How to grow professionally

Take responsibility beyond your authority. Play the role you want. Express your appreciation for the contribution people make to the success of the entire php company business, and for anything that can help you personally.

If you want to become a team leader, encourage consensus building. If you want to become a manager, take charge of the planning. You can usually do this comfortably while working with a boss or manager, as this will free up their time to take on greater responsibilities. If it's too complicated, do it bit by bit.

Evaluate yourself. If you want to become a better programmer, ask someone you admire how you can become like them. You can also ask your boss, who knows less technically, but will have a bigger impact on your career.

Plan ways to learn new skills, both technical, simple, like learning a new software system, and social, more difficult, like writing well, by incorporating them into your work.


Evaluate candidates for employment

Evaluating potential employees does not get the energy it deserves. Bad recruitment, like a bad marriage, is terrible. A significant part of everyone's energy should be devoted to recruiting, even if this is rarely done.

There are different styles of interviews. Some are devious, designed to put the candidate under a lot of stress. It serves a very valuable purpose of possibly revealing character flaws and weaknesses under stress. Candidates are no more honest with recruiters than they are with themselves, and the human capacity for self-delusion is amazing.

At a minimum, you should give the candidate the equivalent of an oral exam on technical skills for two hours. With practice, you will be able to quickly cover the extent of what they know and the limit of their skill. Applicants will respect this. I have heard many times from candidates that the quality of the interview was one of their motivations for selecting a company. Good people want to be hired for their skills, not for their last job or school they did or any other superficial characteristic.

In doing this, you should also assess their ability to learn, which is far more important than what they know. You should also watch out for the negative vibes given off by difficult people. You might be able to tell by comparing scores after the interview, but in the heat of the moment it's hard to tell. The quality of people’s communication and work is more important than using the latest programming language.

A reader got lucky using a "brought home" test. This has the advantage of being able to find a respondent who can present well, but can't really code, and there are a lot of them. Personally, I haven't tried this technique, but it seems reasonable.

Finally, interview is also a sales process. You should sell your business or project to the candidate. However, you are talking to a programmer, so don’t try to embellish the truth. Start with the bad things, then end on a strong point with the good things.

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