric Spiegel outlines three steps you can follow to limit your chances of getting the ax. All three are very relevant, but one in particular sticks out to me. The notion that you, as a developer, must promote your own work.

I agree completely with this. In a number of cases, this can be quite difficult for the developer. There are a number of highly skilled engineers that tend to be introverted. They might not necessarily be the best "sales person" for their own code. If that happens to be you, it is time for you to do your best to break out of your shell per se. Make sure that not only your team, but others in the organization, are aware of your accomplishments. With that being said, you do not want to come across as cocky, whereby you hurt the chemistry you have with your team members. But, there is nothing wrong with stating your accomplishments in a professional manner that results in your determined worth to the organization.

In this day and age of corporate expense scrutiny, you must do everything in your power to show your worth. Following these couple of easy steps will assist you in realizing your career goals.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Do Companies Give Tests to Open Source Developers?

Recently, I have had a couple of companies give programming tests to individuals that have had code accepted for an open source project. Why is that? Sometimes I have a hard time understanding what is going to be gained by doing so. I have always been under the impression that if your code is accepted by a particular project, that is a testament to your abilities to program in that language. At the very least, it is the perfect opportunity for a company to take the necessary time to review the code to determine ones ability. Most of the time, below par code is not allowed into an open source project. Just the process of elimination given the competition.

However, for some apparent reason unbeknownst to me, that universally visible code is not enough. Again, I ask why is that? Corporations constantly are trying to evolve the hiring process at their companies. Meanwhile, they lose sight of the core of the mission at hand. While all this "trickery" takes place with exams that usually have gray areas, people that could be great assets to achieve the corporate mission are passed over. Perhaps that does not hurt them tremendously at the moment given the economic environment, but over time, it will provide a challenge for them.

Everyone wants to find the best person for the job. That should be the goal of every open job requistion. In order to do so, perhaps some of the processes that are put in place should be examined given the position at hand. Does a person that has viewable code out there need to be given a debatable quiz on code structure? I, of course, think not. But, I realize that is just my opinion. Let me know what you think.