When we were growing our team of Python devs at CMG, I was involved in a lot of interviews. I really enjoyed it, meeting and hiring interesting and talented engineers. I’m not a big fan of quizzing people on technical minutiae in interviews. I do think that asking some questions about technical likes and dislikes can be very illuminating though. For example, “What’s your favorite standard library module?” (Best answer in my book here is itertools or functools, but anything that shows they have hands-on appreciation for the depth of the standard library is good.
I’ve been working as a remote software developer for over five years now. I gather that some outfits do this better than others. In case they’re useful/inspirational for anyone else, I want to highlight the key things that have made this workable for so long. The key idea: Treat your remote workers as first-class, full-fledged members of the team. Have a chat server which everyone is connected to whenever they are working.
This evening, the Western Mass. Developers Group was treated to a talk by Ben Fry of Processing fame. It was excellent and inspiring. Having not much prior exposure to Processing or his work, I left hungry for more. (The title of this post is taken from the name of the group at the MIT Media Lab where Fry did his PhD work.) I liked the graphical-REPL flavor of his live demos.
Greetings from Boston – specifically, BarCampBoston. My first “unconference”. Nerds galore. The format is (mostly) half-hour talks from attendees on whatever subjects interest them – as long as other attendees have also expressed interest. It’s all tracked on a big board in the lobby. So far I’ve been in discussions involving localization, designing for technophobes, cloud computing, physics simulation in games, and Lisp. The level of interactivity is high – as is the collective expertise brought by the participants.