A "good" programmer can outproduce five, ten, and sometimes more run-of-the-mill programmers. The secret to success for any software company then is to hire the good programmers. But how to do that? How to recognize a good programmer? How to even define "good"? These are questions the software industry has struggled with for decades. Managers and others involved in hiring programmers are constantly faced with the dilemma of trying to divine talent for programming based on their perception of a candidate's talent for interviewing and socialization. The result? The result is all too often the hiring of a good talker rather than a good programmer.
In Joel on Hiring, Joel Spolsky draws from his experience both at Microsoft and running his own, successful software company based in New York City. Joel writes humorously, but seriously about his methods for sorting resumes, for finding great candidates, and for interviewing, in person and by phone. Joel's methods are not complex, but they do get to the heart of the matter: how to recognize a great developer when you see one.