Hiring demystified


Mar Bartolomé

It’s not secret that the hardest problems in computer science are cache invalidation and naming things… oh, and hiring. In our industry we’ve developed a culture and a mysticism around hiring, with certain rituals and practices which are often so detached from reality that you see numerous jokes and memes about the subject. Hiring is a difficult problem, yet important to get right. Many developers are faced with the challenge of hiring other team members, without much clue into how to proceed, and end up just copying the well known rituals without stopping to analyse their effectiveness or implications. Often, this results in hindering both companies and candidates, especially those of under represented demographics. In this talk I’ll share my experiences and personal opinions both as a candidate and as an interviewer, analyze the implications of popular hiring tactics, and discuss what I consider effective ones, in order to hire the right developers for your team with minimum hassle for both sides.

Software Engineer and fulltime geek. I’ve been working as a web developer for more than a decade, much of which has involved writing python code for startups in both Málaga and London. A big proponent of free software, and pragmatic development practices. I blog and podcast at coconauts.net about fun technology experiments and personal projects.


¡Hola! Me ha encantado la charla, muchas gracias :slight_smile:
Un par de preguntas: ¿crees que las empresas están preocupándose de verdad por el tema de la diversidad? Trabajo en una que se preocupa mucho por eso pero no es lo normal :frowning:
Y ¿por qué crees que pasa esto de que a los nuevos se les paga mucho más que a los que llevan ya tiempo en la empresa, a riesgo de que se vayan a otra donde les paguen más? Nunca lo he entendido jajaja
Un saludo!


A pretty interesting presentation, not only for companies hiring developers but also for developers themselves, so they can get the best idea of what they actually are and how things should be for an attractive company. I think that any enterprise following your advice should be optimistic about their projects and the people surrounding them. And, anyone who looks for a job, if they find out these tips are being followed, they can be confident they’ll fit well in their team and vice versa.



Veo muchisimas empresas preocupandose “en apariencia”, pero pocas que cambien verdaderamente su actitud para ser más inclusivas. Hay mucho camino por recorrer…

Lo de que los nuevos cobren más que los viejos es algo que pasa incluso con tu compañía de teléfono, de luz, o de adsl: los nuevos siempre tienen un contrato más beneficioso que los que ya están dentro. ¿Las razones? Creo que quizá una visión un poco anticuada de optimización de salarios, basada en “pagar lo mínimo que la persona vaya a aceptar” en todo momento. A los nuevos tienes que pagarles más porque los demás estan pagando más. A los de dentro creo que muchos managers no se dan cuenta de que a los ingenieros nos llega spam diario de recruiters ofreciendo más dinero. En muchas ocasiones te suben el sueldo cuando amenazas con irte, pero me parece feo tener que llegar a ese punto.

Un saludo!


Thanks! It happens to me a well, when I apply as a candidate, I consider the hiring process itself to be a first impression of what the environment and the vibe is going to be when working at the company. If there’s a lot of unnecessary friction and they are very strict and process-focused during the interviews, then probably the work environment is going to be like that too, and that doesn’t look like a great place to work.

As I mentioned in the talk, and as you summarized too: interviewing works both ways!